As I was standing on line to vote this morning, I made note of a few things that struck a chord in me as being noticeably changed for the better.
In the past, I tended toward the nervous vein with crowds and lines...in fact, I was oozing disdain and irritability on lines in Disney World back in 2017! My good friend Joe (a most chill human being) was my savior during that vacation...he kept reminding me that I couldn't be irritable in the "Happiest Place on Earth"
I'm not a good going-to-my-kids-concerts person...saving seats for people makes my heart race and my stress levels go up, even though everyone around me is doing the same thing.
But this time, at 6am, with the line wrapping around the school's hallways and everyone masked up during a pandemic, my mood was light. My feet were grounded. There was no fidgeting and shifting foot positions or leaning on walls. Walking past a hundred or so people to find the end of the line amused me to no end!
It wasn't so funny to the hubby, who is admittedly in a bad place stress wise at this time in his life. Being a 5th grade teacher in-school with the threat of going full remote at the drop of a hat is stressful. Watching covid cases rise in his building is stressful. How his class "is" (a rough one - it wouldn't matter if there was a pandemic or not) is stressful. How he emotionally eats to handle the stress and the weight gain that is inevitable and evident is stressful. Add all that and a long line to vote, having to get to work by such & such a time, and he's thinking that he's wasting his time, and will have to leave the line to go back to work, and then come back again and wait again...yeah, he was the polar opposite me this morning.
Over the past few weeks, with his escalating stress levels, I have shared my stress handling techniques with him...the simplest is to practice gratitude, even if it's to see the light in spite of the dark. Pick 3 small specks of light and say them outloud to shift your brain to a more positive path. As the saying goes, "you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink."
The same thing happened when I started Sparking. He was about 230 pounds and didn't want to hear. He read something in a Men's Health Magazine and
a light bulb went on and he lost 80 pounds. Kept off 50 over all for many years...but the creep is happening again, and he's not in a good place to halt it this time around. It worries me, but again...the whole horse to water thing. He knows what to do, but he's just "not ready." We've been here before...he will be ready again...eventually...
I get the "not ready" thing. Maybe it's my resiliency that is coming into play since it's been so long...I acknowledge and accept rather than beat up nowadays. Last year, when $hit was hitting the fan health wise, I completely went off the wagon. Eyes wide open. I let myself go through the motions because I learned that you can only focus on a few major life things at a time. Eventually, I was ready again. Now, while things stink to do, I do them because the alternative isn't so hot.
Now add mindfulness on top of that: when I have something come to mind to do, then doesn't happen the way I want it to...I acknowledge the feeling of disappointment, feel it...and then I've learned to move on more quickly. That is progress on SOOOOO many levels for a card-carrying life-time perseverator like me!
Anywho...the voting line was only 1 hour long, everyone got over it and moved on with their lives. Civic duty done.
One thing I am bummed about...I never got a "I VOTED" sticker.
Oh well! Moving on!