Sooooo, this is not the post that I had originally intended to publish today. I am going to save that post for next week. I came up with this replacement at the last minute.
Today is technically our first Tune Up Tuesday following the initial set-up post. But, I didn't want to jump right into all the gold star stuff without taking the time to pause and acknowledge something that I think is important.
I debated with myself about whether I needed to post this, but I would have felt disingenuous if I had gone forward without addressing the current climate in our country.
When you first came to this site, I am sure that some of you thought – now is a crazy time to be starting a project like this. It might almost seem silly given our present circumstances. This is one of the bleakest, if not THE bleakest time, that many of us have gone through in our lives.
The Coronavirus has turned our world upside down. I feel like human connection is at an all-time low. I haven't been inside of a building with anyone other than my husband for more than a few minutes since the beginning of March. My main source of income dried up then as well because of the Coronavirus. So many things in life remain uncertain as time marches on.
That would be bad enough in and of itself. But, as you all know, it's not just COVID-19 that is wearing on us.
We are living in tense, turbulent times. In recent months, a light has been shined on our country's ongoing pervasive problems with racism. Economic inequality in our society is growing rapidly, and increased political polarization has caused rampant mistrust of our government and each other.
All of this can be incredibly overwhelming. Although we might feel energized on some days, on others we might feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath us. We might feel lucky if we can accomplish the most basic of tasks on any given day. Many activities that used to be simple, like going to the grocery store, have now become increasingly complicated.
I have definitely felt like I've been on a roller coaster ride, and sometimes I get that feeling multiple times within a single day – I'm up, I'm down, I'm up, I'm down.
Even though I've been riding this roller coaster these past few months, I have also simultaneously experienced a strong desire to do something, anything to brighten up the world. A monumental accomplishment seemed highly unlikely at this point – I know that I certainly won't be the person who comes up with a Coronavirus vaccine, eliminates poverty, or figures out how to establish the first human colony on Mars.
But then, one day, the idea for this site dawned on me. I decided to create a space for celebration and appreciation of ourselves and the people around us. I realize that this idea is small and insignificant and maybe even silly in the grand scheme of things, but I feel like it is the one thing that I can do right now to bring a tiny bit of light and happiness into the world.
However, starting this website doesn't mean that I'm going to be positive and upbeat all the time. Far from it. I'm sure that there are plenty more "I don't want to get out of bed today" mornings in my near future. But I refuse to give up on myself during these crazy times, and I'm not going to give up on you either!
So before I move into full-on gold star mode next week, I wanted you to know that whatever you may be feeling right now, it's okay. It's really okay if you're not ready for Tune Up Tuesday next week or at any point moving forward.
You might not have the energy to even think about gold stars right now. You may not be ready to focus on the gold star behavior of others or to engage in it yourself. You might be up for it one week and then not be up to the challenge the next. It's all good. There is no need to force yourself into doing something that you think you "should" be doing.
It's totally okay to read a post and not take any action on it. You can tuck the ideas away in your mind and come back to them when you are ready. Or you can simply think about what you might want to change or improve when you are feeling up to it. There's no pressure to perform here.
The important thing is to be honest with ourselves about how we are feeling. We often deny our feelings or push them away out of fear. For many different reasons, we are afraid to feel certain powerful emotions like grief, loneliness, disgust, or rage. But, in my opinion, anything that we try to bury inside of us will only end up growing stronger, eventually manifesting in a variety of undesirable ways.
As difficult as it may be, it's best to open up to the feelings that scare us. Let them in, experience their weight and their depth, acknowledge and respect them. They are messengers who are there to tell us that something important is happening that needs our attention. For example, anxiety alerts us that we are facing a threat and need to act in a way that ensures our continued survival.
And after they have been acknowledged, the feelings will eventually pass. No feeling can maintain an extremely high level of intensity for the long haul. We can all practice trying to get comfortable with the idea of riding out those emotional storms.
We are all adjusting to a new world order. So if you're not ready to take action on Tune Up Tuesdays, that's okay. We'll all get there in our own time. Don't forget – you deserve a gold star just for being who you are!
How are you feeling today, dear readers? Let us know in the comments!