BYOH: Being Grateful In An Upside-Down World

BYOH: Build Your Own Happiness or How to hack your own happiness buttons.

Today, the topic is finding a way to be grateful when bad things happen.

I ain’t gonna lie. Waking up on Wednesday and hearing that Donald Trump was going to be our next president was a punch in the gut.

Knowing that this man has said hateful things about women, African-Americans, Muslims, members of the LGBTQ community, and Mexicans and yet, he was still elected to the highest office in the land, in the most powerful country in the world, is effing disheartening. And, yes, scary.

So, how do you pick yourself up from news like that? How do you even find a reason to push your own happiness buttons when all you want to do is yell and scream? How can you find the good in the world, when you discover that so many of your fellow citizens are okay with having a man, who has promised harm to our friends, neighbors, and even our own personage? How can you find something to be grateful for when you are scared that the future will be so dark?

It’s hard. I’m pushing through so many emotions, myself. Being a WOC, and a mother, my children and I have become, virtual and literal, targets in Trump-Land. I have non-POC family members who voted for this guy. How can I get over that? How can I protect us if the world that we live in catches fire now that it’s been turned upside down?

The one thing that keeps me moving, despite feeling slight depressive symptoms, is the thought that, no matter what, life goes on. When I woke up on Wednesday…Thursday…today…the sun was still shining and the sky was still blue. I went to work and was reasonably productive and, thus, it was a successful one, as expected. I ate three meals, had a couple of snacks. I watched Netflix and Hulu and chilled out with a few Facebook games. Blogged around, a bit. My life has continued on like it was Monday, the day before the election. I feel sadder, but my life, currently has not changed.

Another thing that keeps me moving is remembering that so many of us were just as disheartened when George W. Bush was elected. I remember not wanting to get out of bed for being so upset. I remember that I got up and stood up and got active and, in fact, Bush was the reason that I began blogging, in the first place. I did not sit still. I got up and fought. It may not have accomplished as much as I would have liked, but I feel like this country had some wins because people like me got up and spoke up. And, that, is what I encourage anybody that asks me, to do. Don’t just be sad or angry. Use that fire and rage you feel and turn it into political action of some sort. Don’t sit on the sidelines waiting for the next general election. Get up and start fighting for the mid-terms. The work building a continuing democracy is never done. 2018 is right around the corner. NOW is the time to prepare for that.

In the meantime, remember that you are still breathing, the sun is still shining, there are still two whole months before Trump becomes president. Use that time to focus on building up your reserves of happiness habits that will make the hard times, that are coming, easier to deal with. Remember your love of music, your love of literature, your love of dancing, the love of your family and friends. Remember to take care of yourself.

In closing, I’d like to remind you that, no matter how small, there is always something, in every single day, to be grateful for. It doesn’t matter if it’s petty to others, if it’s meaningful to you, that’s all that counts. For instance, I am grateful for hot, salty Burger King fries. Their carbie, starchy, goodness makes me smile and, so long as I am able, I will always choose the King over Wendy’s. I’m also grateful that I have such interesting, intelligent, talented kids. They are my pride and joy and no horrible person, not even a (possibly) horrible president, will ever be able to take that from me.

Keep it moving. You’ll be okay.

Feel free, to visit my Facebook page and tell me what kind of things that you do to push your own happiness buttons or drop a line in the comments section. I would really love to hear from you.

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