I want off the corona-coaster. I know that it’s not over. I just want off.
Right now, it’s okay to feel good and bad at the same time. That’s been the story of my day, literally and it’s not even noon yet as I type. I just learned that my hometown of 3,000 is having a surge of infections. At the same time, I am reaching for a professional milestone, one that’s been years in the making. I am elated and scared to death at the same time. My family has lived in Poteet several generations. I will know people affected by this surge.
In the corona-scape, it’s hard to allow yourself to feel good about anything. Perhaps it’s “surviving” guilt. Perhaps its feeling under-deserving of the good one is receiving in the face of such vast suffering.
It’s okay to feel a lot of things, even conflicted, I’ve had to make peace with that today, not to disown my own good in the face of so much pain. What good things can we own, claim and feel gratitude for?
Today, I encourage you to feel good about what you are achieving and not feel guilt, even when faced with bad news. Then, do something to help fight COVID-19. Donate. Spread reliable information about the virus. Encourage social distancing.
I work from home. I’m used to it. I’ve been busy, even as there’s a great deal of uncertainty in the entertainment industry. Today, I took a breather and set out to the task of cleaning. I cleaned my office and I emptied out my purses, which I hadn’t cleaned out since the lock down began . It was like going though a mini time-capsule.
What was in my purses:
promotional materials for a film festival screening I attended
coin change for parking
assorted colored pencils, highlighters and post-it notes for marking scripts on-the-go when I chose to work at cafes
an extension cord for plugging my lap top into an electrical outlet at a cafe
a movie ticket
Cleaning out my purses hit me hard. As I cleaned, I felt like I had just been through a strange time warp. We don’t know what the future will bring, though we’ve been told there’s a “new normal” coming. What I want to emphasize here is that, yes, all of this made me blue today. However, I quickly pivoted to my gratitude for those experiences and the hope that I can have them again soon when it’s safe to do so.
The film festival promo materials reminded me that I love film festivals and seeing my work on the big screen. I am grateful to all the film festivals that have ever screened my work.
The breath mints were comic. Though we’ll be wearing masks for awhile, the mints reminded me that we need to keep a (minty) fresh perspective. Let’s not get stuck into to many ruts or bad thought grooves at this time.
They stopped enforcing most parking ordinances since the stay-at-home order in Los Angeles, so I haven’t needed to feed a meter. Admittedly, parking Los Angeles has been way easier. I am grateful for the days in Los Angeles when scoring a parking spot was the biggest of my worries. I now know there are far bigger things to have anxiety over. I’ve had to learn how to better manage my anxiety.
I love my home, but sometimes I need to get out of the house to work more efficiently. I get TOO comfortable. I am grateful for all the times I’ve had great coffee and a great work day and even run into old friends. I hope to enjoy this again soon.
The extension cord reminded me of how lucky I am to have basic utilities and that all of my utility services are still going, despite the pandemic. Those working to keep our water, power and sanitation going are essential workers too and we owe them much for their service at this time.
A movie ticket…There’s much discussion right now of how to move the industry forward during the pandemic. Fortunately, I am very diversified. Some are not and it’s been difficult to see how many friends and colleagues are anxious and suffering right now. The movie ticket is my reminder to rebuild. The movie ticket is my reminder to adapt as best I can. There will be no Dark Ages of Entertainment if I can help it.
Instead of yearning for the past, what can we do to bring our appreciation into the future?
It’s not fall yet, despite what Starbucks may have you believe. The autumnal equinox is a little over a week away, on September 23. Yet, you may already be feeling fall settling in. I walk almost every day and I see the leaves changing and falling.
Sometimes in life we don’t make the sharp turns that movies and TV would have us think are part and parcel of an exciting life. Not all of our lives have convenient plot points. Change is often gradual, like the seasons. Lately, I’ve been learning to pivot, to observe the transition and not necessarily fixate on the end result or where I would prefer to have things. The art of pivoting, for me, like the trees, is the art of knowing what to let go, when and how. It’s not dropping everything at once in a fury. It’s not uprooting and escaping. It’s knowing what to expand and what to contract at the right time. Pivoting takes a great deal of patience and discernment. It also takes a great deal of faith. Just as a tree lets go of its leaves gracefully, we are challenged to make our changes in life as gracefully and gratefully as possible.
