To the year 2020—you’ve been a disaster in so many ways. So many of us are tired and feeling the angst that has befallen us during these last many months. We’ve lost sleep, contact with people we love, the ability to move around in society in a normal way, and for many people, pay reductions and loss of jobs and livelihoods. Just this morning, I heard the story of someone who lost their store and is now homeless thanks to the pandemic.
Additionally, as a consummate consumer of news, I’ve realized the very nature of this much negative news consumption that I inhale on a daily basis is affecting my psyche and my outlook on life. Twitter is a veritable gyre of hate. I deleted my Twitter app and felt relieved.
I don’t like to be pessimistic; I’m an optimist at heart. I teach my students with a large dose of optimism. I write fiction that focuses on the values of love, family, friendships, and being as happy as we can be. I pour all of this passion into my characters, because I want them to have the happiness that many of us are seeking (or missing at the moment), and to show that positive things can happen when we try to look for the good in things rather than the bad. If I believe in this, then I must live it, as well. Change can happen right now, within us.
So, at 6 a.m. this morning, I decided it’s time for me to flick a switch. I can’t operate under this 2020 sea of negativity. If I have to stick my head in the sand for a while to reconnect with OTHER things that are important—spending quality time with my family, allowing more time for faith and spirituality, healing this insufferable back of mine, finding ways to get out of the house and live a little, and catching up on old movies, books I’ve got lined up on my nightstand, or working on some crafts to get out of these doldrums—then that’s what I have to do.
So I made the 6 a.m. pledge.
Done with the negative bullshit that 2020 has forced upon us, I’m going to meditate, breathe in the fresh autumn air, and move forward into the holiday season the best way I can.
My mental health is dependent on it.