Pretty Sure We Got Here At The End

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Or not. Who knows?

I read about how rapidly species are dying out. I read about how we’re destroying the planet by mining for fossil fuels that are also destroying the planet. We have diseases that are wiping out people by the thousands and swimming in the ocean is eating our faces off. We are eating weed killer and snack cakes and watching television instead of moving.

We might have gotten here at the end.

If we did? Who fucking cares? It’s still goddamn cool as hell to be alive.

If we did get here at the end, look at what we got! I mean, just the fact that we got here in time for movable type is worth the price of admission. Which, I guess is death. But still. Books!

We have centuries of information at our finger tips and some of us are lucky enough to have access to clean drinking water.

I know that there are horrible things at work here as well. I know we are brutal and cruel and selfish. Humans can be real assholes. I can’t change that, though. I can’t make people be kind or generous or gentle. I am going to try very hard to focus less on the horror of modern life. I can’t change it. The best I can do is acknowledge and cut down on the times I am brutal and cruel and selfish.

What’s the point of bemoaning what we’ve lost and how we suck?

Disclaimer: I am not advocating that we stop trying to affect change. Of course we should continue to push for improvement. 

Our time on earth is brief and that is something I struggle with. I don’t want to go. Even though I have dealt with anxiety and depression doesn’t mean I don’t want to be here. Being alive rocks like frozen crazy.

Maybe it’s more freeing to accept that our time is short and to spend each moment being grateful that we got to experience that moment.

It occurred to me yesterday how silly it is for me to continue to worry about things that are meaningless when you consider the time we have here on earth. For instance, I let outside forces dictate my mood much of the time. I realize that I shouldn’t do this. I realize that it would be healthier for me mentally to not allow someone else’s bad mood change my mood.

For years, my mood was dictated every day by my son who was struggling with addiction. It’s not a stretch to say that most of those days my mood was sad or anxious or filled with despair. It’s been over two years since he stopped using, but to this day, if I see him or speak with him and he’s unhappy, then I am profoundly unhappy and I can’t just shake it off.

I spoke with him yesterday and he was heading in to start his new job. He sounded light and care free and my mood was light and care free when I hung up the phone. Again, it’s not great to let other people dictate my mood, but how about this? I accept that I do and I’m going to feel grateful for feeling light and carefree. Why fuck up a good mood with reasons why being in that good mood is mentally unhealthy?

Of course it would benefit me to continue to work toward letting this behavior go. It’s exhausting to be constantly blown about by other people’s emotions. I know the stronger I get, the more even my head will be. Until then, though, I’m not going to feel guilty about being happy because people I love are happy. That’s just silly. Feeling happy and content are hot commodity emotions for me, I’m not squandering them by questioning whether or not the emotions are valid.

I’m writing this because I’ve been afraid lately. I try to avoid much of the news because it disturbs me, but other people talk about what they’re reading or I break down and read something disturbing even though I know it will bother me. There is just so much happening that doesn’t bode well for humans.

I don’t like being afraid, so I am deciding to keep finding happiness and beauty and humor where I can. I don’t think this is a bad idea for all of us. I’m not suggesting we stand on our roofs while playing our fiddles, but we  might as well be as happy as we can be while we are here.

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34 comments

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  • I’m a big believer in you gotta enjoy the times when everything feels good. There are enough times that real shit happens and it’s gonna suck, so you gotta take the good days and go with it. This is why people who try to bring drama drive me crazy! I sometimes have to shut myself off from the news and things going on in the world because it’s depressing and scary sometimes. And sometimes I just can’t handle it. That’s when I watch some stupid video on YouTube. Like this one. This woman was for real… and you gotta admire her confidence!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGJcc4mmWgM

  • “Feeling happy and content are hot commodity emotions for me, I’m not squandering them by questioning whether or not the emotions are valid.” I love this. And I hate when I question how I feel. I think you’re on to something here Michelle.

  • I agree with everything you say and identify with your struggles. I know a part of me will always be cynical and snarky and that’s my personality and I embrace that. Another big issue for me is seeing all these people around me who are self centered ass holes, who don’t give two shits about anyone else, always “getting ahead” in life, while I feel like it’s always 2 steps forward, 3 steps back for me, and I’m a good person, No I’m a great person. I sincerely care about other people. I am considerate of other people’s needs and feelings. I guess I should embrace that part of me and know at the end of the day that puts me ahead of these other douche bags in some ways.
    One of these days my investment in my self help library will pay off. I feel a blog post coming on….thanks for the inspiration. 🙂 So glad I found your blog.

    • I’m glad you did too!

      I hear what you are saying and I feel the same way. Why do narcissistic fuckpuddles get ahead and I struggle. And I’m nice, goddammit! Then I remind myself that I really can’t put myself in the position to judge who is qualified and who isn’t qualified to get ahead.

  • Faith and hope, baby. I’m pretty sure, too, but you never know, right? I work on my lack of patience and all my snarky bad habits all the time, (and there’s plenty to work on!), and I avoid the news and TV because – why get upset about stuff that I can’t change? Not that it isn’t great that people are out there trying to change the world…I just have a smaller sphere that I concern myself with, I guess. If that makes me all head-in-the-sand or something, so be it. I’m not going to spend my time here freaking out about what’s going on…well…everywhere. Whenever I start freaking out about stuff (and there is plenty to freak out about), even in my own little world, I have to stop and remind myself that the world isn’t going to stop turning because of this. Faith and hope, baby.

