Maintaining productivity in my humor-joy oeuvre proves difficult lately. Sure, I can see the bees in the lavender, the butterflies on the buddleja, the hostas exploding with late summer flower potential. The aromas of the herbs wander through my tiny demesne, especially when it rains after a hot day. City reek, city stress stop at my front walk. The back garden is a place of peace and joy. Except when Crooked Hank the Corgi Puppy latches on to Miss Tibbit’s tail. Not peaceful then. No how.
But…ugh. Threats of nuclear war. Opioid epidemics. Political machinations. Hatred for people different from yourself. Nasty comments on the social media. Crazed news media. Preaching, proselytizing, vituperation.
It wears a body down, trammels the mind, saps me.
I need a plan to keep a daily balance because under the metamorphic existential stresses of each day, my stupid heart keeps breaking through the soot crust and beating hope hope hope-joy joy joy–wonder wonder wonder.
Why does it do that? It actually hurts.
So here is my plan – each step to be repeated as needed. Feel free to adapt for your circumstances:
- Mix a late summer cocktail and play with the dogs. I recommend the gin sour.
- Practice a craft, one that doesn’t drive me bananas, like Chinese watercolors or knitting but not lace knitting because the point is to feel good not incite rage.
- Smile. To myself. And not because of any establishment discriminatory nonsense about women should smile etc etc. Smiling relaxes the stress garbage and breaks the mean. For me it does. I smile for myself not for anyone else.
- Practice saying in a relaxed, non-confrontational way, “I’m not comfortable with what you are saying, please excuse me,” and also practice my saunter so I ooze implacable, indefatigable confidence of purpose walking away. Deploy my hard-won new skills. Be mighty.
- Keep watch for someone who can use my help. Help them.
There it is. If you hear a bunch of barking and laughing coming from the WideEyedBackyard, well, I care a lot about the troubles of the world, but I can’t help make a strong healthy society if I go numb or break. None of us can. Peace, friends.