I recently read Here For It: Or How to Save Your Soul in America by R. Eric Thomas. Excellent book of essays btw, often humorous, always real. But one quote really stood out in my mind:

It’s easy, I guess, to look back now and say that everything turned out okay and Jay has moved on and I’m married and we all lived happily ever after, as if now is all that matters. But that place in me that compulsively cried to everyone who would listen is still in me; the bad times don’t go away just because times are good. We say these things build character; they make us who we are. And that’s true. But that doesn’t mean they don’t suck. It doesn’t mean that winter isn’t cold.

Attention Happiness Police: Just because I haven’t died of COVID doesn’t mean that things are all unicorns and rainbows…

Just because things are status quo, doesn’t mean I’m happy and skipping down the street…

I wish people would just stop telling others how they are supposed to be feeling.

I get the irony: I’m telling others how to act. I’m telling them to stop being all…happy…

But here’s the thing:

It’s awesome that you have found your true self amidst the confusion of pandemic. You have learned the value of what’s really important, spending quality time with your family.

You’ve baked bread.

You’ve made your own clothes.

You’ve learned how to do everything on Zoom…

But have you REALLY found these things?

or

Are you just trying to convince yourself that things are A O K?

You know that quote about doth protesting too much?

Don’t you want to sing that out every now and then?

Just because things are fine doesn’t mean they don’t suck…

The conundrum I find we face today is that we are all supposed to be embracing our unique self. We are supposed to glory in out individual quirks and about the things that make us different…

However…

at the very same time…

We are supposed to conform to the group standards of what we are supposed to believe in, what we are supposed to feel…

Simultaneously different, yet exactly the same.

We are shouted at if our ideals conflict with someone else’s.

so…

If someone wants to have a pity party…let them…

Don’t tell people how to feel, how to express their emotions…

Because who is to say that you are right?

Even if your life is great, it doesn’t mean that you still never hurt inside. That things don’t ever bother you…

Each of us harbors good and bad, right and wrong, happy and sad…

Allow your friends to feel all the different colors of the rainbow…

Allow yourself the same latitude…

It’s OK to feel…

no matter what the emotion..

54 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Mean Winter isn’t Cold…

  1. I’ve been in ‘quarantine’ for years. The isolation, frustrations, limits, and baked bread are my walls, windows, and friends. That’s what years of stay-at-home-parenthood are.

    So, obviously, yes – yes you need to find who you are and express what you feel while others are telling you to embrace the moments.
    Also, yes you need to embrace the moments and get your butt off the couch because whining never gets the dishes done (it doesn’t, kids!).

    As to your observation about needing to behave as others dictate: I believe that’s because we are too socially-connected in an artificial way while not being connected in a physical way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your last bit says it all. We e formed artificial connections that are superficial . We are losing our ability to interact in a human level. We’re all pictures and sound bites and spin….

      Liked by 2 people

    1. To be honest….I read this book maybe in august, so when I put this idea down I was in august mindset. However….all I see if people telling others how to feel, what to think etc…I just want to know why anyone thinks their own ideas are more right than someone else’s….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said! And thanks for the book recommendation–sounds interesting. I’ve been reading a lot more in “quarantine,” which is a good thing, but yes–emotions are tough. They change by the minute sometimes for me and for the other members of my family–reminding us that we are living through a pandemic. Not everything is “okay.”

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    1. It’s funny because I wrote the idea for this post awhile ago, and it’s amazing how my mindset ebbs and flows…if I read the quote for the first time today, I don’t know if it would have the same meaning…but the book…one if best book of essays I e read in awhile. Really well done