  • I’m so sorry about the pain and fear you are living with. Of course, there are no magic words to make them disappear. But your post made me think about my parents. Both of them passed away within the last year. One was so ready to welcome it, and the other fought every step of the way. I don’t think one was more afraid than the other, and I think both were capable of feeling joy in their lives right to the end.

    My takeaway from that is that they each made a choice and it was the right one for them. Telling one to let go or the other to hang on would not have been right in either case. I hope that you choose your own path and know that it doesn’t matter what’s right for others as long as you are doing what you need.

    Oh, and good luck to your son with the new job. I hope he continues to go from strength to strength.

  • I’m in total agreement. Being empathic isn’t easy and making the choice to avoid the horrors that affect you badly isn’t either. Some people try and force you to see it and want you to feel rage, despair or anger about it all. It just made me ill. I decided to take that step back a while ago as I just can’t do it. I was so affected by the news and living the horror vicariously in my living room that it really wasn’t healthy and no, we can’t fix it. I choose to live life being the best person I can be and hope that some day it will be better out there.
    Bits of it still get through the cracks but I just can’t live like that any more. Life is very short, something that has been hammered home to me in the last few years with the loss of so many friends too soon. So as Peggy Lee sang ‘Let’s break out the booze and have a ball’

  • I think I get you. The dead children on the news has been very upsetting lately. And it’s easy to absorb others’ moods… I do it too. I guess happiness is truly a choice, a pick we make every day for ourselves regardless of circumstance.

    And yeah, if we arrived at the end, so be it. Nothing we can (reasonably) do to change that direct fact. I hope you are well! Love your blog

  • Michelle, this is just… sane. Maybe the sanest thing I’ve read in a long, long time.
    We’re here and we should make the most of it while we can. Like Stef said, faith and hope, but also perspective. Out of all of human time and the whole world, I was born healthy in California in 1960. Do I also need to win the lottery to have a good day? Shit, I’ve won a much bigger lottery just by being who and where I am. I try to make myself remember that when I feel the depression coming on… sometimes it works, sometimes not, but it always helps a little. And a lot of times a little is all I need.
    As for being affected by others’ moods, we’re hard-wired for empathy by evolution. Some have a harder time with it than others, just as some of us have more of it than others. But without it we wouldn’t have made it here, so there’s that.
    I guess what I’m trying to say is that you seem like you are doing pretty well to me, and I hope your efforts succeed in making these things easier to deal with in your life.

  • I hear you. I can not live in fear all the time which is what I believe the politicians and media want. I have to believe it will all be all right in the end. If it is not all right it is not the end.

    • You are right..they do want us to live in fear and I don’t want to live in fear. Fear is important for survival, but I don’t want to fucking wallow in it.

  • When someone you love is going through a crisis or is unhappy, I think it is perfectly natural for you to feel sad or depressed — especially when there is nothing you can do to make the situation better for them. When you are a mother, all you want is for your children to be happy and healthy — and to have a better life than we did.

    So, I say embrace the happy when you can get it! Life IS short and often scary — so when those shining moments come along, grab them with both hands and soak in every drop of joy you can!

  • I so needed to read this today. My heart is breaking from saying goodbye to K yesterday and, although I said yesterday was my sad day and I was going to wallow in my self pity, I feel like today is going to go the same way. Today was supposed to be the day that I was happy for the experiences she would have and the adventure she was on and I’m going to try my absolute hardest to find joy in those thoughts !!!
    Thank you my friend – for saying what I needed to hear.
    Me xox

    • YAY! I am so glad you found some comfort. This shit is hard. I’m letting my 16 travel over two hours with his girlfriend tomorrow so she can tour a college. I”m going to be uneasy all day long

  • We just got back from an exhausting weekend trip, and my seventeen-year-old, who was excused from having to go pick up his sister from camp, is in a terrible mood and cussing at me. (And that might be from the new medicine that he started last week.) I always think about that image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on the cross with his chest opened up… I just have no emotional armor at all, especially with/about the people I love. I do try to shrug off the random negativity of strangers.

    That said, since I know that laughter is beneficial for one’s health, whenever I find anything remotely funny, I laugh unreservedly. Seizing joy by the pants.

  • This: “Maybe it’s more freeing to accept that our time is short and to spend each moment being grateful that we got to experience that moment.” And so much that: “I am deciding to keep finding happiness and beauty and humor where I can.” xoxo

  • I understand about avoiding the news and trying to just appreciate being alive. It’s a challenge but it helps tremendously. A logging truck took out 12,000 feet of cable in my area and the only internet (or cell phone or TV) is at the library. It’s like a refugee camp for the media obsessed. I AM enjoying the break, though.

    • I know my one forced break was good for me. And fuck reading the news. I don’t want to know about tragic things. I have a heard enough time feeling contentment and peace…

By Michelle

Michelle

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