In this incredible difficult time for our country, like very many of us, I am sad. As much I love to read, listen, or watch the news, I admit, this may be one of those times where I have to monitor how much I am taking in. Reviewing the tragedies over and over serves no point. My heart goes out to all affected. I can only imagine what these families are going through. I will not pretend to act like I understand what these humans are feeling, but I send unconditional love to each of them just the same.
Life continues whether we want it to or not. Unfortunately, there is no pause button.
Because of this, I try to identify pockets of joy daily. Life beats us up pretty good sometimes, with circumstances outside of our control. In an effort to find some comfort, I decided to make a fried egg and rice. This was a staple for me as a child; it was introduced to me when we lived on the island of Oahu (my father was stationed there). As I fried the egg in the skillet, I took in the smell of the butter. It’s really vegetable oil spread, but I am one of those folks that call it “butter” anyway. When the egg met the hot butter, the sound alone brought me comfort. I believe the familiarity of this dish has something to do with it; I recall seeing my father in his uniform undershirt, BDU (battle dress uniform) pants, and combat boots, putting everything together for us before he headed to work himself. I also recall him frying SPAM as the accompanying “meat”, but let’s not go there. SPAM makes no sense and I can’t quite understand my own love / hate relationship with it.
Did cooking this meal bring me comfort? It did, and I recognize that it is temporary considering the climate. However, I noticed just being busy with my hands cooking did provide a healthy level of distraction. It was also self-care.
Let’s look deeper into the pockets of joy. If you can’t come up with something that will make you smile, turn inwards and ask your inner child. In other words, think of the child version of yourself (any age will do) and ask what will make them happy. It could be wearing bright clothing, coloring, painting, swinging on a swing set, making crafts, you get my point. When I ask my inner child, she tends to lean towards words. Like making them up. Don’t judge me, you guys already know I do this shit. I’ve gotten good at purposely tossing made up words in conversation to make people laugh. That gives my inner child pure joy, and it reminds me to not take my adult self too seriously. Ohhhh – the sweet smell of recovering perfectionism!
My inner child also enjoys screeching. It’s like a high pitch “YEEEEEE”. Don’t get me to lying about why it’s so enjoyable, but damnit, it feels good.
I encourage you to take a moment today and do one or all of the following:
- Talk to your inner child. Find out what brings them joy. Write the list down to reference in the future. Guys, don’t make it weird. Look inside yourself and really give yourself an opportunity to review the cool shit you loved as a kid. Connect with and incorporate that into your day to day stuff as you see fit.
- Identify things you love to do, but just haven’t had the time for lately. Write those items down (yes, list style). Commit to allowing yourself time, even if you have to look at your calendar(s) and schedule it.
- Hang out with someone you love, whether it be family or friend(s). Enjoy the company of those individuals and allow them to pour into you.
- Continue to be kind. To yourself, and of course, to others.
I decided to take a picture of my kitchen towels. I have had them for a while, but today they are really speaking to me.
The human experience is a journey full of difficulties and differences, yet I truly believe we can endure by leaning into our similarities through the lenses of kindness and compassion.