If you’re on the “2016 Sucks” bandwagon, I get it. Lots of stuff went down this year – deaths of beloved icons, a heated presidential election – but bad stuff happens every year – and it’s never, ever the year to blame. Was the year that innocent kindergarteners were gunned down in their classroom worse? For my mental health, it sure was. But that still doesn’t mean it was the year to blame. It was the madman. It was the gunman’s mental health. And in the deaths of Carrie Fisher, Prince and George Michael, it was years of self-destruction to blame, not the year. That Carrie’s mother, Debbie Reynolds died a day after her daughter, is a sad reminder of our own heartbreak. We want to feel good, stay high on life, so when an icon dies, our dreams die a little bit, too.
As I said in the last post, the thing to do when life gets you down is to throw gratitude like confetti. Yet that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to get real about the shit going down. The key, then, is to be able to ride the waves – to not emotionally drown in the highs or lows.
Eckhart Tole tells us we have three choices when we encounter a situation we don’t like:
- Leave it.
- Change it.
- Accept it.
Note he doesn’t say, “complain about it on Facebook!” or “let it ruin your day and affect everyone around you”. Of course we all share our frustrations with life in various ways, but if we want to truly be at peace, we have to decide if we are going with 1, 2 or 3 every time the job prob, relationship issue or Thing You Don’t Like rears its head. Leave the job or the relationship. Change the job or relationship. Accept the job or relationship. Trump and politics in general? Same. Change what you can but don’t beat yourself up about the things you can’t control. We’re not talking about burying our feelings, but about acknowledging them, deciding what we can do about it, and then going forward. Life is all about going forward.
A friend’s sewer pipe burst the other day, two days after they had just moved in. Was she going to let it ruin their Christmas? Nope. You act on what you have control over (getting it fixed) and simply accept that these things happen (because they do, over and over.) That’s it. Move along.
2016, like every year, had its ups and downs. I made a lot of money until I didn’t. I went out of the country for the first time – along with my kids! I got engaged. I didn’t accomplish a lot of things I’d hoped to this year, but I did accomplish learning how to give myself grace when I don’t check something off of my list. That’s pretty big. In my “one bow, many arrows” philosophy, I realize that I try to pack too many arrows into my quiver.
I’m ending 2016 by spending the day with my kids and the evening with my beloved and one of my best friends at a wedding. I can’t think of a better way to close out this year and begin the next one. Love.
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