A few years ago, I made an abrupt left turn in my career and at the same time, an abrupt decision – I vowed to give up the news. All of it. The daily paper, the 6:00pm update, even the Letterman notations about the odd comings and goings we all share. I decided that it was best if I kept my energy, and my thoughts, focused on something positive and something for me. While it has worked well and kept my focus off our daily grind, it feels odd, like I am sitting at the rest stop on the side of the road, while everyone is speeding on by.
So, on this sunny, chilly, Friday morning, I decided that maybe I was making a mistake and because I wasn’t ‘in the groove’ could become the bumbling middle aged lady on the block with a stale sameness about her. (Admittedly, part of this stems from my huge fear of getting older and living in an apartment with a ceramic Christmas tree, clothes I’ve worn for over 15 years, meals that consist of food from a can and a few cats that talk incessantly.) I picked up the paper and true to form, the news was just awful. ‘One of their own’ kills 13 at Ft. Hood, unemployment now impacts 1 in 10, and there is a vibrant college junior missing with pleas for help from her distraught family. Those three headlines came with just a quick glance.
And those stories are just from my little corner of the world. Bad things happen in all states, countries, continents. But there is another side to this. Turn this over and see what you get. There is beauty and calm in the smallest of events that we don’t read about or experience. Take my quick glance at the paper. While these awful things were happening, at the very same moment, a baby was born, love was made, hands were held, a diagnosis provided fabulous news, a couple became engaged, someone got their dream job and life moved along it’s path.
Looking for the good doesn’t negate the bad, it doesn’t mean you don’t care or you don’t empathize. It does mean that there is another way. And so today, I realized that again, it’s all up to me. I feel better about my decision to put the news away. My personal choice is to lean into the good, to remember that we all get our share of junk to haul and that life indeed, is beautiful. I know this sounds trite and silly but it’s so true and so overlooked. It’s almost like you need a special pair of glasses to find the good and see the beauty. As they say, it takes just as much energy to be in a good mood as a bad one, to be positive as to be negative and to be happy as it does to be sad.
With the energy and focus I have, my choice is to go for the good. Why the hell not? It sure leaves you feeling better than after you’ve swum down into the depths of the awful. Take heart, enjoy the day and find the good. It’s there, I promise.