Finding Joy in Uncertainty

Ah, Life. Undoubtedly, we are all going through a lot in life. What is normal has permanently shifted. Many have experienced their lives fall apart. I have had friends calling me crying. On a day that I had a major assignment due for graduate school, I got a call that someone I knew, someone close to my older son…died from COVID. I picked up my phone and the news alert told me that someone I had known in book club from years ago, an indomitable inspirational ER doctor whom I not only admired but enjoyed her company when bouncing around bars in the meatpacking district, had committed suicide as a result of the PTSD from treating COVID patients in an overtaxed emergency room. And the sad news will only keep coming. How do we keep going on? How do we find happiness in this permanent state of uncertainty?

There is room for sadness, but there is also room for joy. My boys and I have been in quarantine together, and I love the focused time with them. However, as a single mom, it can be uniquely hard during this time. I am working, attending graduate school and taking care of them full-time. There are times when it feels like it is too much, how can I keep it all together? During these moments, I am reminded of Pema Chodron’s “When Things Fall Apart” and the roller coaster of life’s waves that we must ride. Life will continually fall apart. And then it will come back together (if we allow it) for joy. And it will fall apart again. We all want happiness and an easy life to be our permanent state. That is not realistic. The more we learn to adapt to the way life will continually fall apart on us, the more we can learn the tools to heal. How? Appreciate the tiny offering of happiness the universe offers us. The morsels that seem inconsequential but can make a dark day lighter. Let them envelop you and bask in their warmth. Wake up early and walk in solitude outside to enjoy the songs the birds sing in the morning. This is joy. Lay down, wrapped in a weighted blanket and lose yourself in a novel. This is relief.
Find a nature trail, walk alone and take moments to pause and sunbathe in the warmth of mother nature. This is happiness. Nature has a way of shifting moods, seek it out when you are finding your mental state spiraling. Text or call a loyal friend. They will remind you how truly wonderful you are. What are some of the things you do to shift your mood? Comment below, I would love to know.

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