Sunday, June 7, 2015

Blog #185: On Silliness

Things are heavy right now. In the last several weeks there have been so many awful, awful things going on.  It's enough to completely overwhelm anyone.

I'm thankful for those who are passionate about social justice and current events. I believe I have a responsibility to be at least aware of the goings on. However,  when it comes to my social media,  I am INTENTIONALLY trivial,  silly, and nonsensical. I focus on sports, my own daily embarrassments, and funny things that come to mind. I don't often delve into the hard things, the heavy things,  on my various social media outlets.

I do that because my day to day is heavy. I spend every day surrounded by death, grief, and loss. I do my best to take on part of the pain and feel it with the people I see. it's very important for me to have the emotional resources available to be able to fully be there for those I engage with at work. I've found, that in order to do that, part of my self care means limiting my exposure to the dark and heavy outside of work. So, that means that finding reasons to laugh (often at myself) and be ridiculous and being a spot of ridiculousness and fun for others amid links to the tragedies of the day actually helps me to be present in others' moments of grief.

I've had people ask me about both angles - how I can be so silly when I work with such heaviness and how I can be so light on social media when there are so many hard things happening in the world.  The answer is that I have to be. It's not a denial of the hard things but rather a response to them. There is great value in silliness. We as humans aren't built to spend 100% of our time in the acute intensity of difficult feelings. We need to be gentle with ourselves and give ourselves breaks. Silly social media and other ridiculous diversions (kickball, radio shows, book clubs) are my breaks, and I need them.