Quoting Glennon Doyle: “Things can feel hard and sad and still be exactly right, all at the same time.” She’s referring to her divorce but the sentiment applies to all kinds of tough choices that we all make. Very few choices feel 100% right.
Drills (Writing pages of lines, grammar games,etc) Contractions, pronouns, commonly misspelled words, homophones like their and they’re, etc.) Drill drill drill! Written communication is so important and a simple mistake could cost big points at work.)
Read BIOGRAPHIES. So many interesting stories and valuable lessons. Historical figures, those close to them (those are often the real treats!)
Also people from all walks of life, different industries. Artists, entrepreneurs, athletes, statesmen, etc. Bonus points for listening to the audiobook if subject narrates it.
Don’t give up on your dreams, but remember there will be plenty of times when you have to tweak them a bit…or a lot. I think of all the couples who were slated to get married in 2020. They either postponed or scrapped the big wedding for a backyard ceremony and bbq. How many brides had to *massively* shift heir vision and let go of what they assumed their wedding would look like. This happened to my friend and she cried and cried, of course. It was a big disappointment. But then she and her fiancé had the most charming backyard ceremony. It was small but so romantic.Now she says she wouldn’t change a thing about her wedding. I’ve got a silly example from my own dreams. I had long hoped to spend my 50th birthday on Maui with friends and family all staying at the Four Seasons. Fifty happened during Covid so I moved my dream celebration to sixty. And then come to find out tourism isn’t considered a good thing by locals in Hawaii, so will choose a different destination where tourism is encouraged and sustainable. I’m still dreaming my dream, even it looks different than I thought it would. All this to say, don’t lose heart when stuff happens and your plans are upended. Be honest about your disappointment about what’s been lost, but then be open to opportunities this new turn of events brings with it. There are always blessings hidden among heartbreak.
It was my high school drama teacher who made sure I knew there was space for me in this world. Her kind words had a tremendous impact on my life. If you don’t know where to begin, start with “I see you. I love you. I’m so happy you’re here.”
Kids make fun, it’s not nice but they just do. Just blow it off if kids make fun of you got something silly. They’ll drop it if they don’t get a ride out of you.
... But bullying is different. If kids are being mean, threatening or scary, tell me and your teacher.
Date all kinds but marry someone who loves you for who you are, with whom you feel most yourself. Someone who will encourage you to grow more into the person you want to be. (And be good at encouraging them to do same.) Never fear or stifle each other’s growth. Celebrate it. Support it. Encourage it.
Other peoples’ expectations are the guard rails on the road. They keep you safe and guide you he way - literally. They keep you from driving off a cliff. So if you want to be safe, and if you do that’s great, stay within the guardrails. But if you want to fly, you’re gonna have to run right over them.
Cindy Otis, former CIA analyst offers great advice for dealing with the overwhelming onslaught of scary world news:
Here are several risks to being overloaded with disturbing/negative content.
✔️ Complacency - becoming so used to the deluge that it all starts to seem normal.
✔️ Paralysis - that is, being so overwhelmed, you can't figure out what to do/how to move forward.
✔️ Crisis perspective - you get trapped in the Breaking News cycle where everything seems like a potentially world-ending crisis to you.
✔️ Depression/PTSD - you don't have to be on the frontline of a war have either/both. Disturbing content is absolutely a trigger.
There are also serious physical consequences to living a negative content overloaded life. I had a colleague who didn't know he had stage 4 brain cancer because the symptoms were the same as our very stressful careers--exhaustion, random fevers, stress, and dizziness.
So, what do you do? First, I strongly urge you not to ignore the news/current events. Ignorance is one reason we have this society. It won't make the problems go away & contributes nothing to their solving. Now that that's established, here's how to make it easier to handle:
1. TAKE ACTION. Volunteer for a food pantry, canvass for a political candidate, donate to a NGO, visit a sick friend. Seriously. Service of some kind in your community lets you be part of SOLUTIONS. You will see RESULTS when otherwise you'd feel helpless.
2. Conversely, for those who may take tip #1 to the extreme--know that you alone can't save the world. Accept your limits. You aren't a 7/11. You can't always be open. At the end of every day when I reached my limit, I silently told myself, "I've done what I can today."
(Note: Repeating that to myself did not stop me from feeling like I could have done more most days. But it was important to tell myself anyway because I am human. We are human. It's good we *feel* things.)
3. RESEARCH BEFORE PANICKING. Easier said than done, but everything will seem like crisis/earth-ending if you don’t know what has/hasn't happened before. If it has happened before, it's can be hugely comforting to know how it was resolved and/or what might happen next. (9/)
4. GET UP & MOVE. Put the phone away, turn off the TV, log out of Twitter. Go for a walk, sit outside, get some coffee, call a friend. CIA is full of ppl walking the building with a colleague/friend. There's a reason. Our brains & bodies need breaks from stressful content. (10/)
5. SET RULES. Because of my work at CIA, I had a rule--I only read fiction at home. I had enough reality at work. In the civilian world, I set blocks of time each day where I turn everything off--no news or social media. Let yourself recharge so you can keep fighting later. (11/)
6. AVOID DARK HOLES. (I'm sure there's a joke to be made about that.) It's easy to get sucked into the swirl of bad news. You watch a gruesome YouTube video and the next one is all queued up to play right after it. Focus on one issue at a time. Deal w/ it before moving on. (12/)
7. YOU NEED FUN. When there is suffering, war, despair, etc. around you, it's easy to feel guilty when you have fun, feel happy, have a good meal with friends. You NEED these things. You will be better able to do good in the world if you let yourself have these things. (13/)
8. TALK TO SOMEONE. Often, we curl inward socially when overwhelmed w/ negative content. It's a means of protection. One of the great things at CIA was that everyone else knew what you were going through. Whether it's therapy or talking to your person, talking helps.
If you see a kid sitting alone, he or she might be your next best friend. Go say hi! Ask him/her to sit next to you / play on your team, etc. No need to worry about whether that person is “too cool” or “not cool enough,” they’re just a kid. Like you.