I am a grateful woman. I will not say “lucky” because nothing was handed to me. I have fought for my husband, for my kids, and now for myself. I am appreciative of the things I have because I know what my life was before all of the “things”.
I do not dwell in struggle. I do not find value to living in that place. I find it useful for few things, but they are invaluable things, not the least of which is perspective.
Perspective can provide many people with so much value and richness for their lives. I think that’s part of the reason I write publicly. Its one reason we read novels and love reality tv shows and social media. Its a window into another person’s life. Social media can be good or bad in terms of comparisons or self worth, but if you can see the bigger picture, it can be a great tool.
One thing that made an impression on me early in my life was something my mom used to say when we would watch nature documentaries. A polar bear would be bearing down towards the screen, or a great white shark would be swimming past with no bars between it and the viewer. My mom would say, “Imagine being the cameraman!”
It put me in someone else’s shoes in a fantastically dramatic situation.
It has taken me my whole life up until the recent past to refine this thought. I used to get hung up on how people were unwilling and/or unable to put themselves in another’s shoes. Not everyone can do it. But they should.
Right now I am on a solo trip, just my thoughts and I. I am trying to be in the moment- it takes a lot of effort to let yourself just ‘be’. For some people, anyway. For most Moms, I imagine. I’m minding my own business, enjoying the snowy view outside the diner where I am indulging in breakfast made and cleaned up by someone not myself and I decide to check out the news. You see, we “cut the cable” a few months back and since then, if I want to know whats happening in the big blue world, I have to go search for the information.
It took about a minute to feel regret. This information age where any information you want is right at your fingertips can be a detriment. I like living in a bubble. There. I said it. I wish I could be internationally informed, but I find its too fucking depressing. It took about five minutes of scrolling various floods, overthrown governments and country-wide poverty before the feeling of self preservation forced me to close the news app.
Not very socially responsible of me I suppose. But where is the line? Take care of yourself, practice self-care, be where your feet are, be grateful for what you have, cherish the moment, blah blah blah. It directly conflicts with social responsibility and being up to date with current events. The ice caps are literally melting, the damage is being done. We are living in an age of massive consequences.
Cant I just stick my head in the sand to preserve my own mental health? Right now I feel compassion for the people having to live through these awful disastrous catastrophes, but at what point does joint suffering make any difference? Putting myself in their place robs me of the enjoyment I have for appreciating what I have worked for. This last year was an emotional rollercoaster for my family and for a while that is not going to change. I have been able to carve out one entire day to do what I want, when I want, how I want, and just reflect and appreciate what has brought me here.
There is something to be said for the mental health of the “ignorance is bliss” community.
At least for today I will work on my moments, what is in front of me, and putting myself into my own shoes.