(Author’s note, 2021 — I wrote this over four years ago, trying to find the silver lining. I was wrong about Trump. He did not rise to the job. But I stand by my right to have held onto hope, and still do. -Randye, 2/27/21)
. I am not a Pollyanna.
Well, maybe a little bit.
But, two days after the Election, I’m tired of feeling my stomach in knots over something I can no longer control. I’m tired of anger. And I’m sick of literally losing sleep over the reality of Donald Trump as President.
So I am choosing to hope. I am choosing love. And I’m surprised at how many people are trying to talk me out of it.
Maybe you are celebrating Trump’s election this week. Maybe, like me, you are in one of the first four stages of grief: Denial (“this can’t be real!”) Anger (“It’s not fair! Who is to blame?”), Bargaining (“Is this bad news reversible?”) , Depression – (“I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”)
But, sooner or later, we’re all going to have to get to a (guarded, realistic) stage 5: Acceptance – (“It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”)
For the past couple of years, I have begun the fall season by quitting Facebook – cold turkey – for ten days. This year, I liked the results so much that I haven’t gone back yet, except to check notifications for only a minute or so. I swear. So far, I have hardly clicked “like”, and (gasp!) haven’t even read my birthday messages that came in during the dry spell.
But it scares me to go back into the FB world for even a moment – because the addiction might take hold again. And, truth be told, I am so much happier without it.
I find, to my surprise, that the “sacrifice” I chose to mark the start of the Jewish New Year has turned into an enormous blessing.
Advertising is everywhere. Every day we’re bombarded by images and words that suggest – gently or insistently – that our lives suck. Or we suck. Or at least, that things could be a lot better, and why the heck are we sitting around just enjoying the day?
Well, yeah. Things could always be better, I guess. Of course, they could also be worse. But with everything that urges us to see our glass as far from even half-full, how do we stay positive?
magazine cover now
magazine cover of the past
Two simple things to try. One is to spend just one day ignoring advertising. I did this once and was amazed. For instance, avert your eyes from:
- Billboards (focus on the road, btw. hmmm)
- TV/radio ads. Fast-forward doesn’t really count, tho it helps. Better yet, turn off the TV for just a day, if you can.
- Magazine covers. They are big ads for “you suck, open this magazine to get better”.
- Store windows, on people’s T-shirts, on social media. Ads are everywhere.
A second method is to just Talk Back. The ad phrases can be replaced in our minds (not just deleted) if we are aware of the. Here are five to refute:
Must Have – Other than the essentials of survival, including people to love, there is nothing we “must have”.” Not the latest fashion. Not a hot tub in our homes. Replace this with “Might be nice to have, but I’m OK ”
Let me guess what you’re thinking (because I would be too):
What?!?! Another website about happiness? Seriously? What for?
So – just search on “Happiness” on Amazon.Today, I saw: 603,506 results for “happiness”
What? It’s enough to make you want to give up before you start. Plus, some of these books are, like, 300+ pages long? Who the heck has the time to read all that?
When did happiness get so, well, discouraging?
Sometimes the short and sweet piece of advice is the one that gets to you. That’s how it has been for me, and so I want to share these easier steps with you, in bite-size chunks that nourish anyway.
I’m no expert, if a graduate degree in happiness matters to you. But my story so far, like yours, includes both heartbreak and healing – and happiness as a choice. So many people have asked me for advice about this, and have also shared some – and so this blog was born.
Firstof all – the choice of the word Happier. Not Happiness, but just – happier. Why? Because no one is happy all of the time. Nor should that be the goal. There is no emotion without contrast. But – can we be happier? Sure! We can increase the amount of happy thoughts, happy moments, happy talk.