It is finally 2021!!!
I can’t express how anxious I was to get to Dec 31st and into a new year. Somehow I had this idea in my simple mind that crossing over from 11:59pm on one day to 12:01am the next would solve so many problems and issues, not only in my life, but in our country and world.
I’m going to guess that right about now you are shaking your head and chuckling to yourself, thinking: “boy, this guy needs to get a grasp on reality”. But don’t kid yourselves! My guess is 9 out of 10 people were focused on this same idea. The only reason you feel so wise now is because you had the same reality check I did when you woke up January 1st and you faced the same personal problems, news sources were still yelling at you about the same issues, and the world was just as it had been 24 hours prior.
So here it is, January 18th, and there is no World Peace to be found, there is still some question on who our President actually is or who it will be in the coming months, and I’m still burned out, fed up, and ready to make rash life decisions without fully thinking them through.
It’s funny how as a mature adult you can still get to a breaking point that will either bring you to your knees or be the first step towards something great. I feel like this unprecedented period in the world is going to be that moment for many people.
As I’ve observed the events of the last year or so there are a couple of things that have stood out to me:
First – Our neighbors are quickly becoming our enemies. And that’s really sad! It’s so unfortunate that somehow we are finding ourselves wandering around looking at everyone we encounter as some how, some form of danger to ourselves. Whether it’s based on a face covering, color of skin, or even a bumper sticker expressing their political views, we instantly want to judge them and place them in a box that the media has created for them.
Second – There are too many necessary evils in our lives. I’ve often found myself in this battle against what I allow to take up my time. It’s so easy to kick back in a soft chair, pull out your phone, and within a few clicks be lost in hours of ‘entertainment’ and information. So easily does it flow to you, that it becomes an outlet or escape from real life matters that desperately need your attention but somehow take a back seat again and again. So many times have I decided that I just need to cut this or that out because the ‘entertainment’ or information provided has so much negativity built in. But then I find myself needing to know how to access it and operate it because it’s a source of information critical to my business, or a source of contact critical for other organizations I’m involved with; Facebook has become a bulletin board for local events, Instagram allows me to keep in touch with the youth groups I help with and provides talking points to encourage and praise them by, etc.
Third – We live in a society where you will never be able to make everyone happy. Now, I’ve known this for a long time. I learned this within the first years of running my own business and have grown to accept it while still trying to achieve the unachievable. But I feel like a little more each day, controversy, contention, and debate just for debates’ sake has become almost an essential skill that is being built into our society. We can’t just agree to disagree anymore. There has be a right and a wrong and I have to be right and you have to be wrong, even if it comes to blows! Why can’t we just not be so easily offended…..why can’t we just all get along!?!?
There are so many things that play into the worries I have about the coming years, especially when I look at my offspring and contemplate on the next 10 – 15 years worth of responsibility I have to prepare them for the world, even though I have no way of knowing what that world will be at that point.
It’s a very intimidating feeling.
So I’m sure at this point you expect me to come out with some deep and resounding statement that somehow rounds this all up into a defined set of steps that can be taken to smooth it all out and package it all up into a manageable task. But I don’t. I’ve got nothing for ya! I’ve seen people plow through, taking it all in, and coming out just fine on the other end…..or so it appears on the outside. I’ve seen others slowly drown and fall apart, visibly giving up and going under. Each individual has strengths and weaknesses that they’ve got to understand, accept, and work with.
I will say that I am very grateful to live in an area where it doesn’t take much time or energy to escape from it. To simply grab the keys, load up some snacks and supplies, buckle your family into the seats, and drive. Drive away from what the world tells us is important to a spot where I can focus on what I know is important.
On Saturday I wasn’t even sure where that spot was, but when I got there it quickly became clear and my two children showed me the way. We only had a couple of hours but somehow, by following their example, I found a way to shut it all out and find peace. Laying on my back, the warm sun on my face, following the lead of my two children, it suddenly adjusted the scales in my life. I could see that there were things that were out of balance. That a higher value was being placed on things that were only worth pennies and that some definitions needed to be redefined.
Who knew that making snow angels in the sand could be worth so much.