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  3. I try really hard not to tell people how to feel. That’s a pretty personal experience. I am learning how to express how I feel more though. I used to just keep that inside and that’s not good either.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. yep, yep, yep, yep, yep!
    And, I might add (just got off the phone from my s-i-l who’s a nurse) Just because you (generic you) are happy & healthy and just because you haven’t contracted COVID or know anyone who has or anyone who’s died from it does NOT mean it doesn’t exist and that those numbers are fake!!!!!
    Thanks for letting me add my rant, LA!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I believe we’re all just trying to find the best way to cope during this pandemic. We’re designed to be relational beings…..in person….not virtually. And, someday we will be again. Now, do I want to go to the next place in my thinking……ummm….yes. For a long time (pre-pandemic) there are those who have been telling us how we should or shouldn’t be thinking and feeling about a variety of topics. And, if we didn’t go along with the group-think, we’re made to feel inadequate, inferior and wrong. I wonder if this mindset is part of why we’re frustrated emotionally as this behavior has risen to a new high.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Is wrote about this before. My wife missed my son’s prom pictures because she was stuck on her train. Someone had been hit and they had no way of getting the passengers off the train to find another way home. I posted on Facebook about how I was upset for her that she was missing the pictures and someone commented that I shouldn’t complain because the person who got hit had it worse than me. Just because someone else has it worse doesn’t mean my wife didn’t feel terrible about missing prom pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get that! When I wrote about how nyc is falling apart, someone commented that it’s still better than third world countries…which doesn’t really matter. There’s always going to be someone better off than someone else. That’s life…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Some people seem to be steeped in negativity, the “I have a problem for every solution” types. I dislike a constant litany of what’s wrong with the world. Having said that, I do agree, we have to accept people as they are on any given day. We cannot know the other person’s mind, heart, or lived experiences. Maybe those steeped in negative emotions have valid and good reasons for seeing the world through very dark glasses, but I do hate it when I am doing my level best to find a silver lining when said person keeps shooting me down. Two sides to every story I suppose. Great post though!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I for one do not think things are fine. I think things are messed up and I’m tired of it. Reality tells me it is going to be this way for awhile. So I for one am not skipping down the street. I am just trying to get through each day with something to be grateful about. I have hope though that it won’t always be this way. Our numbers of Covid suck in Iowa so no Thanksgiving with kids and no seeing the grandbaby for awhile. But I get by knowing that things could be worse. At least we have fantastic weather this week and after tomorrow the blasted political adds, calls, texts and signs should stop. Most importantly we are all healthy. So I am feeling more negative than my norm but I am grateful that I recognize it and this feeling will go away. No one ever knows or can understand someone else’s feelings, we can empathize with them but never truly feel what they feel or know how they should feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny because I originally wrote this idea down back in august, and even my feelings have changed greatly since then. But I like being able to honestly express my emotions, whatever they may be

      Liked by 1 person

  9. We are living through a strange time, and I would guess that most people run through the gamut of emotions over time. Some days, maybe in a single day! I think it is healthier to look for the silver lining, look on the bright side, etc., but who among us can actually walk in another’s shoes? Who has the right to tell another person how to feel?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It is beyond time for us to stop telling each other how to feel. I think one of your early comments hit the nail on the head: we are all too connected these days in an artificial way. All that creates is judgement and the pressure to conform.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m going to rant right now. I just ran to the market. They are presently boarding up the windows of my building lobby. The thought that there might be violence if the incumbent wins. In what world is this a good or right thing? Is this what it has come down to? You lose, you terrorize?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a horrible thing! Violence diminishes us all. And I was watching a news show last week that basically predicted the same thing if Biden wins…the Trump supporters will be rioting and burning “on a scale never seen before.” Why is everyone trying to make us afraid of each other? And why are we tolerating violence? Peaceful protests are fine. But as for the election, heck, a little less than half of the country is always unhappy after the election. But that’s no need to throw a temper tantrum.

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  11. Well, just call me a long time skeptic, especially when it comes to this country and our government, You can add social media starting with this century to that list.

    Based on the way I was raised, and I could go on and on about that since I am now living with my 86 year old Alzheimer’s afflicted Mom, my modus operandi is to express my opinion about anyone or anything, in most cases, is to state it once as only my opinion and that the recipient is entitled to ignore or disagree or whatever. That’s how I tried to raise my kids, though I must admit that there were times I repeated the same advice to them more than once. Based on their experience growing up, they are both grateful that I tried to curb impulses to tell them what to do and to repeat gossip; they observed this obnoxious behavior by their grandma.

    In the “Americans united” euphoria following 9/11, I knew this inflated opinion re the “goodness and benevolence” of all Americans would not last. I personally observed it crumbling amongst my neighbors by the end of 2001; it has taken longer to spread across the rest of the country and even I hadn’t expected to be both as deep and wide as has been exposed by our last two national elections.

    IDK, maybe if enough of the loudest, most aggressive and most powerful partisans on both sides perish due to Covid, Biden may have a change to bring us back to the less divided country we became after he was elected VP. (Disclaimer: I doubt that would happen and even if it did I doubt it would have my desired effect. I’m just looking for something that might wake everybody up enough to realize that we are all stuck in this pandemic and that the best way to get through it might be for each of us to respect and appreciate the mere existence of our fellow human beings.)

    PS I finally give up on this approach with my alcoholic about-to-be ex-husband. Even a couple of short stints in rehab/AA didn’t help him.

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