I have felt weighed down recently. Not necessarily by anything in particular, but by the world in general. Over the last few weeks I have found that it is more difficult to move beyond the negativity that seems to be causing the plague. Instead of shaking it off and moving forward, I find myself stuck in the quicksand. I’m baffled by it really.
It’s no secret that my little family is going through an unprecedented hardship. Justin has been through treatment protocols before, four to be exact, but never one as grandiose, and unpredictable as this. It’s taking a toll, on both of us, but sticking together has kept us both from surrendering to the circumstances. I always give myself a reality check when I find myself falling down the negativity rabbit hole, to identify the root cause. Wallowing in the depression that comes with this kind of medical issue is not productive, I can snap myself back to reality rather quickly. It’s that ability to snap out of it that makes me certain in the fact that the weight I’m feeling has little to do with our current norm.
I watch politics for fun, I engage in social media, I push the status quo in my professional career, the things that I do to find motivation are things that seem to be drowning in negativity.
I am looming near my capacity for the current presidential election. The absurdity of the things we spend our time talking about has reached an all time low. Instead of engaging in a dialog and sharing insight, we are listening to politicians, and I use that term loosely, point fingers at each other in an effort to illustrate who is the lesser of two evils. Pundits no longer have the ability to control their shock. Our legislative and judicial leaders are laying low until November 8th passes. In the age of social media, millennials, and instant gratification it seems an election that had the potential to engage record-breaking numbers of citizens has instead forced people to question if their voice actually matters. Unless, of course, they are able to use it from behind a computer screen and anonymous social media account.
We are constantly in touch with social media. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, people are getting their information in 140 characters or less. Feedback, opinions, and comebacks are instantaneous. Everyone’s an expert, and just like how every kid gets a participation trophy in baseball, everyone has the right to post their opinion on social media. No knowledge or understanding required. We have morphed into a society that fights by typing on keyboards or with our thumbs. We no longer have productive conversations, we yell at each other, in shouty capitals, refusing to accept that someone else may have a differing opinion. We refuse to recognize just how amazingly diverse our society can be. At some point, the constant information, communication, and ignorance becomes exhausting, and unnatural.
I consider myself a logical and strategic person. I have made a career for myself that is built on my ability to look at a situation, see the working pieces, and then articulate how we can use those pieces to build something new. I like to push the status quo, move beyond compliance and expectation, and reach for the next big idea. Sometimes that is a lonely place to operate from. Inevitably, someone will not be willing to look for the next big idea, and instead of embracing a new path, I find that I have to weave my way through the land mines that are created just to spite progress. I struggle with this daily. Not with the idea that some people cannot see the path, but that they refuse to open their eyes to look for it. Something that seems so clear and exciting to me, can be the worst-case scenario for others that don’t see the vision. That’s acceptable, unless an opposing super-secret task force is formed, aimed at blocking progress at every turn. The catch: the super-secret task force, is made up of individuals are also allies that are imperative to the success in finding the new path, I just don’t know it.
Absurd Presidential candidate sound bites, 140 character insults, and double agents. It’s surprising any of us have the energy to process our own lives, the things that actually matter.
Gravity has been strong lately. The negativity is pulling me downward and I am trying to keep my head above water, grasping at the little things that help me move forward in positivity, rather than negativity. I strive to share these little things with you, in the hopes that they might help you too, whether you need it or not.
Today’s spark of positivity is brought to you by:
- Nathan Reich’s album: All Night Pharmacy
- A newly organized office, stocked with pictures that make me happy
- A friend that made the last hour of the work day bearable
- This TED Talk with Adam Grant
- The motivation to clean the kitchen, organize the living room, and sit down at the computer to write this post before going to bed.