When life gets stressful, which it has a lot lately, I find it hard to look around and notice beauty. The ability my anxiety has to take away the small joys is not something I am proud of, but I know and recognize when it is happening.
Some days, I can’t get over the fact that we have a racist, sexist, uncaring man sitting in this nation’s highest office. (And some days, I can’t get over the fact that I know some of my family members voted for him.)
Some days, I get sad thinking about my dogs over the years and how some of them are no longer with me. (And also how I know my dog Missy misses their presence.)
Some days, I get mad thinking about the refugee crisis and how some people just don’t want to help anyone, no matter how desperate that other person’s situation may be.
Some days, I get bogged down with the minutia of work and how I feel like I will never be able to get everything done.
Some days, I feel like I do not contribute enough to this world and my community. It can seem like I just take up space.
Some days, I feel guilty for worrying about all of these things simultaneously and not giving enough attention to the ones I love.
When these feelings overtake me and the thoughts race through my head, it can be hard to see anything else. Then other days…something will catch my eye and help me refocus.
Other days, I see a little hang out spot full of beads, flags, random yard decorations, and seats for plenty. I see this under the El tracks in Lakeview.
Other days, I remember that I know many more people who oppose our 45th president than support him. I remember that resistance is built one step at a time against people like him.
Other days, I smile when I think about my dogs who have passed on and think of how lucky we were to know and love them.
Other days, I see someone at work smile because I helped them with a problem or helped them learn something new.
Other days, I recognize that I am just one person who is trying to do her best. I am human, and my fears are not just my own.
Other days, I remember that I declared that this year, 2017, would be the year of inspiration, and sometimes being inspired means I think about too much at once. It is then that I refocus on my partner, who is patient without end and more understanding than he should be.
Some days, I am overcome with stress and anxiety by all that surrounds me. Other days, I am inspired by what I see under the El tracks.