How 2020 Kicked My Butt and What I Did (and continue to do) About It

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It’s been since April since I’ve posted on here and I’d like to apologize. What good is a blog that purports both happiness and wisdom (it’s in the name) if it goes dark right when people need it most?

So this is a mea culpa to the hundreds (maybe in the thousands now) of readers this blog has now. I was able to handle the COVID stuff. I felt the unity and the purpose of fighting that invisible disease. I even did a cool “COVID countdown” With my social media friends on Facebook. Every day we went through a letter of the alphabet and picked out what we were grateful for or missed. Then I extended it with a bit about a countdown until we flattened the curve. It was fun and unifying. Remember those good-old-days?

COVID is confusing. Science is awesome, but it doesn’t give you a lot of comforts. “When will we be done with this?” “If I eat butterfly wings will it cure me?” Science does what it does, replying in a monotone and slightly nasally voice – “We don’t know. There are no studies…” So we’re still in it, but I don’t feel bad about what I did. We flattened that freaking curve, and I’m still proud of that, outcomes notwithstanding.

Then George Floyd happened. Protests started and there was a flicker, once again, of unity, and then they turned into riots that continue on even today. The negativity overwhelmed me. I had to retreat inside my own mind and insure that my inner self was safe and healthy, for losing yourself can lead to nothing but pain for you and those around you.

It’s very easy to lose yourself these days, now that the tension of the contentious election is right upon us, without either of the other tensions abating. They’re stacked, like weights on our back. The weight will get heavier. We know in the US that regardless of what happens, millions of people will be unhappy, all the way through 2021. It’s discouraging if you let it be.

This isn’t a political blog. Those perspectives you can get elsewhere. This blog is to apply wisdom to your life so you can be happy, which then allows you to act more wisely. It’s a positive self-reinforcing loop. A virtuous loop.

So what are the tools I’ve been using/finding to cope? Three things: disappear into your work/creations, journal privately, talk to your family and friends, and absolutely limit social media, and do get out of the house.

LifeHack has an article why consuming news itself is “excessively bad for your health”:

“According to the Pew Research Center, 59% of those who were surveyed found that when discussing politics on social media with those who they disagree with find it “stressful and frustrating.” And 37% are “worn out” by the number of political discussions that they see.”

I’m convinced that if you’re using social media for news its the worst possible thing for your psychological health. The snippets are all made to make your rage. It’s also true of cable television news, and so on. Everything is designed to “enrage grandpa and scare grandma.”

Wisdom tells us that nuance is everything. That dialogue is everything. That assuming the best in people is fundamental to our co-existence.

Here are some tips I have done to find my way back: Creating Constantly –

  1. I have been creating a lot. Doing videos, writing in my third re-write of my sci-fi novel, and a bunch at work that commands my attention. Journaling is important here as well and even writing on this blog helps, duh!

2. Work – My work is online so I can focus like crazy on it. I have been creating there as well.

3. Controlling the Conversation: When I do engage in politics online or at home with my family, empathy and kindness lead the way. I keep the conversation generative and positive. I place emphasis on non-violence and peace, for it is the only way forward. I refuse to lose friends or family over divisive issues.

4. Education – I’ve been really getting into the Science Vs. podcast, though you need to skip basically this whole year since its all about COVID (boring!). I’ve been watching NOVA specials (the one about fat is interesting), and reading across the spectrum.

5. Go somewhere – the parks are open, so we took a few trips, even stayed at a hotel (GASP!) and lived to tell the tale. You can’t stay home all the time. Get out there.

That’s it for now. If you’re familiar with my SPARC model, you’ll see that I’m doing a lot more of the R &C here than usual, which is the Rejuvenation and Coaching. When times get tough, you have to lean on others for support. (see for more on this.)

That’s it for now. I’ll commit to posting monthly or your money back 🙂