“Can you believe Trump….?” Feel free to insert your personalized outrage here.
The ellipses are mere place holders for the mounting permutations of frustrations, anger and fear deluging millions of us across the globe.
This exasperated sentence punctuates my day from early-morning water cooler conversations at work, to deeper and more intimate conversations with loved ones in the evening. Everyone, wants to know what to do. Where and how can they channel all of these big emotions? Where can they find solace in what feels like a world on fire? They look to me for wisdom; the master maker of life lemonade. So, in no particular order, here are a few of the ingredients I use for my life-lemonade:
- Take Saturdays off. Go for a hike. Sit quietly on your couch. Perfect the art of toast making (yes, it’s a thing. You have approximately one minute to get butter on the toast while the toast is still hot enough for the butter to melt. Otherwise you end up eating half melted butter. Ugh.) Take a hot bath. Listen to the wind. Look at the sky. Count the stars. Draw a picture, with your hands, on paper with things called markers, or pencils or crayons. Listen to music (remember music? And I’m not talking about one song, but an entire CD. And when I say listen, I mean really devote your whole self to listening to each lyric and instrument (this part could be a challenge if the song was made after 2008, but do your best. I find picking songs with no identifiable synth pop to be helpful).
- Create a Trump-free zone in your relationships with others and stick to it. I allow myself one hour of Trump time each day to stay up to date on the Trump haps and the world-at-large. This one hour also includes conversations with others. After this one hour, the rest of my day is devoted to uplifting things like guinea pigs in Halloween costumes and baby seals mysteriously ending up on people’s couches with whiskers for days and a bark no species can resist.
- Turn off technology. This one is crucial! There is no more 5:00 news where news is delivered once a day at a predictable time. Now, we are connected 24/7 to a digital feeding tube that has no shut off valve, other than the one we self-impose. My digital diet includes turning off my smart phone during meals, as well as two hours before bed time.
- Pick one small action you can take. If you get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of egregious laws and insane executive orders being passed and or crimes against humanity and dis-ease in the world, pick one small action you can take that helps you feel you are contributing in a positive way in the world. It can be as simple as buying a homeless person breakfast (this one is easy to do here in Boston and most major cities throughout the US), or signing a petition online. We don’t have to chain ourselves to large objects in protest to show we care about the world and our fellow humans. Sometimes, the smallest actions are often the most empowering and impactful.
- Do one thing at a time. You can’t carry a cup of hot tea and hike a mountain. In other words, it’s important to slow down and stop trying to do two things at the same time otherwise you end up with third degree burns on a perfectly beautiful hike and potential tea stains on your not-so-cheap fleece. Do yourself and your stain stick a favor.
*And if you have children and are reading this thinking, “yeah, right, there’s no way I can take Saturdays off” I suggest you pick any of these ingredients in ways that feel comfortable for you. Hiking, toast-making, star counting, and listening to music aren’t things children need help learning how to do. It’s us adults who need help remembering the joy in these simple things. Let your children re-teach you!
If you have a life-lemonade ingredient you’d like to share, please send it my way and enjoy your trump-free zones everyone.