Creating Your Own Headlines

This week I have become somewhat engrossed (again) by the rising tide of COVID, the increase in people needing ICU beds and the fear that we won’t have enough – beds, people resources, people vaccinated – to stop the rising tide. Thoughts of “when will it all end” float in my head.

This focus stems in part from the fact that it has been almost 5 months since my mum died and I still have not been able to go home and visit my dad, brothers and their families. I’m wondering when we will be able to travel and see the family. Some of it has to do with my younger son leaving to drive out west in a few days to go to his summer job planting trees. Aside from the normal mother-type concerns, I’m hoping he doesn’t get Covid on the way. Some of the pandemic focus is created by the memories resurrected by my older son’s best friend getting married in a few weeks. I’m recalling the stressful time almost a year ago when we realized our son and future daughter-in-law were not going to be able to have the wedding they dreamed of and had planned. Who would have thought that a year on would still feel like we are almost in the same position?

It hasn’t been the best week. I’ve felt more unproductive than I’d like. Physically, I’ve not been myself. As I came to write this blog post, I felt uninspired and unable to settle on anything.

When people come to a coaching session unsure of what to talk about, I often ask the question, “What do you hope I don’t ask you about?” Today as I faced the task of writing a blog post, I asked myself a similar question “What do you not want to write about?” And it’s this… the ongoing pandemic, the grief, the loss, the fear, the feelings that it will never end. That’s what I don’t want to think about and write about.

As so often happens, we get what we need when we most need it. I came across these words by Andy Stanley.

Sometimes I just want it to stop. Talk of COVID, looting, brutality. I lose my way. I become convinced that this “new normal” is real life. Then I meet an 87-year-old who talks about living through polio, diphtheria, Vietnam protests and yet is still enchanted with life. He seemed surprised when I said that 2020 must be especially challenging for him. “No”, he said slowly, looking me straight in the eyes. “I learned a long time ago not to see the world through printed headlines, I see the world through the people that surround me. I see the world with the realization that we love big. Therefore, I just choose to write my own headlines:

“Husband loves wife today.” “Family drops everything to come to grandma’s bedside.” He patted my hand. “Old man makes new friend.”

His words collide with my worries, freeing them from the tether I had been holding tight. They float away. I am left with a renewed spirit and a new way to write my own headlines.

Andy Stanley

I’m choosing to write my own headlines: “Woman creates spacious and fulfilling life”, “Son goes on an adventure and helps save the planet by planting trees”, “Family pulls together through hard times”.

As I reflect on the last year, I realize along with all the bad and the stress, there are so many good things that have happened.

This past year was the year I:

  • Learned that grief is the cost of love and love is worth it.
  • Saw love overcome many obstacles and win.
  • Grasped that life is too short not to find a way, however hard it may seem.
  • Made new friends.
  • Started having more fun, despite restrictions.
  • Discovered I love seeing the sunrise.
  • Slowed down.
  • Started enjoying life more.
  • Developed new hobbies.
  • Grew my business.
  • Got closer to my family.
  • Got over my fear of reaching out to people I don’t know.
  • Learned to stop believing every thought in my head.

This week’s photos

This past year I’ve become much more focused on walking in nature and capturing the beauty I see there. As one friend said, “hope is a verb”. Walking and photographing what I see is an act of hope for me. It’s reminding me to create headlines of my choosing.

No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.

Sheryl Crow

There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.

Bernard Williams

I learned a long time ago not to see the world through printed headlines

Andy Stanley

Coaching

I help people who are too hard on themselves to develop more self-compassion, confidence and courage through strengthening mental fitness, powerful reflection and personalized coaching.

Sue Das, CPCC, ACC, B Soc Sc (SW)

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