Steps Towards Inner Peace

In my search for happiness, I tried to find the good in everyone. Soon I found myself making excuses for others malice. I harbor no ill thoughts or feeling for these individuals. Instead, I accept their action and move forward. It may be apathetic on my part, but I’d rather invest my time in others who show appreciation.

As humans, we are imperfect. This inescapable fact is why it is important to forgive. However, if there is a trend of unfavorable circumstances, then we need to consider our course. There is nothing to be gained in being rash. Remember, we cannot undo our actions; a knee-jerk reaction can do more harm than good. Take each step with purpose, but do not stomp down the hall.

Praise people in public, but correct them in private. However, we should not pick a person we want to see successful and become their hypeman. We should treat everyone in this manner. Don’t make every private talk a correction. Allow some private conversation to be praise. This way, when others are nosey, they won’t know for sure which talk is given.

Everyone is initially worth our time. It is the return that we receive that determines the value of their friendship. However, don’t do a favor with the expectation of it’s returned. Instead, watch to see if our actions are appreciated or taken for granted. Be mindful of the deeds done for us. Are we taking others for granted? Spouses are easy to take for granted because we know they will be there tomorrow. But, tomorrow is never promised to us.

Speak with kindness. What we say is important, but more importantly is how we say it. If we have discord in our heart, it will come out in our tone. Encourage others and ourselves. But we should never be vain about ourselves or our deeds. Be humble, but do not grovel. Smile while greeting others. And while one the subject of smiling. Smile with the eyes, not just the mouth. It makes a world of difference.

I am far from being the paragon of happiness. But, as each day passes, I get closer to finding my inner peace. There are times when we must allow the dust to settle before seeing what step to take next. This world moves at a fast pace, and slowing down seems impossible. Nonetheless, downtime is a must. Learn to clear the brain and relax. Otherwise, we will find ourselves burnt out.

Until the next blog, live life and be happy, my friends.

Control Freak Or Failure-Phobia

Before I start, I’d like to wish all a happy independence day, even if you are from another country. For in the end, most of us are working towards some form of autonomy. May we all find financial, social, personal, and spiritual independence.

Failure is defined as not reaching a goal or expectation. Life is chaotic, and variables change within a glance. No wonder weather is challenging to predict. Unless you’re in Hawaii, where every day is beautiful, but, for the rest of us, storms can come without warning. To reduce the impact of the damaging winds, or the uncontrolled variables, we place controls. These controls are a great thing until we take it too far. Here are some traits that will help identify someone who needs to control everything. 

Correcting Others: It is acceptable to correct children on their grammar, etiquette, and attitude. After all, they are in the learning stage of life. It is not all right to correct every adult on these same terms 24/7. We are not their guardian. Unless they ask for help, please don’t force it. If someone spells beer y-u-c-k, let it be; this is assuming that their action is not malice. 

Winning Arguments: We do not need to “win” arguments. Our conversations should never be a competition. We do not have a “point.” We have a view, and we love to share it. It’s a universal human trait. When conversing, we should listen, not think about our next rebuttal. How rude would it be if we were giving our input and noticed the glazed over look signaling that the other person was not focused on what we were saying? Yeah, that is never a fun time. 

Trouble Admitting Errors: No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. But for some of us, we feel the need to hide our mistakes and deny they exist. Perhaps this stems from the need to correct others. In the military, we groomed each other all the time. We did it in an accepting manner, not condescending. It’s better if we catch each other’s mistakes than our superiors. Every once in a while, someone would take it in the wrong manner. We all have those days when we don’t want to be spoken to or even looked at. But some deny ever being wrong. Denial is not the right mindset and does not promote a healthy relationship. 

Being Judgmental: This mindset takes “correcting others” to the next level. When we can only see the “wrong” in others, then we need to reevaluate our viewpoint. We are not better than anyone else. We have no right to look down at others. We are all human, beautiful, and ugly at the same time. That’s what makes us so awesome. But, to place judgment on others is to put ourselves on a pedestal and take away that glow that we have. A lack of acceptance is an error on our part. This simple fact may be a hard pill to swallow for someone who can’t admit they are wrong. 

