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Roaring or Boring Redux

Yep, that was the title of the opening article in the last issue I sent out in January 2020 before all hell broke loose. At the time I was encouraging you to make sure your life was exciting, that your 2020s were roaring. I wish I had pushed for boring. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had just about all the roaring I can take.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we live small. But a global pandemic was too much excitement. I’m tired of all the drama. All the judging. All the anger.

So I’m adding a third option – soaring. Rising above all this. That’s what I’m aiming for now.  For me, soaring has been writing a book when conferences were canceled.  Soaring has been deleting the news app from my phone. Soaring has been letting what other people are doing go.  Judgement is an anchor.

Soaring is not my natural way of travel. When it comes to flying, I’m a flapper, not a soarer. I want to control my speed and direction. I usually fight the wind. Soaring somehow has always seemed weak, like not even trying.

But there was no flapping your way out of a global pandemic. The world shut down. (I won’t lie, it took me several weeks to accept that.) I went through a bunch of emotions—shock, denial, anger, depression, acceptance and finally soaring. Want to join me in rising above it all? Here are some ideas:

1) Delete the news app from your phone. Want to soar? Stop doom scrolling. Yes, people dying is horrible. 647,000 American die every year from heart disease. I don’t need constant reminders. I could use reminders that the world is a spectacularly beautiful place or that a smile is priceless. Curate what goes in your precious mind. I’m not saying disengage, I’m saying don’t drown.

2) Stop pandemic patrol. Unless it is your job, stop worrying about what other people are or are not doing. So much complaining about others, so much judging, so little empathy and compassion. We now know we don’t need to wear masks when outside and socially distanced.  I wonder if anyone is going to go back and apologize to people they shamed on social media? Just do what you think is best for you and your family.  And let that heavy judgement go. When you think someone is eating something unhealthy or letting their kids do something crazy – let it go. You do you. Let them do them.

3) Take some time to learn from this experience. What has it taught you? The importance of family? Of freedom? Of toilet paper? Are you preparing for the next challenge? Planning your next adventure? Do you need to improve your health? If you didn’t learn anything from this, shame on you. Soar on the wings of your new insight.

4) Fight complacency. Soaring is not sitting at home in your sweatpants all day. Or telling yourself Zoom calls are just as good as being in-person. Sure – those things are easy. You don’t have to dress up or travel. You can rationalize how much more productive you’re being. I find myself choosing easy over interesting. But that’s not soaring—that’s sitting in the nest, watching some other bird fly. We need to regain our wings.

5) Embrace the unexpected. When you’re soaring, you don’t know what the wind will do. It might take you higher, then suddenly drop you. Innovation happens when we’re exposed to other people and their kooky ideas. Not when we’re delivered curated content by our web browsers. We need to get ourselves back out in the world and be open. We’ve been closed for over a year – in more ways than one.

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2 years ago

Amen Denise! Anxiety, worry and hate all corrode the container it’s carried in. “Soaring” is a great way to picture the positive!