Feeling Everything

Feeling Everything

Positive people feel depressed sometimes.

And it doesn’t mean they aren’t still a positive person.

I am a driven person; an ambitious person; an “anything is possible” person. And here we sit…sheltering in place for the last 30+ days with our seven-year-old and four-year-old. The world has gone to hell in a handbasket in a matter of a couple months. And suddenly nothing seems possible.

Those negative feelings and halting of life go against who I am as a person.

I truly understand that other people are going through much harder things than I am right now. Queue the memes about previous generations having to go off to war, and we’re being told to sit on the couch.

I get it. We are LUCKY. We have our health. We aren’t worried about finances. Brian hasn’t lost his job. He’s able to work from home during this time. We can afford to have me stay home. Our families aren’t sick. The list is a lot longer, and I really am thankful.

But my heart hurts.

It hurts for the small businesses that are struggling right now. It hurts for the millions of people that have been laid off or furloughed – including hundreds of them that worked for the company I loved and dedicated the bulk of my career to. They have faces and families. And feelings that have been hurt in addition to losing their job and steady income.

My heart hurts for the grandparents that are isolated and missing their children and grandchildren fiercely, without an end to that isolation in sight.

My heart hurts for the grocery store workers and those in healthcare who must feel so much anxiety heading into their jobs each day, while I get to sit in my comfortable home.

And sometimes, yes, my heart hurts for me.

For my children who can’t see their friends or go to parks. For my first grader that now must be on a video conference with his class each day instead of learning and interacting in person. He’s now nervous about contributing in discussions, when he was always outgoing and engaged in class. Why does a seven-year-old need to learn how to mute and un-mute their mic? For me taking on doing schoolwork with him at home, while our four-year-old occupies herself (kind of). For feeling trapped in our current state of things.

For trying to steal a few minutes for myself this morning, and during that time, my four-year-old decided to use an ottoman to climb onto the kitchen counter and grab the glitter I had tried to hide on the top shelf of the cabinet. She then spread a glitter trail from the kitchen into our living room. It was everywhere. I tried to hold it together, but as I tried in vain to vacuum it up, I broke down. I couldn’t stop the tears.

Even though I have so much to be grateful for. And the things I just complained about pale in comparison to those without jobs, those who have died in this pandemic.

So, what does an eternal optimist who cares deeply for others do with their own feelings of personal sadness?

I stuff them down.

In my mind, complaining isn’t useful; it doesn’t solve anything. It’s better to spend energy on fixing the issue.

But what if I can’t fix the issue? What if it’s something I can’t control, like a global pandemic with economic consequences?

I’ve spent the last month trying to sort through my feelings and put them into words. I haven’t written at all since the week leading up to our school district closing – that was six weeks ago.

I still haven’t organized my thoughts completely, but I’m sick of feeling this way.

I need to get the process moving. When I went through a lot of big changes last year, writing became an outlet for me – almost like therapy.

It’s time for me to lean on that outlet again.

This post is helping me get going again.

My next post will dig into something called “toxic positivity”. When I first heard that term a few months ago, I kind of rolled my eyes. It sounded like something a negative person would make up to bag on those that like to look on the bright side.

But I think there might be something to the idea that we shouldn’t reject all negative thoughts. I recently heard this quote and it resonated with me:

“Being human is not about feeling happy, it’s about feeling everything.”

Glennon Doyle

For now, this much I know is true:

Positive people feel depressed sometimes.

And it doesn’t mean they aren’t still a positive person.

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A Mama's Shrine

A Mama's Shrine

I still have our March 2020 hot lunch calendar hanging up inside our kitchen cabinet. Getting hot lunch was considered a treat for our then first-grader; something fun to do. We used to get the printed calendar monthly and it...

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