It's 9:07 a.m. and I'm just starting my day at work. I should have logged on by 9 a.m. at the latest, but I laid in bed instead.
I told myself to get up when I woke up at 7 a.m.
"Get a walk in and you'll feel better."
But I didn't.
I laid there thinking about the day ahead.
I should get a chore list together for the boys. I should get them set up online for some online math. But I know I won't.
I see the sun peeking through my curtains. Another beautiful Michigan summer day! Even summer has lost its luster.
I'm up now with a cup of coffee. I tell my husband that I feel like I have depression. He tells me he thinks a lot of people are feeling that way right now.
When I write or blog, it's usually with a mission: To share my feelings and ideas, especially in hopes that will help others. But I just don't think I have anything to offer today.
I used to think that rejection was the worst emotion. I think that's been replaced by hopelessness. My thoughts go to people who have dealt with trauma, who have little to no family support, who battle mental or physical illnesses. It just makes me feel worse. I have none of these and yet here I am feeling sorry for myself.
I guess it feels like too much right now. Too much anger, too much blame, too much fear. Sure, there are blips of joy—a small gathering with friends, watching a youth sports game, finding the perfect throw pillow on clearance...
But then it's back to the ugly. The old man at Meijer who called me an idiot for going the wrong way down the aisle. The fights about masks on Facebook. The stories of injustice and racism that I naively thought weren't as big as they are.
At this point, the old me would choose to hear my mom's loving voice say, "Dig deep. You'll find your strength."
I hear it.
But it just won't stick.
Somehow, it doesn't feel right to try to mask the misery of our world. It also doesn't feel responsible to only think of myself and how I can get out of it—to only see my views and allow for those with the greatest influence in our country to "win" at their own selfish games.
So where do we go from here?
I don't know. But I do know that throughout this journey, a few common themes continue to pop up in my thoughts.
Be. Whatever you're feeling? Allow it.
Patience. We're all just doing the best we can. This can't last forever.
Laugh. Seek out some good vibes. I recently discovered comedian Leanne Morgan and now I want to move South and bake orange juice cakes.
Kindness. If we're going to come out of this situation better, we have got to do it together. No politician, religion or social influencer can do it for us. Listen to others, help someone in need or, at the very least, offer a smile (or a squint) to a stranger.
Growth. What have you learned from this experience that can lead to a more positive and content life?
Take care, everyone. Thank you for reading.
I think I'll go for a walk now.
It's a nice day.
Written by Jill Carroll, Marketing Manager for West Michigan Woman.