Tuesday, September 15, 2020

How To Make Things A Little Less Shitty

Hi, it's me again. Just popping in randomly and exactly when you thought (hoped) I was gone for good. Nope. Even though I'm erratic, I'm still around complaining about 2020 like everyone else. All those memes, WTF?  Like when people say, "2020, stop throwing things at me. Leave me alone." As if the year 2020 is attacking you personally. It's attacking the planet. All of us. 

I've been working very hard on letting things go. It's just too much. All the sad stories. All the depressed people. The fires. The protests. The economy. The cancelled trips and races. 

My son losing his job, then finding another one but working remotely out of his Phoenix-based bedroom to make a living when he should be out working in some fun office making friends and having FACs. 

My daughter struggling with finding out college kind of sucks right now because while she is in an apartment and technically enrolled in school, she's not able to meet new people, party, dive off of fraternity fireplace mantels into waiting drunken crowds (not that I ever did that), be stupid and enjoy those Wonder Years that college is. 

My parents who are 81 years old and had extraordinary travel plans to countries I can't pronounce that are now upended and might never happen. 

Myself who got into the field of social work to interact with people and to help, whereas now I'm meeting people through my computer screen on Zoom while my cat jumps up and attacks my hair bun. Essentially I am and spending way too much time having conversations with my Golden Retriever and smelling my newest Yankee Candle.

These are the things I am desperately trying to let go of. I am 53 and a chronic worrier. Just ask Ken. He hates it. If there is one thing I have learned in my years it is that if you are worrying about something and can do something about it you better as shit do it. But, if you are worrying about something and it is totally out of your control (hello, Covid) you better as shit let it go because what.is.the.point? It will make you sick and you will find yourself awake at 2 a.m., your heart racing, your palms sweating (or if you are pre-menopausal like me your body from your big Morton's Toe to your butt crack to your pierced ears sweating). It's not fun and not a way to live.

Easier said than done.

And, what I will say to you runners is we have a magical thing to do that rescues us in some way from all of this bullshit and we are lucky. Not everyone gets how restorative and healing running is. They think it's all heavy breathing and sharting and muscle aches, but we know it is so much more. I can shart and breathe heavily and ache but I am still feeling 76% better after a run than before it.

So, I run on. And I bike on. And I swim on. And, sometimes I climb 14,000 foot mountains in the snow in September because....well, just because.

That little person is Ken

I bet my sky is bluer than yours

I am basically climbing Mt. Everest in my mind

Some people don't feel motivated to run right now because there are so few races. I will run whether I am training or not. It's survival for me and one thing that helps me to feel normal. I will continue to run through any temperature, any weather element. I will run not really looking at my watch because I don't really care how fast or how far. I care how it makes me feel and that life after a run looks a bit brighter and manageable than life before a run. I will run because I get a perspective on life that I can't really get any other way. After my runs I often think, "It will be okay. I have this. I have the fresh air. I have my health. I have strength in my mind, body and spirit."

If you're not a runner, of course that's fine. But I hope you have something that can give you this boost too.

The other thing I do? Instead of fixating on all of the cancelled plans and things we can't do right now, I look to the small things that make me happy and aren't going away soon (except for Schitt$ Creek. Almost done with the series. Sigh. Ewww David!):

  • That damn Yankee Candle (Home Sweet Home scent)
  • Reading something inspiring/thought provoking/calming every morning and carrying that sentiment with me throughout the day.
  • Wine
  • Schitts Creek
  • A good book read on the back porch in the sunlight (I'm currently reading A Place for Us. Very good. Also just finished Untamed. Some solid nuggets in there)
  • Strong coffee with half and half (I prefer Peet's Major Dickason's dark blend)
  • A new recipe to try that actually doesn't taste like dog feces (I just tried Triple Berry Cheesecake Muffins because why not? And they were orgasmic)
  • Wine
  • A cozy comforter ordered from Amazon for the winter months (this one. I'll let you know how we like it)
  • A long phone call with a dear friend (hey Julie, Clair and Erika)
  • Getting a huge breakfast burrito every Saturday morning from a local spot. Benny's Tacos rocks.
  • Wine
  • Riding our cruiser bikes to a brewery on a nice night
  • Planing an adventure (here's what we were going to do but we only made it one summit due to snow)
This is today's mantra

What I want is for us to not give up on life because of all of this. Don't let Covid be an excuse for you to hide from things and whimper into a corner. Do what you CAN do and enjoy what you CAN enjoy. Because some of those things still exist. They might not be grandiose like your dream vacation (γεια ελλαδα - Hello Greece) or seeing your favorite band in concert (see you next time Hoodoo Gurus), but there are still things there to appreciate. You just have to notice them and DECIDE to appreciate them.

So now, and for everyone reading here, tell me one thing in the comments that you do each day to make your day somewhat brighter or at least A Little Less Shitty (ALLS). Sometimes all we can hope for is ALLS.

Thanks for being my friend (or, I hope you don't mind I assume we are friends),