When life gives you lemons, remain calm, find your balance and the best course of action. Maybe you will make lemonade, maybe a lemon cake would be great, maybe you’ll just sip your lemons with warm water. Maybe you’ll give the lemons to someone who could use some….
Don’t scream at me, I understand the proverbial original phrase and the optimism encouragement. I’m just trying to introduce my way to saying that life isn’t just sweet or sour. Life should be a balance.
Bear with me for a minute or 2…
The internet might be exacerbating our views on the world or maybe it is proportional to how much time we spend scrolling. In which case I am guilty as charged to spending too much time in front of my screen, often going down the rabbit hole, while researching a specific topic.
It feels that extremes trends attract people, like moths are attracted to street lamps on a summer night. Extreme diet plans, QAnon views, gym rats, work rats, gurus of all sorts including financial ones, religious fanatics including Christian ones…
It seems to me that the main reason why such extremes attract so many people is fairly simple. What such trends have in common is that they offer ready made plans of actions, that promises to deliver certain results. “If you do this to the letter, you will get that.” They give answers to people who feel lost, the make promises to people who need help to achieve something, usually quickly. They also help people feel like they belong. They help people feel better about themselves, even if they don’t reach their goals because they just need to keep pushing a little harder.
We are all trying to achieve something. Maybe it’s financial freedom, maybe it’s to look good, maybe it’s just to be happy and we have decided that we can’t while this or this still exist. Some think beyond this material life and want to save their soul from eternal damnation.
There is nothing new here. Just old recipes, slightly modernized for some, applied to all areas of life, even to the ones that probably didn’t need it. After all, it’s almost ancient history and all our lives and the lives of our parents and grand parents have been molded this way. We have been told to go college and if we work hard, we’ll graduate and get a job. We get a job and are told that if we work hard and follow the rules, we’ll get promoted, etc. We are told that if we buy a house, get married and build a family, we’ll be happy.
There is always a reward lurking for all our actions. And maybe most importantly, there is always a punishment for not respecting the rules.
If you don’t go to college, you won’t get a job. If you don’t diet, you’ll be fat. If you do the plank like this, you’ll hurt your back. If you don’t follow the bible, you’ll go to hell.
Really, the messages and the methods used are old and the only difference is how easy these messages are now delivered to us and how they are packaged. Internet, social media and constant news make repeating such messages easier than ever. Repeating such messages over and over makes them seems true, makes them attractive.
I don’t think we are entirely doomed. I think we can use our best judgement and find balance.
And this is my wish for you (and I!)for the next year:
May you find balance.
You probably don’t need to count calories to eat healthy nutritious food, or plan your days by the minutes to be productive. You probably don’t need to become a gym rat to become fit and strong. You probably don’t need to count every pennies to become financially independent in 5 to 10 years.
You can say yes to meeting some friends for drinks, without getting drunk. You can say no to meeting friends, if you need some rest. You can eat out every now and them, without eating so much that it makes you sick. You probably don’t need the mega size burger and fries portion.
You certainly don’t need to believe every conspiracy theory out there. Believing none would probably be best, really!
Maybe you do want to travel the world, but maybe you don’t need to quit everything to do so.
You can exercise and be patient to see results. You can watch some Netflix and yet read books. You can be religious without becoming a bigot. You can be spiritual without becoming Yoda. You can have goals without alienating yourself and others with these.
Listen to yourself, what your body needs, what your heart desire, what your soul is seeking. Find your balance, find your strength, educate yourself, be kind, be the best version of you.
Have a blessed New Year!