Road Rage: Here is where this ties in together, and some of us are about to have an “A-ha! I get it!” moment. Let’s take driver-A. They are judgmental, have trouble admitting they are wrong, and always correct others.  Yup, this is a road rage maniac in the making. This is the person who complains that people never let them in, but never allows others to merge over. They are late because of others driving, not because they didn’t plan for delays. Yelling and violent hand gestures fly from our friend at every mile of the way. Of course, their blood pressure is elevated, and rational thinking is out the window. It’s now time to start erratic lane changing to escape this hell we call highway 10. 

These caveats define a controlling personality. Does this mean every control freak falls under these premises? Of course not, but most do. If we take the time to evaluate ourselves, we may find that we fit the bill closer than we would like to imagine. This revelation doesn’t mean we are inadequate. It shows that we have similar traits. At some point in our lives, we will have days where we meet each criterion listed above. 

So to achieve our independence, may we all find that footing that allows us to progress closer to our goals. Life is too short to waste on petty idealisms such as misused grammar, other people’s manners, and defending ourselves when we know we are wrong. If we are to be happy, then we need to find peace within ourselves. We must accept our flaws and move on. After all, no one is perfect. Right?

Mutual Respect

“Mutual: (of a feeling or action) experienced or done by each of two or more parties toward the other or others

Respect: due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.

Mutual respect: Understanding that we all don’t share the same beliefs and values. … For relationships to remain healthy, both partners must be equally respected and appreciated. Mutual respect is a proper-regard for the dignity of a person or position.” – Google Search

Like it or not, respect is a two-way street. Your life experience is different than mine. Therefore, it is easy to understand that we may have different perspectives on life. This difference does not imply that we are wrong. Living in the country and living in the projects requires food, clothing, and shelter. These similarities do not mean both lives are the same. They are quite different. But, you don’t need me to tell you that. We already understand how city life differs from country living.

Social media is quick to classify people. Some quizzes deem how redneck or how street smart we are. This division is where we begin to fail. We divide ourselves into groups. “Us against them” is a common theme. The division can continue until it’s me against the world. Some days it feels like that. No one understands or takes the time to care. Nope, everyone has their plan, and they are in a hurry to get it done. No one has time to stop and listen. What’s in it for me? What do I get from listening to you? We see this attitude a lot. Truth be known, there is nothing in it for you. But, there is something in it for us.

This truth is where mutual respect starts. If I listen, I may begin to understand. But, if I’m thinking of my next rebuttal while you are rambling about something… am I listening? A five-year-old child understands this concept. We need to clear our thoughts and listen to what is said and how it is said. It’s called fundamental communication. We are eager to win an argument that we are willing to shut each other down without understanding our opponents’ views. What good is talking, if we aren’t going to listen? We might as well argue whether apples are red or green.

We have two ears, two eyes, and one mouth, and yet, we talk a lot more than we look or listen. This fact is sad. Stop trying to “win” the argument. The concept of communication is to exchange thoughts and ideas. Some of us are so competitive that we feel the need to win the conversation. Our point must be unanimously accepted. This “need” is wrong. Do not make everything into a debate. Instead, I implore you to find how two opposing views can be correct. Apples can be red or green.

Find value in the thoughts and words of others. Imagine a person who only spoke with three-letter words, whose articulation of speech was less than academic, but a joy to hear. Whose observation is as simple as their speech. How sad, to be so hung on their accent, or simpleton speech that we miss the chance to see the world through their eyes.

Mutual respect is a two-way street given without the expectation of receiving it in return. Life isn’t a game or contest. We aren’t keeping body counts of who we respected. How juvenile. And yet, this is our approach to justifying our actions.” I showed respect and courtesy to everyone I met this morning. I deserve a little mean-time. After all, I am only human.” If keeping score is what we seek, then the score is our only reward.

