I am pretty sure everyone agrees that, at some point in time, 2016 sucked. My family had this discussion at Thanksgiving. We had a tough year. Both my grandmothers passed away this year. The election. Other things happened that weren’t necessarily awesome.
I protested; my year had been pretty awesome. I got tenure, which came with a nice raise. My first novel is under contract to be published. I am chugging right along with novel number 2. I got a new car. Things at work got a little better. Cedric has chilled out. I am moderating panels at major industry conferences. I am collaborating with faculty colleagues. This blog is super awesome!
Yes, my grandmothers both died, but it was not sudden or unexpected. Yes, the election happened… Yes, other nonsense happened. The year 2016 didn’t just, simply suck. It was like every other year with it’s ups and downs. We all have different perspectives on the world and we see the same event completely differently.
Yes, everything is the ebb and flow of good and bad. Everything is our perspective of quality. What is a bad event for me, could be a great event for someone else. It all lays in how we react to it. We can’t simply reduce events in our lives to being good or bad. We need to use it all as momentum to move forward. We can’t just accept that things are out of our control. I don’t mean that you should try to see negatives as good things, but that you should try to learn from them and make yourself better. Things may not always be in our control, but we do have control over ourselves most of the time.
I think the key to getting through the difficult times is to work through it. Yes, you should have some time to wallow. I am a firm believer in a good wallow. It allows you to feel the anger, sadness, disappointment, and negativity that you should feel. The key is to work your way through it. It may be quick, it may be a while, but once you realize where you are, you need to find a way to work through it. I think this is what I like about Gone With The Wind. I think we all know Scarlett O’Hara’s opinion on dealing with unpleasant things:
There is something to be said about putting it away for a determined amount of time. I don’t know how I trained myself to do it, but I have. Especially with things out of my control. I find something else to focus my attention on. I write, I knit, I do anything that I can. Writing and knitting do help me work through difficulties without having it on my mind.
This is just how I get through the tough times, the times when things suck. How am I doing it now? I am writing, knitting, traveling, and more. I haven’t hit my tomorrow yet. I am not necessarily ready to think about some of the unpleasant things just now. I just know that I will be ready to face those tough times soon. Until then I know, 2017 will be just as good and just as bad as 2016 has been. The difference is that I will be different.
What about you? How do you deal with the difficult times? What good happened in your 2016? Don’t tell us the bad… we all seemed to be focused on that far too much.