Someone once told me (spitefully) that I could be happy because nothing bad had ever happened to me. Which of course wasn’t true — no one goes through life unblemished.
I replied by turning her phrase around a bit. Maybe, I replied, maybe bad things hadn’t happened to me because I could be happy.
It’s all about perspective. Life either sucks and turns you into a bitter prune…or life sucks and you head in a different direction; a practical application of that old quote that says, if it hurts to do that — don’t do it!
Over the years I’ve stopped doing a lot of things that hurt, and gone on to bang my head against a number of other walls. Life (fate, God, karma, whatever you call it) will do that to us, and how you respond speaks volumes about who you are — or who you will become.
Early on I turned to poetry to expel negative feelings and I still use that outlet to this day. Which alarms some people. My mother once proclaimed my poems “morbid”. I kept them secret for years, thinking there must be something wrong with me. When I finally — timidly — allowed others to see some of my poems, I discovered they struck a chord in many people who had experienced similar feelings.
My poetry is just one of the ways I “clean house” mentally, so I can go on with the business of living. It’s not the only way to cope. I also do jigsaw puzzles, or organize cupboards and closets. It comforts me, to create order from chaos. Control what you can, I always say.
I also do what I can to avoid needless stress, like not watching the daily news. I scan headlines but don’t explore negative stories in depth. Early on in the pandemic, I began keeping my own records, a spreadsheet of stats on things like daily tests, cases and deaths. I use my figures to keep track of the “big picture”. So that when the news is full of scary stories about the figures for one day, I can reassure myself that the averages are still showing a steady improvement.
I also, sadly, have cut back on my time spent on Facebook. Between the virus and the presidential election, things have gotten rather ugly. It’s reminiscent of the Civil War, when brother turned against brother.
As a coping method, I created a page called “Together We Can Have a DEE-Lightful World” where “the sun is always shining, the sky is blue, and the outlook is rosy.” Anyone can join. The only rule is that posts and comments must be positive. Negative comments or arguing are deleted and repeat offenders can be removed. My world, my rules.
Recently, someone suggested I’m out of touch with the current (alarming) news because I live in “Dee World”. No offense intended, she added — something I’ve found that people will say when they know their words are offensive (if she reads this post, of course I mean no offense)
I’m okay with living in “Dee World”. As I told that person years ago, nothing bad happens to me because I can be happy.
Happy or miserable, the choice is up to you. For your sake, I hope you choose happy.
All positive people are welcome to become citizens of “Dee World”. https://www.facebook.com/groups/298123051407313
You are also welcome to follow my author page, where I post some of my poems. https://www.facebook.com/DonnaWylieAuthor