In our journey towards finding our happiness, we should practice being perpetually positive. Or, as I like to call it, a daily professional. Life is easy. We make it difficult. Learn the extremes of mutual respect and find your median. Together we can make this a beautiful world, but it starts with us and the quality of connection given.

Dream, Plan, Succeed

We all have dreams. Perhaps we want to be millionaires, own our business, or bring joy to the world. Those dreams begin with a single step. But that one step is not enough. We must continue taking steps until we reach our goal. We may come upon obstacles and detours, and that is all right. The vital variable to understand is that if we are stagnant, we will never reach our dreams.

As children, we imagined what tomorrow would bring. Flying cars, humanoid robots, and advanced technology decorate such futuristic images. Then something happened, and our dreams focused more on whom we would become. What difference will we make? What will parenting hold for us? We played, pretended, and acted out each scenario. Often we imitated our parents. No plot was too big for dreamland.

As children, the skies were the limit, we dreamed big, and we dreamed far. People ridiculed my childhood dreams. “You can’t do that.” But that didn’t stop me. I heard, “We can’t afford that.” almost every day. Every day I was told how poor we were, and I would grow up poor. Be careful about what is said to our children. I suppose it was negative motivation, reverse psychology if you will. I have never been motivated by negativity. I told myself I could, and I will.

Success was our only option as a child. We didn’t dream big only to imagine failing. In our dreams, we were successful. But for some of us, those dreams stall out with only a mental image of our accomplishment. So why didn’t we reach our childhood goals?

First, the dreams and aspirations of a child are quite different from an adult. But, there are a few things that we wanted that still pique our interest in adulthood. But what good is a dream if we never seek to achieve it? We cannot fantasize about becoming a world-renowned painter, then wake up as a famous painter. There are steps and hurdles that we must accomplish to reach our goal. Surprisingly this is where most dreams die, all because we only dreamed.

Imagine a writer who only stares at their keyboard. Thoughts flood their head, but nothing transpires onto their screen. We can do anything if we allow time. We may want to write a great novel. But, if we never put our thoughts down and process our work, our book will never be written. In our current society, we want instant gratification. Sorry Bucky, but the world does not work like that. It takes time and many failures to accomplish and become proficient. Failure, in this example, is not a bad thing. It merely means we learned how not to do something. Thus, veering us towards the right way of accomplishing our goal. Accept the failure, learn from it, and move forward. Write the story. Then write more. Perhaps we can build a whole world within our conjugating paragraphs. But it will never exist without first putting our thoughts into words and typing those words out.

We will have struggles and losses. For instance, I wanted to maintain my strength due to the physical requirements of my job. I needed to squeeze in a quick thirty minutes to an hour’s work out. The struggle part is easy to identify, just doing it. However, my loss came when I made time in the morning to knock it out. This goal required me a more time-oriented schedule. I could shave thirty-minute off each morning before leaving for work. If we are to reach the goals, we need to be willing to sacrifice our assets for them. Time is an asset.

One side effect I found, when it came to following my dreams, is that everyone has an opinion about reaching your goal. “You can’t do that.” “That’s a waste of time.” “You should have started this way.” Yep, they all have stink-thoughts. To each their own, right? Some advice will be okay. However, most opinions won’t even apply to us. Take a look at who is giving advice. Are they successful, or do they stand around and talk about what they would like to do? There is nothing wrong with dreaming as long as we follow up with action. Our actions make the dreams come true.

By writing down the steps needed, we visualize our success. Soon, by trial and error, we learn we need to plan for failure. So we come up with plans B, C, D, and E. The more times we organize our thoughts, the more proficient we become. It is how accomplishers are born. So, go on and dream those dreams, but remember to plan for success.

No One Is Good.

Nothing in this world is absolute.

We measure light, not darkness, and heat, not cold. Darkness is the absence of light. Once all light is removed darkness cannot get darker. The same is valid with cold. Zero degrees Kelvin is as low as a temperature can go. There is no maximum value for light and no maximum value for temperature.

