It has not been a great start to this new year for me. My position and primary source of income, my “day job” if you will, was unceremoniously eliminated without warning. My win streak of avoiding COVID since the beginning of the pandemic came to an end after traveling for the job I ultimately lost. The brain fog and exhaustion I experienced while sick was beyond comparison to any other illness I have had. I had two teeth removed including a wisdom tooth that was partially impacted (the dentist shared this should have been done before I was 18, someone did not get the memo) and I have never felt more excruciating pain in my life. My best friend and I stopped talking for a reason I am still very unclear about; I’ve been blocked from almost every avenue of communication between us leaving me confused, hurt, and struggling to move forward.
The impact of these experiences on my emotional, mental and physical health have done a real number on my confidence. It really is one of the few times in my life where I’m left with the reality of my vulnerability. Add to this the feeling like I’m watching my life before my own eyes, slowly within each and every moment. Not necessarily an out of body experience but instead the opposite side of the coin when it comes to mindfulness and living in the moment - the unspoken not-so-fun part. My brain seems to be recording and analyzing all of this in real time as if I am on a reality show with a camera crew documenting each and every painful moment. It has been surreal.
Yet, I have found myself giggling and amused at the little thoughts that occur to me. The silly things that my body, mind, and soul have conjured. My interactions with family, friends, and strangers have restored my faith in the human connection, the realization that while life can feel lonely and as if all these experiences are unique only to me, they aren’t. I have been forced, in a good way, to appreciate the “little things” that bring the most meaning to one’s daily life. I amuse myself and have come to really appreciate my own resilience to keep smiling, laughing, working to improve my situation, researching and learning about topics of interest, building and growing my coaching business to help myself and others!
I share all this because I want you to know, whatever you are going through at the moment, it's just that, a moment. This too shall pass but maybe my story, my realization to focus on those small, seemingly inconsequential moments of humor and interactions are really the important pieces to lead a fulfilling life. Hang in there, fight the good fight but don’t take yourself or your situation too seriously - learn to laugh a little. I do believe that laughter is the best medicine and connections with those around you bring comfort knowing you are not alone. Good luck and live YOUR life journey YOUR way!
The challenges, struggles, and personal tragedies of President Abraham Lincoln and his bouts of depression are well documented. His daunting reality was that seven states seceded from the union after his election (November 1860) and before his inauguration (March 1861) therefore leading a divided country on his first day as president.
What isn’t shared or well known is his use of humor. During the first year of the Civil War, President Lincoln called a special session of his war cabinet. As the cabinet members entered, Lincoln was reading a book with a big smile on his face and even laughing out loud to himself. He continued to do this for several minutes while the cabinet sat in silence, solemnly quiet and somber when he spoke up to say: “Gentlemen, why don’t you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die, and you need this medicine as much as I do.” The purpose of the meeting was to review a draft of what would later be known as the Emancipation Proclamation, arguably one of the most pivotal documents in United States’s history after only the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution & the Bill of Rights.
Lincoln knew the value of humor, and knew that levity does not negate the magnitude or seriousness of a situation, but rather helps us through it.