Yesterday morning I woke up agitated, stressed and riddled with anxiety. I had just opened my eyes and hadn’t thrown back the covers yet, but I felt the anxiety overtaking my body.
My mind raced with thoughts of the election and the hateful things that were being spewed, the list of online things I had to do to promote my books, the emails I had to answer, the blog posts that needed to be written, a two-page to-do list and the thoughts of my grandson’s anxiety because of the hoopla of the clowns in the news recently. I realized I didn’t want to get out of bed and face my day.
Why was my mind playing all these things out before I even got out of bed? I was tired. I just wanted to cover my head and sleep and not talk to anyone.
The day before I had two friends tell me they were afraid to put a sign for their choice of Hilary for President in their yard because of repercussions from the opposite party, and they were worried about violence being directed at them. I can’t say I blame them. But it shouldn’t be that way. Those thoughts added to my anxiety. My stomach was churning and so I did what I felt I needed to do to recover—I pulled the blankets over my head and stayed in bed.
I could not face my social media. I could not peek at it. I could not deal with what was happening in the world. After a couple of hours of settling under the covers and snoozing in and out, I picked up a book and spent my day reading. I didn’t even answer my phone. Finally around 4:00 pm I knew I couldn’t ignore the world any longer because I had a book club I needed to attend. But I felt better. I felt I could once again face the world.
I love Social Media but I don’t love what has been happening on my social media and I too have gotten pulled into the debate over the election. It is hard for one that writes for a living to keep her mouth shut and not voice her opinion, but I knew I didn’t want to be in this circus anymore.
I put too much time into debating the pros and cons of who should be President. It made me come away feeling vilified. I have spent too much time reading about the violence taking place in our society, especially the clown scare. The reason that concerns me is that my young grandson is scared. He is now scared of clowns and I and his parents spent the weekend reassuring him. I used to have a clown collection and I loved clowns and now that too has been spoiled for our children. My grandson will never think of clowns as funny creatures anymore. He didn’t hear this from his parents or the news but on the back of the school bus from 5th and 6th graders who heard it on the news. He doesn’t feel safe anymore.
After my anxiety calmed I wondered what had caused my first thought of the day to be of the vile things that are happening today. I came to the conclusion that I had been filling my life with treacherous news and it needed to stop. I can’t control the elections or what people believe no more than they can control how I feel. Our experiences are what makes us who we are and what we believe.
I can control what I put out into the world. I don’t need to debate nastiness but I can send out positive vibes. I can fill my life with positive things so I can handle the negative sources and challenges. I can only change what I do. I think that is all each of us can do. We are the only ones that can control what we contribute to others. So I want to fill the lives of my grandchildren and my friends with positive stories and positive vibes. I want to wake up with joy in my heart and not anxiety over the world.
I am going to try and do better. I am the only one that can choose that for me. Mohatma Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
What will you choose?