Heat and light are positive variables. And, cold and darkness are negative variables. We often look at good and evil as two opposing forces. What if bad was just the absence of good? The value of a person would lie within how much good they produced. Keep in mind that this is a running average. We all have our days when everything goes wrong.

We are not absolutely proper, nor are we absolutely improper. Some days we shine with goodness and other days find us with frizzy bed head and not shining at all, aka McCrankybutt. On average, we try to live a moral life. But there are those among us who have less desire to be a ray of twinking sunshine.

Not to Freud this up, but, a person’s childhood has a significant impact on who they are as an adult. Even as adults, we still hear our parents echoing words of encouragement or blasting insults. Children need encouragement. They need to hear, “You can do it.” And when they fail, they must understand that failure is not a bad thing. Failure happens. It’s part of life. We get up and try again, this time with a different approach. Overcoming our failure builds constructive thinking.

I have met people who stated they didn’t trust “good” people. Air quotes on the word good. Perhaps they knew one too many backstabbers or deceivers. Do we fault them for not wanting to be a victim again? No, we let our actions do the talking. It is why it is important not to expect our good deeds returned. Be kind, professional, and helpful to them unless it causes aggravation. In which case, we need to turn our attention elsewhere. People watch us daily. They may not say it, but they do. They see us have good days and bad days. Remember, no one is perfect, including us.

So to say it once more, nothing is absolute. Variables change every day. Letting go of the past is essential. Yesterday’s mistakes are in the past. There is nothing we can do today to change that fact. To move forward, we must look ourselves in the mirror and forgive the person looking back. Accept the fact that failure happened and move on.

We need second chances. Stop looking at the negative and focus on the positive. Give people the benefit of the doubt just as we would appreciate the same. No one is good, and no one is bad. We are merely human.

Gratitude, Or As I Like To Say Gratitudity (It’s not a word)

Have you ever worked overtime to get a project at work completed? The extra hours and attention to detail added, all in the name of a successful product. It exemplified your pride and professionalism. You hand it in only to have it tossed into a pile without any concerns. They didn’t even look at it. Without a simple “Thank you,” you become the victim of thanklessness. Before we start throwing stones, I would like to point out that we all are guilty of not showing others gratitude. Sometimes, we are too busy to cater to the emotional needs of others. Welcome to life.

Gratitude is a thankfulness with a readiness to return kindness. We are more than thankful; we are grateful. Gratitude is a two-step process. First comes the recognition of the good in our lives. Secondly, we recognize this good came from others. We cannot be grateful for our deeds or the gifts we give ourselves. Nobody, in their right mind, feels the need to return self-kindness to ourselves for an action that we did. Treating ourselves for reaching a goal is celebrating an accomplishment, not gratitude. Having a great sense of appreciation for the actions of others is gratitude.

By showing gratitude, we create a positive atmosphere. Stress levels reduce, and relationships grow strong. In business, one’s appreciation can build secure networks, don’t go overboard. When people go out of their way for us, we need to show a high level of recognition. In our opening scenario, we are putting in a little extra to ensure our job is perfect. The product that we turned in is nothing more than what we got paid to do. It is a hard lesson for many people to understand. Our peers should not feel the need to show appreciation just because we did our job, nor should we contact obligated to others for doing what we paid them to do. Do not expect gratitude for doing a job.

My job is a thankless job, but its what I know. I love restoring old CH-53s then sending them back out to the fleet. I check, double-check, triple check my work to ensure I am sending out my best product. No one shows gratitude like our team leads. My quality of work keeps the bosses off of their backs. Most of the time, all I hear is “do this” or “do that.” With a sincere smile, I reply, “consider it done.” We should not need gratitude. Yes, it is pleasant to receive; however, it is not necessary.

Waitresses, deliverymen, and bartenders thrive on tips. When we perform these services with professionalism, we should receive a monetary gratuity. If the services are below par, I’m not one for tipping. Forced gratuity is not gratitude. And, that’s as far as I’m taking that subject 🙂

So, what’s in it for me? Why should I show gratitude? It should go without saying that all humans require appreciation. It shows that we are valued. When we reciprocate kindness to others, we send a signal of acceptance. Think of it as being picked for “team us.” The more players we have on our team, the more versatility is at our disposal.

