My new normal

Two phone calls in the last hour of my day today.

1st call – “I get up every morning and go out and apply for jobs. I have been turned down more times than I can count. I get interviews, they like me, and then they do my background check and turn me down. Do you have any suggestions?” He has a felony. Tried as an adult at 15 for a non-violent crime. A year in county jail and 5 years in state prison.

2nd call – “I have to move. The elderly woman I was living with had to move into a care facility. I keep applying for apartments but after they run the background check everyone denies my application. Do you have any ideas?” He has a felony. A non-violent crime. The charge was questionable but he couldn’t afford an attorney.

A young man I know hopes he lives to see his children grow up. He has significant health issues and he is uncertain if he will, so he does whatever he can to implant memories of him on his children’s hearts.

These are just a small sample of what is happening in the world directly around me. Let alone if I let myself be even remotely aware of the news beyond the borders of my immediate life. The thing is, I know I’m not experiencing anything exceptional. There is SO much for all of us to cope with these days.

My new normal is I cry most days. Maybe you do too. Or maybe you have an extra drink. Or run an extra mile. Or watch another TV show. Or argue with someone on the internet. Or… fill in the blank.

They say find what feeds you. They say take care of yourself. They say rest. They say many things. What I have found works for me is to simplify that advice and look for the things that make me smile, not just any kind of smile, but that smile that touches your heart and brings tears to your eyes. This means my granddaughter’s picture is the wallpaper on my phone because I have to smile when I look at her. Often I have to kiss her sweet face on that screen and often there are tears in my eyes. I don’t know how many times a day you look at your phone, but I seem to do that a lot. It means I get to smile so deep it fills my heart and soul many times everyday. I’m lucky, it was easy to find what makes me smile that deeply.

On a day like today, I needed that. What am I talking about? I need that everyday. I need to balance the hard stuff out. There’s always going to be plenty of yuck in the world. It’s up to us to balance it out.

You may not have a granddaughter, but I know we each have to have a something. Notice what makes you smile deeply and then hang on to it and find a way to have that over and over and over again! You’ll be surprised at the results, I promise.

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One thought on “My new normal

  1. Amoret BriarRose April 20, 2017

    To encourage smiling, I have been planting a garden of sorts.


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