We all have issues. We have things that make life complicated and unpleasant.Weight is a hot button for many people and they get caught in the trap of thinking and even saying, “if only I were thinner,” then waiting to lose weight so that something great and magical can happen for them.
The truth is, happiness is a choice we make each and everyday, fat or thin, young or old, healthy or unhealthy. We can choose how we react to challenging circumstances. We can meet them with resentment and an attitude of entitlement or we can meet them with gratitude and happiness. Happy people choose to be happy, each and every day. That’s not to say things don’t cause us sadness and pain, but we can’t hold onto our pain and anger like a badge of honor, because pain and anger chain us to the past and being happy is an experience that gets us and keeps us in the present, which is so full of so many beautiful things, if we’re paying attention.
Today, choose to be happy and see what it yields for you.
This past year I have really gotten in touch with how much I have to be grateful for. Even tonight, even when things weren’t going so well over my Christmas dinner out, I found touch points of gratitude and that was the gift of my 2017. I could always find something to be genuinely grateful for.
For 2018, I think we all need a little more PEACE. We ask, and sing and talk about “peace on earth” year after year that I think that it becomes tinny with the repetition. However, I think we need to find a deep and profound peace more than ever. Even if we disagree with something or someone politically, we need to find peace. Even if that someone or something, manages to irk us every single time, we need to find peace.
This Christmas Eve, I am committing my 2018 to creating, fostering and maintaining peace. It was St. Francis of Assisi who popularized what we now call a creche or a manager scene. And it was also St. Francis who prayed, “make me an instrument of Your peace.”
I love this painting above by Robert McCall. It points to how small we are, how small many of our problems are, compared to the vastness of the cosmos. However, I think if we all do our small part to be the peace we are seeking, that can also do so much good.
My Christmas wish for you is to find the peace you are seeking. If you are seeking peace of mind, I hope you find it. I hope you create it. If your heart is at unrest, I hope for you to have a peaceful heart in 2018. Seekers are finders and I hope you seek peace and find it.
Sometimes not everything is peachy in Kristin-land. I have my ups and downs. There’s that catchphrase, “The struggle is real.” Well, the stupid is real too and some days are full of very real and very consequential stupid.
I have had to learn how to manage a few roller coaster situations in the last few months. I’ve had to work on checking in with myself and I’ve found a surprising source of happy-my Tumblr. My Tumblr has been godsend the past few months.
My Tumblr consists of mostly things I find fun, interesting and make me happy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pressed the “Random” button, seen a photo I’ve long forgotten and broken into a smile. It’s my happy bank.
There’s a lot of rancor on social media. It’s the zeitgeist. However, I think we all need a little digital happy place, one that we don’t feel the need to impress too much or grow following, just a space to let those memories that make us happy “be”. If I were craftier, I’d scrapbook, but then I’d have to carry it around everywhere. Considering my penchant for mislaying things, it’s probably best that my happy bank is digitized.
My point is, sometimes life hits hard. It may be difficult to see the blessings. You may be barraged by stupid. When those times come, it’s important to remember the good times. Fill your happy bank and your heart will always be full of gratitude when you need it most. For me, it’s a small space on Tumblr. Explore what works for you.
What makes you tick? What makes make you say “That’s IT.” This past Wednesday’s What Women Want Talk Radio episode focused on finding your “IT”—what makes you tick and feel alive. I think this show is great for the new graduates out there who may be struggling with finding a personally fulfilling path.
Chaitra Radhakrishna started her career in computer science in Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, but after finding herself unfulfilled, she moved to the US and discovered her talents for web design and marketing. She founded PinkPot, a lifestyle blog that blossomed into something more.
Jane Bishop spent her early life traveling the globe with her military family, which pushed her to develop a strong sense of self and constantly find her “IT”. After a corporate job caused her severe burnout, she focused on building her own business and now offers consulting, coaching, public speaking and is the author of the new book, The Bread Box, which focuses on finding the extraordinary in the ordinary stuff of life.
I also opened up about my “IT”, which is the movie business. I constantly had to say “yes” to my it over the years and still do so today. I love when Jane mentioned the power of play in our lives, because I think that’s something that so many adults lose touch of when “adulting”.