Hi there. I don't normally do posts like this. This blog has sort of devolved into me posting whenever I feel like it with whatever's on my mind, with a few posts about the pop program thrown in for good measure, but I thought I would whip this one up real quick, post Super Bowl.
I'm already seeing a lot of people online talking about how this game felt like a metaphor for the 2016 election. The diverse metropolis in the South that's being lovingly sent up by Donald Glover in a hit show about music and race and humanity is battling it out against a controversial but widely loved team from the cold, white North. I don't know a lot about football, but I've heard the word "deflategate" a lot, and I know that the Pats have won a lot of Bowls. Also, Gaga is a metaphor for Bernie. Somehow. I think.
I have never once in my life cared about football. But as I watched the game wind to a close with Atlanta in the lead, I got excited. It felt like if the Falcons won, then maybe there was hope for this fractured, deeply wounded nation in 2017. And then somehow it got tied up. And then somehow the Patriots won. And it was over, and I don't know any of the players' names besides Tom Brady, and life continues as normal, I guess.
It's not a perfect metaphor. The Patriots are a talented team, a proven winner with the experience and the skill to take the ring. I don't actually know anything about the Falcons. But I couldn't help but feel like overtime was the brief, final window of hope. The minutes before they called Pennsylvania and I went home from my friends' would-be celebration party, crying in my Uber.
In the wake of this particularly nail-biting Super Bowl and an even more nail-biting presidency, I'd like to give everyone some Sunday night, crunch time motivation to get through this week, and the next one, and the next one.
1. Work out. I hate me, too. But I started working out on New Year's Day, at least 5 days a week every week, and it has helped me a lot. Exercise is by no means a cure for your afflictions, but it is an effective treatment that can lessen whatever symptoms ail you. Would recommend giving it a go, even if it's just walking around your neighborhood (or on a treadmill) for 20 minutes a day.
2. Sit by a window if you can't go inside. I know in most of the country, the weather is too abysmal to contemplate going outside more than is necessary. Even LA is going to be hit by some more rain this week. So, if going outside and soaking up the fresh air and sunlight isn't an option, sit by windows. It sounds crazy, but while you're going about your daily tasks, if you can move closer to a window and stare out at nature, it might just lift your spirits a bit. Especially if it's raining or snowing--ya can't beat the view of Mother Nature giving it all she's got while you're inside, hopefully a bit warmer and drier.
3. Stop procrastinating that thing you've been procrastinating. If possible, do it right now. If it's not possible, do it first thing tomorrow. Seriously. Just do the thing. Do it fast and then if you didn't do a good job, set it down and go back and fix it later. Just make a really strong first attempt so you can feel less like a human pile of garbage.
4. Go to bed before midnight tonight. Regardless of when you need to be up tomorrow, try to get in bed by 11 or 11:30pm at the latest. Burning the midnight oil isn't always the most effective strategy, especially if you've made a habit of it recently.
5. Drink some tea. Your favorite kind. Maybe add a little lemon and/or honey if you're feeling particularly adventurous. Hell, it's still the weekend, have a cookie with your warm drink! NOW you're getting it!
6. Write in a journal. Even if you're not a big diarist, find a notebook, journal, or even some blank copy paper and write down your thoughts. Write for 20-30 minutes about whatever comes to mind. If possible, work through some of the personal and/or professional problems that have been nagging at you for a while. Don't worry about grammar or spelling or cohesion of thought, just write stream-of-consciousness about what's bothering you. If, afterward, you'd like to throw it out or set it on fire, go for it (but be safe!). Or, better yet, pick it up as a hobby that you return to every week, or even every day.
7. Watch one (1) funny YouTube video. Don't fall down the rabbit hole. But watch one video clip that you know is gonna make you laugh--might I recommend the official SNL channel, perhaps with the clip of Melissa McCarthy as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer--and then tackle your next challenge.
8. Clean something. Even if it's just washing a couple of dishes or taking out the trash, the sense of accomplishment you'll feel will motivate you to do something a bit bigger (or maybe stopping for the day because hey, you got something done).
9. Text/call someone you miss right now. Let 'em know you're thinking of them. You'll both be glad you did.
10. Get excited for this week. Go over your schedule, look at what you have to do, what you get to do, and just get amped! Yeah, you've got work, deadlines to meet, emails to send, papers to write, but every day you're getting closer to the life you want to lead. And yes, our country is more politically and socially turbulent than it's been in years, but it's also more politically and socially engaged than it's been in years. When was the last time you had this many conversations about politics--thoughtful or otherwise--with friends, family, AND strangers? I can't recall it. Yes, we're coming together to work through hard topics because we have an unpopular and possibly dangerous leader, but hey. We're coming together.
To real, diehard Atlanta fans: I'm sorry. To the Patriots: you won. But we don't have to like it.