Thursday, June 30, 2016

Focusing on the Beauty in the World

There's a lot of depressing things happening in the world. Crazy floods in my home state of West Virginia. Terror attacks in Europe. Mass shootings pretty much anywhere in the United States. It's disheartening and sad, and it's really easy to only see the negative in the world. The media tends to take any negative and focuses on it ad nauseam. It's not that these tragic events shouldn't be covered by the media nor should we in any way sweep them under the rug. But there's a lot of good in the world that gets overshadowed by the bad.

There are those who don't know me well who think my snark and acerbic personality mean I'm a negative person. It's quite the opposite actually. I'm quite an optimist (this may ruin my rep), and too much deep negativity depresses me. I have a healthy dose of cynicism, but deep down I want things to be beautiful and lovely. I love happiness and love.

Lately I've been ignoring the news. Seriously - head in the sand, completely ignoring it. When the BRexit vote happened I had no idea what it was or what the ramifications were. The policy nerd in me had to look into it, but I haven't watched media coverage or dwelled on it. I'm entirely pretending like Donald Trump is not a human who exists let alone one who's running for President. To the greatest extent possible I'm ignoring shootings, terror attacks and natural disasters. It may seem selfish, and it is. I can't take the media vilification of every single negative event.

Instead I've been focusing on the good in the world. I've been focusing a lot on the adorable things my son does: waving while he says "Au revoir!"; belly laughing; coming at you with his little fingers saying "tickle, tickle tickle"; playing with the dogs. The list is endless.

The joy of being a toddler in a swing. I want to feel this kind of joy every day.
I've been looking around and actually appreciating my surroundings. Last week I went for a long walk in Boyne City. I've been pretty frustrated with my body on the steroids, and my joints were pretty sore during the walk. But as I walked around Lake Charlevoix I looked around and said aloud "Wow I have a good life." And I do. It's easy to miss it in the busy and negativity of the world. 

Sunset in Boyne City. Perfect.
This weekend I join my family in the mountains of West Virginia for a long weekend. I hope there's no cell phone service. I want quiet and relaxation. I want to appreciate being together and cool, quiet evenings in the mountains. I selfishly want to ignore the world and all the drama that goes along with it. I want to surround myself with the beauty in the world. 

I'm not immune to the need to help when tragedy strikes, but I also think we need to find beauty in the every day. There's beauty in tragedy: people coming together and helping in ways that are amazing. It's SO easy to focus on negative when it's all we see on television and in social media feeds. Some days I have to entirely avoid Twitter in order to not let negativity take hold. It's a regular struggle. I will focus on my inner optimist and the many positive things in life that surround me. Life is absolutely amazing. Let's focus on that.

Something about these little shoes next to my shoes makes my heart so happy. I love finding happiness in the oddest places.

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