I used to listen to the podcast, “Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend” religiously. This was back when I drove 20-30 minutes to work, and listening to podcasts helped make the traffic tolerable. She has a segment called “Just Me or Everyone,” which consists of her asking questions of the mundane type, like “when I peel an egg, the smell grosses me out, but I eat it anyway, just me or everyone?” I made that up, but it’s definitely my story anytime I peel a hard-boiled egg.
Enough about hard-boiled eggs; the burning question I really want to ask, in homage to a long-listened podcast is…2023 was a bizarre year, just me or everyone?
What’s Your Story of 2023?
This year has been a study in contrasts, a series of highs and lows as I’ve witnessed people struggling with return-to-office policies that feel restricting after several years of flexibility in remote/hybrid work environments, highs that things do feel like they’re getting back to “normal,” and lows that COVID still causes disruptions. COVID feels like a black cloud still hanging over the collective while wars rage, long-standing laws are overturned, Hawaii burns, homelessness has skyrocketed, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives are being dropped like hot potatoes, and an active candidate for President is embroiled in lawsuits.
You can’t make this stuff up! It’s sometimes mind-boggling to open up the news sites to see what’s happening and not think, is this some sick and twisted Candid Camera episode we’re all in?
Meanwhile, with uncertainty and divisiveness swirling around us, we still have to get on with our day-to-day lives and dream into the future. Without dreaming and envisioning the future, we succumb to the heaviness and despair of all the bad sh*t.
So, how do you continue to dream and envision a future for yourself that feels good when the news is so bad?
Turn off the news and take breaks from social media
Take breaks from the things out of your locus of control. You can’t control the wars, COVID, or what the government is doing (yes, VOTE, and you know what I mean) any more than you can control the weather. You can’t control your friends, family members, or coworkers.
You only have control of the story you are writing for yourself. If you look at all the lousy sh*t and fall into a pit of despair that you can’t do something to change it, ask yourself this question, “What small thing can I do to help?” Maybe it looks like making a donation to charity, volunteering at a soup kitchen, organizing a fundraiser, or taking to the streets in protest. Whatever it is, write your story as one of positive change rather than despair.
Allow yourself to feel joy, be happy, and celebrate all the wins in your life, even with the hard things occurring right now. Celebrating your wins gives you positive energy and lifts everyone else around you. One of my coaches likes to remind us that keeping ourselves in a positive mindset raises our vibration, which helps other people raise theirs, too. I’ve seen it in action in my family unit. When I remain optimistic in helping my kids deal with a difficult situation, we often get to a resolution faster than if I fall into negative thinking myself.