It’s OK To Not Be OK


I wrote this in November 2020:

Here’s the truth: I’m not feeling hopeful today. There is way too much on my emotional plate. And, right now, I’m wondering how the presidential election here is gonna go. Now, please don’t try to assuage my fears. I think I’ll eventually be back to my inspired and inspiring self. I know that there’s a higher plan. I know, as my mother always says, this too shall pass. But I don’t just don’t feel it right now.

Oh, I don’t wanna live through this period of time right now , and what I fear it will bring! And it probably doesn’t matter which candidate wins. The ugly truth genie is out of the bottle: we are broken, here in the US. Angry. Violent. Or silent. Deeply divided on what I always thought were no-brainer values for Americans, Decency being one. And I don’t know if we’ll ever recover. That’s the hard part. So, I’m grieving.

Am I breathing, meditating? Speaking peace and perspective to those around me and on social media? Surrendering control of the outcome? Yes, most of the time. My stomach is in knots, though, and I have an appetite only for sweets, which, for a diabetic, is not good. I’ve worn the same clothes for three days.

I wrote this today, 1/27/21:

There are still holiday decoration that need to go into the attic and projects here at home staring me in the face, and I can’t make myself do anything about them. This is partly because I’m taking care of my mom, and partly because, although the candidate of my choice won the presidency, our Capitol was shockingly and violently invaded. And I see more difficulties ahead. So, this is a time to grieve, I guess. To let myself feel it, and, somehow, become ready to release it. Today might not be that day. Wherever we are, we are. We can tend to it, or not. I do my best. Connecting with my people helps.

I’m choosing, as I write this, to deal with it, instead of overeating sweets and being a slacker. So far, that strategy’s working pretty well, freeing me to let it go. Then I can get back to doing my things that need doing.

Thanks for reading my little life story. Hope you’re doing ok.

BOOK: The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

Still Need A Little Christmas? I do.

It’s my usual post-Christmas funk, so I decide the decorations won’t come down till “Little Christmas,” or Epiphany, as Christians call it. It’s when, as the story goes, the wise men visited the baby Jesus. In my church’s tradition, the event that led to widespread knowledge of the Christ’s appearance in the human world. What I like to think of as Love being revealed in a whole new way. But, I’m still in a bit of a funk; I have been for a while. It started in November. I wrote about it and then didn’t post it. I thought it sounded too cranky. But, now, here it is. 

November 24, 2016
It’s the day before Thanksgiving, here in the US of A, but it’s hard to tell. I’m at the mall, sitting next to a tree loaded with red bows and white lights, behind the candy-themed fantasyland where Santa’s been offering photo opps for a month already. Looks and sounds more like Christmas time than the time to ponder what I’m grateful for. Definitely doesn’t feel like Christmas in my heart.

Are you there, heart?

This heart of mine feels weary lately. Staying positive and serene has taken extra concentration.  Feelings and thoughts take extra time to process. I mean, a wacko has been elected ringmaster of my country and now is filling the circus with a frightening array of clowns. The stress is getting to me. On second thought, maybe this year I need the Christmas season to start extra early. 

My pre-Christmas season has always been about hope. Hope, and the bigger picture–two perspectives that sure are taking their time sinking in today. I’m trying to be gentle with myself as I sort it out. Instead of taking in everyone’s opinions, I’m tuning in to bigger-picture messages, starting with a recent Sunday message.

The story (in the Bible, Genesis 25) was about an ambitious man (Jacob) taking advantage of his brother’s (Esau) hunger. Esau, really, really hungry, craved the fragrant stew his brother had made. He said he’d do anything to eat some stew. Jacob saw his advantage and asked for his brother’s birthright in exchange for the meal, and Esau agreed! So much we could talk about here, but what I’m feeling today in that story is how I crave warm “soul food,” and how I sell myself out in my search for that “food.”  For sure, I could use that comfort right now. 

We read a Psalm together on Sunday, too, from the Bible, number 46: The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us.

I’m taking that on faith today, the day before Thanksgiving. God in my life always has a wild, unexpected plan for good. 

