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  • Writer's picturecatherine stemper

Put on a Happy Face

I had a few hard weeks, hasn't everyone? Does that make it easier? more tolerable? validated? invalidated? We all have our own experiences. I have gained a lot of patience for others bc I know everyone is having a crappy day/week/month/year. When I was taking care of my dying mother, I had this huge reserve of patience and tolerance for others bc my stress and grief was so overpowering it effected how I functioned. Because of my stress and grief, I lost my temper all the time, I made mistakes more often than not, I could not concentrate, my words were even getting mixed up. But it taught me that everyone suffers, and this may be why they just messed up your order, or lost your item, or forgot your fill-in-the-blank. Another silver lining in my life.

If you haven't figured it out already, I have huge reserves of positivity. But they do run dry occasionally. I have been crying almost every day since March. My business and my craft are waning. The suffering I see everywhere weighs on me. I feel stressed and anxious. To relieve those feelings I am trying new things, like this blog, with mixed results. I keep trying, and I take a lot of breaks. Last week I could not get off the couch or turn off the TV. I also ate a lot of food like ice cream, cheese doodles, and donuts. Feeling bluer than blue, moping, feeling really sorry for myself, I was in my back yard and overheard the homeless woman living in her car on the other side of my fence. I stepped out of my gloom and looked at my situation with clear eyes. I am so damn lucky.

Another one of the new things I have been trying is listening to music I have not yet heard, but had interest in. Destiny's Child and Beyonce were on that list. DC has a song, Happy Face. A very simple but effective mantra to kick your butt into feeling better. I do not deny bad luck, bad days, unhappiness. I do believe in self empowerment, happiness is a choice, and everyday offers new opportunity to change and grow. It isn't easy, it isn't fun, but it is worth the effort. It takes practice, persistence, and faith. Friends and family help a lot, good books, good food, forget judgement. When I need to turn myself around, I do fun things that are also productive like make a birthday card for a friend, or learn a new recipe, or make an old favorite. Practice a musical instrument, mend some clothing or make some new. One could rearrange the furniture, or organize a drawer. Go outside, walk, or jog, yoga, move. Help someone else, this more than any other makes me feel better.

I hope we all feel better soon. I wish silver linings for everyone, I know they are there, but you have to find them. I know I am stronger than this, I am pretty sure you are too. Take care!

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