Another side-effect is a lowered amount of social comparison. We are not in competition with people on our team. A prosocial attitude produces a less retaliating mindset. We are less likely to seek revenge on those whom we appreciate. A gratuitous hand has fewer enemies than a judgmental eye. Notice I stated fewer. Yes, some are going to despise us despite our kindness. This too, is life.

Gratitude can increase mental strength. A person who shows a high level of appreciation for their peers and the positive actions towards them have fewer effects from trauma. When we are gracious, we tend to look towards the positive. Every scenario has its good and its bad. If given a million dollars, most of us would jump for joy while others would sweat the tax. Find the good.

Speak with kindness, hold the door for others, and say “Thank you” to everyone who shows compassion. We are all on this rock together. No one is better than us, and we are better than no one. Our position in this world is just that; a position. Take it from someone who has traveled around the world; we are all equally great. When we come together as a group and work as one, that is when humanity becomes beautiful; and it starts with gratitude.

Having A Purpose

Our purpose, or goal, in life, is the reason we jump out of bed each day. We don’t merely wake up. We rise to a new day’s challenge, seizing our purpose, and conquering our goals.

OK, we don’t do that, at least some of us don’t. Most of us are still looking for the meaning of life and why we are here. Why do we wake up each day? And, what’s our heading in life? These are valid questions.

Our happiness and the meaning of life go hand-in-hand. It is up to us to find our joy at our current stage in life. As we age, our interests will change; thus, our happiness will change with it. In our final stage in life, we often lose our interest in life. I’m not saying every older adult is suicidal. However, life loses its glimmer when our body wears down. With age, we are not the social asset we once were. People look at us as though we are an obsolete obstacle. We need a purpose to live a happy life. 

How do we find our purpose in life? Our life goal is the “thing” that energizes us. “Sleeping energizes us, Steve.” I hang around a sarcastic military bunch. But, seriously, we need to remove the negative and build on the positive. For example, I love studying people, individually and socially. One would believe that psychology would be the right career choice. However, I hate (a term used correctly to the fullest extent.) listening to others whine and complain about how bad they have it. So, I focus on how I can interact with others while using what I learn. The result is that I act and react to others and situations in a manner driven to bring a positive outcome. I don’t yell at people to get my point across. (I use to.) That’s unprofessional. Now, in a calm voice, I ask simple questions, like, “Are you sure you want me to block this fire lane with this pallet?” “No?” “OK, just checking.” There is no need for sarcasm—just a simple verification pointing out my concern. By keeping a mellow attitude, the environment is more enjoyable. It is my purpose; to take a stressful situation and make it smooth as a morning lake. 

We must find what we love to do. Then find a group that will benefit from our passion. For most of us, we are already performing our purpose and don’t even realize it. Our words of wisdom, kind gestures, and daily professionalism affect our peers. Is that enough to satisfy our purpose in life? Yes, for some, but for others, it may fall short of their desire. We must follow our passion, no matter how big or how small. Find a focus point and head in that direction. 

An essential note that I need to interject is not to cause drama for others. If we love to see others pay for what they did, then we are doing it wrong. We are not to be spiteful or set on revenge. Everything will return. If we do a good or bad deed, the results will come back to us. If we take justice in our own hands and cause someone pain, that action will come back to us. Never underestimate the laws of cause and effect. It is why it is essential to focus on doing good to others. Don’t be Batman …man!

What should we do if we lose sight of our goal? The best thing to do here is to stop, look, and listen. Allow the drama and chaos to settle so we can see what is really around us.   Meditation is an essential tool for staying focus on the critical things in life. If we never stop, the dust will never settle, and we will miss our target. Stop look and listen. 

