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​America is depressed right now​

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America is depressed right now, and it's depressing me.

And this isn't a personal cry for help, but a collective one.

People, everywhere, of all ages, are so fudgin' stressed out, and everyone is on edge.

Or on a very skinny ledge.

Or walking on eggshells.

Or throwing them at each other.

Or feeling no desire to leave their bed and walk anywhere at all.

Or hanging on by cocktails and faith.

Or by a thread.

Or threading a very thin needle that can and will come totally undone if one more thing gets put on their plate or taken from it or if hate and divisiveness continue to spread like the delta variant we so freakin' dearly need to suppress like yesterday.

From everyone I've spoken to, a trip to looney bin would be a welcome vacation from the pandemic-plagued, tumultuous, anxiety-inducing, empath-destroying reality that is so obviously breaking the spirit of every one of us who, sans a pandemic, was already working very hard to live a good, balanced life, be a good person and give our best to our job/career/work, our family and the nuclear and larger communities we serve.

Because life, in general, is hard, but an existence flipped upside down and remaining in that awkward position for almost two years is an extremely uncomfortable, unnerving, irritating beyond belief, and a lingering challenge that none of us are up or asked for.

But we've just got to keep getting in the ring.

Even when we're sweating.

Even when we're feeling beaten down.

Even when we're marred and bloody.

Even when we're one good punch away from face-forward fall from grace into an abyss of eternal pessimism.

Even then.

Because what happens when we stay in the arena is that we learn more about ourselves, our opponents -- of which there are plenty because these are all the things we feel provoked or attacked or summoned by -- about our unwavering allies, and about how it is that we guarantee our life is one with enough self-sought, fulfilling purpose, but more than that, ONE WITH ENOUGH JOY IN IT.

We're only three weeks into the school year, and one of my elementary-aged nuggets has already needed two mental health days off from 'the real world,' and, you know, I don't blame him.

The real world as it stands (or crumbles) right now isn't making most of us over-tasked adults or our resilient-as-all-hell children feel warm and fuzzy and safe and stable right now, even though such is precisely what each of us needs.

And a giant effin' hug.

And a cookie. Heck, a whole cookie cake.

So maybe we can do that for each other.

Be the spontaneous, sweet surprise someone needs.

Light up someone's darkness by not being scared to walk into it, ask 'em why they're there, really listen and then pull them out of it.

Smile at people, and though your mask may block it, your eyes can't and won't hide it, AND THEY WILL FEEL SOME GOODNESS; something we all need to know there is more of in this world -- every day, but these days more than ever.

Perhaps if every one of us devotes enough positive energy towards one interaction action with another each day, just a single one, we can alter the wonky trajectory we're seemingly endlessly on.

And then instead of moving in a full-speed downward spiral or spiraling out of control,

our connectedness,

genuine other-centeredness,

and our continued collaboration will be just the medicine each of us needs to keep afloat until this 'effin tsunami passes and until we no longer need a paddle and can more peacefully and gleefully navigate the less-Goliath-sized waves of a back-to-normal, adventure-filled, but no longer pandemic-plagued day-to-day life.

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