Finding the Light

Happy (day after) Winter Solstice! Yesterday was the darkest and shortest day of the year, which means today is a little brighter (at least in theory). Our government is in partial shutdown, the country is in hateful disarray, and you may well have to share a holiday ham with someone in a MAGA hat very soon. But that’s so “glass half empty” isn’t it? (Even though some days it feels bone dry, or perhaps full of arsenic.) As a casual Buddhist, I recognize and accept the reality of suffering. Shit happens. Life can seem REALLY FUCKING BAD. And for many people (maybe you, but in the grand scope of things, probably not) it is. So how does one find any glimmer of hope *sigh*, optimism, or simply light in the shadows of so much doom and gloom? I start with the little things — the daily or occasional moments that make me smile, laugh, or just pause in gratitude. These are a few of my favorite things:

  • taking the perfect poop
  • watching my dogs play
  • cuddling my dogs
  • walking my dogs
  • actually binding my hands in supta kurmasana
  • slapping the whole chickens at the grocery store
  • nailing a double pirouette (single on the left)
  • practicing with my husband in our recently united, yet never debuted two-piece band, The Black Spots (coming to a venue near you in 2019!)
  • sipping a glass of wine while making dinner, even just for myself
  • watching SNL on Sunday mornings and laughing out loud, even by myself
  • listening to On Being on Sunday mornings and getting inspired
  • turning off NPR when I JUST. CAN’T. ANY. MORE.
  • seeing students’ faces after I teach a really freaking good class

I could go on. Really. I’ve gotten pretty apt at pinning the highlights of my day / week / month / year to the top my mind, even just for a second. Because if I don’t — god damn, existence can look pretty dark. If you know me (or are just reading this) you’re probably aware I’m not one to sugar coat things; I’m a perpetual realist with zero tolerance for small talk and Southern politeness. So the last thing I’m advocating for is denying or covering up the bleak, bleak state of things (personally, communally, or globally). LET’S DEAL WITH SHIT. But, as Ilana Glazer said last night in her brilliantly hilarious standup set, “we’re popping a pimple.” It sucks, it hurts, and it’s incredibly unfortunate. We can very easily wallow in the dismal reality of things, which is fine. But after we pick our selves up, squeegee ourselves off, and reboot our systems with the determination and optimism we had, oh 26 months ago, it’s time to get to work. And what gets me through that work is remembrance of the good things in life, no matter how big or small. (Although, let’s be honest. There’s really nothing better in this world than taking the perfect poop.)

Tomorrow will, in fact, be a little brighter than today. And days will keep getting longer and lighter, until they don’t, and we dive into shorter, darker days once again. The cycle continues no matter what. The government can shut down, hatred can run rampant, hissy fits can ensue. In many ways, we have no choice but to revel in the hope and humor found in every day moments, lest we get swallowed by the darkness. This season and always, I invite you to find your favorite big and little moments and, above all — enjoy the light.

photo: Broad City on Comedy Central

1 thought on “Finding the Light

  1. Perfect 💩 4eva!!!

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