We all have a purpose in life. For some, it may be chasing the career path of a Senator, and for others, such as myself, it may be nothing more than being a source of positivity for those around me. We are where we need to be when we need to be. Remember, life does not go off of our calendar. Embrace the moment and make the most of it. 

Enjoy Life

Enjoy life. It’s a two-word sentence that seems impossible for most to accomplish. Face it; adulting is a downer. Bills keep coming in, and children need new clothes, and our job is just a job we try to maintain so we can pay our monthly tabs. When we search for good news, war and sickness fill the air. Sensational journalism is the name of the game, and our emotion is the target. 

Why on Earth would anyone want to play with our emotions? The simple answer is “for profit.” That card in our wallet isn’t going to swipe itself. Nope, we need to do that. And how do they get us to spend money? By letting us know that buying a new TV or whatever will make us feel better. It’s a fact that we feel better with new things in the house. But that happiness fades quickly, and we have the urge to spend more. Yep, emotional buying has its downside. Oh! Fun fact! Men are more susceptible to impulse buying than women. It is an easy subject to research, and not meant for ammunition. Everyone has a vice, so let’s not tarry on this. 

We indeed live in a capitalistic world, where everyone is jumping for the all mighty dollar. So, how do we find happiness without falling prey? We do it with discipline. Look, we all were greedy babies crying for food, attention, and comfort. As the years went by, we received less attention. Soon we were out on our own, and we were able to do whatever we wanted. Yup, gluttonous spending,  here we come! “Want” is a monstrous well we can never fill. It is why it takes discipline to pull the reigns back. We don’t need that 700 ft/lbs impact wrench with ergo kungfu grip. 

The fact is, we need money in the bank. Do I sound like your parents or grandparents yet?

 “You need to save more money. You can never save too much money. In fact, throw your whole check into the bank and pay your bills next month.” 

Don’t do that. However, we do need to have a safety net to catch us when unexpected bills come up. So, how do we get started? The easiest way is to open a new account and start an allotment. Do not touch this account. Now we define an emergency, a new dress because ours is outdated or because ours is showing wear and tear. Which do we need when saving money, a sports car, or an economy car? These may sound like easy choices, but when we are emotionally stressed, we want things that will bring the most attention and satisfaction at the moment. 

Don’t let emotions get in the way of happiness. I used money as an example, but there are a lot of other bumps in the road. When we control our emotions, we control our happiness. It has only taken me 16,790 days to figure that out. Once we find our joy, we need to know how to maintain it. But that’s for another blog. 

It’s My Happiness And I Want It Now.

Happiness is not easy to maintain. If it were, everyone would be hunky-dory. So, why do people insist on destroying the peace of mind of others? We see how people are just down-right mean every day. Knowledge comes with understanding. So let’s look at three personalities that impact our happiness.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. We all know that person who always seeks vengeance. They feed their misguided pain by lashing out on everyone. In most cases, something happened that caused great pain or misunderstanding. They have yet to resolve this issue or issues. Divorce, abuse, neglect, or any multitude of events can create a vengeful person. We need to come to terms with our demons (emotional tensions).

“If I’m not happy, no one is happy.” This soul attacks others to show how they feel. I can relate to this. After graduating high school, leaving home, and trying to find a job, I had unresolved pain inside. The abuse I went through as a child left me bitter and scarred. (spoiler alert: I’m happy and love my scars. Scars tell the story of our journey through life.) With no resolution, there was no contentment. Everyone around me appeared to be living a good life while I struggled. Why was their’s easier for them? A person who acts in this manner usually has problems expressing their feeling. Its easier to show someone. This leads to causing others pain in an effort to show how much they hurt. Think of it as a person going to the doctor’s office with a broken arm. The doctor asks if it hurts, so the patient breaks the doctor’s arm to show how it feels. Violent, yes, but it demonstrates the emotional pain versus physical pain. Often, we misjudge emotional distress because there is no cut or bruising. Learning to express how we feel is an essential tool in life. Not being judged for expressing our feeling is another.