Sitting amongst pre-Thanksgiving shoppers, I think about using my heart and voice to connect more deeply with the preschool kids I sing with; I think about the connections that I so often am blessed to make with neighbors and strangers. I clearly see the hunger in us all, made so very obvious by the recent election. I see how that hunger drives us to sell our birthrights: love. We want to feel better, go about our daily business, hope that the powers that be work it out somehow. Not enough. I’ve got to BE love in all kinds of ways. I now can see the need for lights on the bushes, around the windows, wound around trees–ASAP! 

 Lucille Ball is in my head:

Haul out the holly;
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again.
Fill up the stocking,
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.
For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute,
Candles in the window,
Carols at the spinet.
Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute.
It hasn’t snowed a single flurry,
But Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry;
So climb down the chimney;
Put up the brightest string of lights I’ve ever seen.
Slice up the fruitcake;
It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough.
For I’ve grown a little leaner,
Grown a little colder,
Grown a little sadder,
Grown a little older,
And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder,
Need a little Christmas now.
(Songwriter: Jerry Herman)

Give a little listen, if you’d like:

Be light in the world. 

I Need A Sick Day

I woke up early, after watching the election coverage for way too long.  Not enough sleep. Time to make the coffee and light a candle, a nod to love and light, which frankly seem absent on this gray day. My candidate didn’t win. The country didn’t, either, I’m afraid. But then again, no candidate would have been really OK, if I’m to be honest.

So many big feelings. I need a sick day.

Fear. That’s my gut reaction, and I want to run and find a place to live that feels saner.  I probably won’t, though. Because becoming a citizen elsewhere is a lot of work. And because the whole world is crazy anyway. And we’re probably gonna have a war to end all wars sooner or later. I think sooner.

I’m also afraid for children. I grew up feeling secure about basic, decent, commonly-accepted values, not the now-popular Jerry Springer mentality. I’m so thankful that my daughter cares about people and has good manners; we struggle as a family with lessons on how to act sometimes, but she’s grown up seeing my husband and I working things out,  and reaching out to others, and she’s been working in groups who go and do for people in need. Still, our culture has a strong pull, and she’s a teenager…

I’m worried, too. About so many things. The planet. Inequality. Greed  in so many of our leaders, not just politicians. Steadily disappearing farmland, not enough concern for the pollution of our earth and our food. Most of all, our treacherous concern only for our own little existences in our own little worlds. And there’s so much more, too much to list.  I’m too tired, and ill.

I’m also embarrassed, for all the above reasons. I don’t blame any one leader for this. We all carry some blame. But, now we’re about to have a leader who outright shouts his disdain for the things I value. I’m ashamed.

My instinct is to berate those who voted for this clownish, outrageous, dangerous man, Yes, I see the dangers of the other candidates. I wasn’t happy with any of them. I see  problems with our current leader.  It’s just that…him? Trump?!?  We could do better.

So, I’ll have to find a way to accept the result of those who were so hungry for change that they were OK with any means and form of it. Change in what? Financial status? Government? Race of the president? Growing support of women, immigrants and gay people? I don’t get it. But, I know. You’re allowed your opinions and your votes. Right now, I wish you weren’t. Not a noble attitude, I know. Just how I’m feeling right now.

I have only one place to go for comfort. I go to God. Not the Republican God, or the Green Party, or any party. I go to the God who likes to party. With me, personally, and with all of us, despite our outrageous actions and opinions. See, we’re invited to put on our crowns, turn our faces to the light, and dance.  Dance, dance dance!  Dance in the face of all that’s unholy. I’m not talking about religion. I’m talking about what we are born to do. This is the God who expects us to dance into the world and be light. To tell people there is light.

I’m not feeling it today. I need a sick day. The problem is, I’ve got to get myself together. Later today, I’ll be singing with pre-schoolers. Facing their expectant faces, their tendency to dance and sing. I’ll show up for them today. Then maybe later, I’ll be better able to show up to today’s other realities–the good, the bad, and the ugly–with a little song in my heart.

I wish you all very well.