Today I had a colleague call me out for an error, which was fine, but they then threw me under the bus by highlighting the mistake to my boss. Yeah, whatevs, thankfully I have no real concerns there. I mean, I know my value and all that, but who needs more crap, right? So much bad news streaming through our stream. Always more fear. More despair. More bad shit for us all to endure. We search for that one light flickering in the shadows, desperate for one bright second in the dark. What to do? Head to the pool to shake it off the best way I know. Diving into the green and stroke after stroke letting all that cool water slide over my stream till I’m smoothed over again.
How do you dive in? Find your quiet abandon? Seek refuge? My familial route is through water. Like salty dogs we dip ourselves into the waves and end up where the tide washes us, or, as in my land-locked case, we swim countless laps back and forth to feel our sanity. Once I asked my niece what she thinks about while swimming laps, and she looked at me quizzically, and said, when I swim I don’t think, that’s what I love about it. Yeah, that’s it I agreed. Finding the place where you don’t think, the place you feel all that good stuff streaming over you.
There are other ways to shake it off too. Like hoping on the treadmill. Running it out. While the roads are still a mix of ice and gravel and mud and snow I go the distance indoors. With each stride I remind myself of blue skies and warm breeze and loving truth and happy horizons ahead.
One often can’t face these hard days alone and I am so grateful that I don’t have to. There is that one person who pops in every morning to say, good morning, how are you, have the best day. There is another who tells me how fabulous I look even when I am in that tired black sweater and leggings yet again. Or another who tells me what a light I am in their day. And let’s not forget the one who wakes by my side and makes sure even my work-lunch is a real meal and who smiles at my face regardless of what new lines are drawn there. The distance to contentment is shortened by all those who buoy my stride, who edge my path with love. With hope. Friendship.
I know I need to pay attention to the news. To face the brutality of the latest mass-murder while also understanding those Americans who need to own multiple military-level weaponry. I know I have to follow the lying Tweets of our President while keeping an eye on the truth even though his Congress and Supreme Court doesn’t. Face a planet that is warming to dangerous levels and altering our climate even while we drive wherever we want to go like that’s okay to do. Teach children to listen, to care, to strive to be their best in a country that flaunts hatred like ribbons adorning a summer parade. Letting hate ripple through the air like it’s the newest scent, instead of the raunchy insidious stench that follows those rascals racing through our political chambers.
Okay, enough. There can be no answers tonight. No shortcuts through the impossible challenges ahead which will take more than I can sort out. So… Get on your bike. Get with your gals. Get away from the bad news of the day and those who want to take you down their thorny path, for there is another which will lead you to a better place, even temporarily. I’m headed toward the blue. The big wide beauty that shines from doing what’s right, right now. Come ride with me. Let’s bring some sanity and civility back to our tiny worlds and watch it spill over into the ocean.