I know when I started this blog that I wanted to use it to bring attention to the ills of our society. One of those goals was to get people to communicate with one another about the world we live in; be it about politics, religion, social issues, personal struggles… it is actually a pretty long list.
Now for the last few months I have come to a few very specific and (I think) reasonable ways to still care about what goes on in my world, but without making myself insane. It is a difficult balance, but I thought I would share some of my new “survival techniques” to not become so overwhelmed with the apathy of others, the corruption in government, the death of our planet, and the people who think science is nonsense.
1. I have come to terms with the simple fact that no matter how much I write, research and share – there will always be people who disagree, look at the world from a completely different perspective than I do, and they have no real desire to learn or change anything. Letting go of that responsibility I heaped on myself was a good start. I am no longer looking for people to agree with me or disagree with me. I am going to write about what tickles my fancy on any given day and take the reactions as they come (even when they don’t come at all), Whew. Serious load off.
2. I go outside. I have always known that nature and animals are my passion, but I have never been in a place in my life where I could really focus on that because I have always had to exist in a constant state of “What to do next?” I realized recently that I need to plan for the future, but I no longer want that plan to be the “normal” plan which seems to be: grow up, get married, have babies, work myself to death, then die. I have found that if I simply go for a walk in the park and admire the way the water moves, watch some squirrels clamor to hoard food for the winter, and listen to the sounds that surround me – well all of a sudden the ineptitude of our government doesn’t have such an emotional impact on me.
3. We set goals for us in our house that are 100% controlled by us. This mostly surrounds food choices and changing dietary habits, gardening and growing our own food, as well as paying attention to what we do buy in the grocery store. So some of this blog content will be focused on food because what we are doing right now in our home is WORKING. The three of us are all overweight, we have a diabetic, a high cholesterol person and a blood pressure issue. ALL of our health issues are related to either food or stress (or the combination of the two). By making small and steady changes, we are all losing weight (and still eating delicious food BTW), my cholesterol has significantly improved from “you are going to die” to “keep it up!” Or diabetic in less than a month has regulated her blood sugar out of the “danger zone” and the high blood pressure – well once the Affordable Care Act kicks in (today) our non-insured roommate can now go get his blood-work done without eliminating his life savings and I am sure that his results will be better too.
4. I deleted almost every political page on my Facebook account. It is one thing to stay informed, but quite another to be consumed. I have decided that politics are something I can’t change. We have to get to a point where all of America wants something different and demands it. While I can write my feelings on how we accomplish that – I have learned that I can still do it in a way that doesn’t make me insane. That is a good thing.
5. I set a completely arbitrary goal for myself to look forward to. Not a perfect job. Not a solution to the worlds problems. Simply – I want to hike a good portion of the Appalachian Trail for my 45th birthday (whatever I can do in about three weeks). I am starting my training now by doing simple things to get in shape like hiking in my local park. I took my car in today to get serviced and walked home from the garage and I will probably walk back to pick it up. It makes me feel good even if I never meet my ultimate goal – I am doing something to at least make it a dream that could one day come to fruition. In the meantime – I am working on my physical body and making it stronger. Win-Win.
I have been doing a lot of soul searching in the last couple of months, and while I still want to be a positive force in the world – I now realize I have to be a positive force for myself and that will in turn translate to a positive influence in my world. I think that is more powerful than having a voice, but no real application for it.
What goals to do have for yourself? Where did those goals come from? What would you do with your life right now if you had no fear of failure or judgement from others?