Life is Beautiful, Living is Hard; Week Thirty-Eight in the New Abnormal
I woke up this morning to a stunning sunrise. I slept well and was in a better mood than I had been the last couple of days. Sunrises bring hope. They help me to begin the day with gratitude. The day is lovely. It’s warm enough to avoid outwear, but cool enough to enjoy the breezes on my walk. The outdoor cafes are filled with happy brunch diners. The city is moving along nicely.
Even so, as I appreciate the days, I am also struck by the enormity of personal pain and struggle we have had to endure. Some are dealing with illnesses, others chronic conditions, still others are doing what they can to manage mental illness for themselves and loved ones. If that weren’t enough, there are financial concerns, and there are individual hardships. Too many people are bullying others because they can’t soothe their own pain. Others are simply unable to sit with uncomfortable feelings, so they act out, scaring others.
I notice that I’m more sensitive these days. Loud noises, and there are many, especially the raucous cars and motorcycles in the city which startle me again and again. I feel like my radar is on high alert since there are more vehicles including dirt bikes, scooters, electric bikes, skateboards, and racing bikes, as well as cars whose drivers don’t abide by traffic lights.
I feel so fortunate for good friends, family, and amazing work colleagues and clients. I still love New York City, despite the cacophony that pollutes my ears. Nonetheless, I am acutely aware of the everyday difficulties we endure, whether we live in or outside a city. It’s been tough. We can take refuge in those glorious moments when we gaze upon a sunrise or sunset. We can enjoy a good laugh. And we can be moved by the courage we witness. It doesn’t take away the hardships, but it does give us a little something so we can continue forward in our beautiful and hard world.
- Stop. Sometimes we forge ahead and forget that a break will help us in the long run.
- When you feel that you’re at your breaking point, step away. Even if you can simply take a few breaths, create a small space between you and your inner pain.
- Keep it simple. It’s easy to blame ourselves when things go wrong. Instead simply identify that it’s a hard moment, and if you hear a critical thought, simply say, that’s a thought, I will not add it on to this difficult time.