Dryvember Day Fourteen: Doing Our Best

So yeah, I missed a day on this blog, but I didn’t miss a day of sobriety, meaning Dryvember day fourteen is fourteen days sober. Why did I miss yesterday? I’d like to say I had some great reason like I was being intimate with someone. Or, that I won a million dollars and was poring over how to spend my money. Sadly, it was neither of those things, or anything more interesting. No, I missed yesterday because I was tired. And, a little angry.

I don’t know what I was angry about, but it I was. Probably because I was tired. Yesterday wasn’t a bad day, but I did feel lightheaded. In fact, for a moment, I thought I ‘d caught some bug from my students. Dizziness and vertigo followed me throughout the day. Thankfully, after getting some sleep, I no longer feel that way. Oh, and I finally took a picture of this lobster statue I walk by almost every day. It’s so cute and weird. A perfect thing to help me smile on Dryvember day fourteen.

The image shows a weird lobster statue with big cartoon eyes that made me smile on dryvember day fourteen

Something else that probably contributed to my mood yesterday was something I saw on Twitter. As 2019 winds down, many people are asking “What have you achieved over the decade.” Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this question. I hope everyone feels that they have achieved great things, and are proud of their accomplishments. However, I also think that questions like this have a built in shame factor, intended or not.

Dryvember Day Fourteen: We’re All on A Different Journey

By posing this question, people are automatically setting up comparisons. We immediately engage imposter syndrome and feelings of inadequacy. This leads to responses like, “I don’t know what I’ve accomplished,” and “Nothing, this decade has been a waste.” Neither of those responses are healthy or helpful.

I do think it’s important that we take stock of ourselves and reflect. But, I also think that there are healthier ways to do it. If you want to look back on a time frame to see what you’ve done, do it. Shine the light on your accomplishments and failures. But, don’t feel bad for not reaching as many goals as you would have liked. Don’t feel bad if you aren’t where you want to be, but it seems like others are.

We are all on a different journey. Life is hard enough without comparing our successes to others’ and vice-versa. And you know what, if you’re alive right now, that ain’t nothing. Seriously. The past decade has had its ups and downs, but the past few years have been full of shit. If you’ve somehow managed to get through the daily slog of Trump and corruption and kids in cages and everything else, you deserve a pat on the back.

We’re Alive and That Ain’t Nothing

You’re alive, and that’s HUGE! It also means that you can keep working and striving. It’s tough. You won’t always succeed. Sometimes, you’ll fail spectacularly. We all do. Hell, I failed this week.

I wanted to finish a story for submission, but I missed the deadline. That upset me, which is maybe another reason why I was mad yesterday. But, I will learn from this failure, and keep trying. I’ll finish the story and then I’ll have one ready when the next opportunity to submit comes along.

Stress runs our lives a lot of the time, and stress is a killer. There are ways to beat stress, but there are also ways to increase it. One of the most effective ways to increase stress, and therefore your chances of an early death, is the Internet. The Internet loves to make us feel shitty and small. It feeds off our anxieties like vultures on a corpse. And it will always do that if we let it. Sometimes we will let it, but if we focus on limiting those times, we’ll be happier. More than that, we’ll have more time to work on accomplishing the things we want.

Dryvember Day Fourteen: The Effort is Worth It

Reaching our goals is not easy. If it were, everyone would. However, the effort is worth it. So, keep striving. Keep creating. Keep learning. Look at what you’ve done and be proud. Tell people about it. Sing your own praises, and sing the praises of your friends. But, please, don’t let others make you feel bad because it seems like they did more than you. So what if they did. We’re not the Grasshopper and the Ant. We’re humans.

Anyway, I love you and hope you had and continue to have many successes, and that you learn from your mistakes. That’s really all any of us can do. Thanks for reading. I appreciate it.

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2 thoughts on “Dryvember Day Fourteen: Doing Our Best”

  1. Love you too!

    And thank you for this, I would definitely struggle with the ‘what have you accomplished in the past 10 years?” question. I need to hear it framed differently.

    1. You’re welcome. Thank you for reading. And isn’t funny how questions are framed have such an impact. I mean, that’s not some great revelation, but boy howdy is it something that’s easy to forget.

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