Selfish people have only one priority. Everything is to benefit them because their needs outweigh our needs. Now, don’t get me wrong. There is a difference between basic self-preservation and hoarding everything for our use only. The self soul will allow others to be happy on their terms. Meet their demands and they may allow for some peace. If we do not meet the conditions, then hard times are coming. It’s similar to the cycle of an abusive relationship, tension, incident, reconciliation, and calm.

There are more traits to discover. However, these are the three most common in our daily routine. One common denominator that exists between each of these character traits is the need to be in control. I call it the driver seat syndrome because some people can’t be a passenger. But this is not the case with happy people. They support happiness within each other and are the feel-good-friends we all love. Life is better when we all are at peace.

We may find ourselves having revengeful tendencies or a day of selfishness. It happens. But as we go through each day, we must learn to be professional and hold ourselves to a higher guideline. By doing this, that high standard becomes just another level we achieve. Never force others to meet those standards. Those goals are ours and ours alone to meet. I’m sure we don’t meet all of their benchmarks. That’s a blessing within life; we don’t need to meet each other’s expectations to be happy. We learn to accept other’s short-falls as they accept ours. We may not be perfect, but we are getting better.

Happiness In Uncertain Times

During uncertain times happiness takes a backseat. Our current circumstances and our emotions go hand-in-hand. When a good event brings a smile to our face, its joy, but if that same event brings a coldness to our heart, it is to our dismay. It brings me to a question that I’ve been pondering. Is there happiness during chaos?

Ever wake up on a Monday and tell yourself, “I’m just not feeling it.” I’m sure we all have been there a time or two. But after a quick morning snack and two cups of coffee, we feel rejuvenated enough to face the day.

How do we take that example and apply it to a long term moment of blah? There’s not enough coffee in the world that can fix COVID-19 cabin fever. But, there are plenty of options to aid in keeping our sanity.

When given a circumstance of “long-term uncertainty,” depression or moments of feeling down can affect our day. Combat these feelings with limiting media and a new routine. I often fall into a routine that I love to follow. It allows me to complete my morning tasks autonomously. No brain required. Yay! It is good until my emotions begin to drop, and I lose my motivation. A lot of us are in this boat right now. The Stay At Home order is getting old, and the children are restless. Another good advice is to put down the phone. Right now, most articles are written to stir emotions. Sensationalism is what its called. Don’t fall victim to this petty game.

It is the perfect time to do something spontaneous for the children, like setting up a sheet tent in the living room. Or, make a couch cushion fort and pretend the floor is lava. It may work for little ones, but what about teenagers. Pump the brakes, Newman. I’m not going there. I don’t have children and teenagers have a wide range of interests. Advice from me on this subject is me gunning from the hips. Google is an excellent source of inspiration for this one. But I’m sure you already knew that. The idea is to mix up the daily routine just a little. Too much mix can lead to confusion and irritation, thus leading to a lack of interest. A little spice is nice.

On the other end of the spectrum, some of us are alone during this isolation period. A lack of human contact can hurt our emotions. Social media and TV can capture our attention for so long; then, we find ourselves staring at four walls. Having a hobby is the best remedy for too much time. Whether we are painting, writing, or just blogging to pass the time, a recreational activity allows us to take our minds off of the current situation. Setting in silence allows us to dwell. Dwelling opens the door for self-conviction, and that leads to depression.

No one knows the date and time that this will all end. We do know that we are in control of our emotions. Complaining never solves our problems. It does feel good to vent and decompress. However, bear in mind that whom we vent to takes on a portion of the negativity we exhaust. Listening to someone gripe and complain every minute of every day is taxing. I suggest bragging about the sunrise, how the weather was so lovely that we opened all the windows in the house, or how great it is to see our friend, even if it is via a tablet.

Yes, there is happiness during the chaos. We can manage our emotions by reducing the negativity and increasing the positivity. Although isolation can have a taxing effect on the soul, in the end, we are in control of how we act and react to our environment. We may have a long road ahead of us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it. No one said this has to be a time of misery. Our attitude dictates whether we had a good day or not. Which will you choose?