Saturday, 11 February 2017

How to deal with *@!#

“Move to the Island,” they said. “Vancouver Island is Canada’s tropics," they said. "Sure, it rains a lot, but at least you don’t have to shovel the rain.”

Oh, really? Fake news. Alternative facts. That’s what those encouraging words were. 

The truth – and this is the best, the very best truth, you can count on it –  almost every winter we get at least one snowstorm that turns us into the wimpy drivers that everyone else in Canada sniggers at, the ones slip-sliding around on the streets, spinning our wheels.
And yes, we do have a little red car, as a matter of fact.
Fortunately, usually the snow disappears after a few days. Not this year, however. As I write, it has been snowing steadily for 6 days; trees are coated, roofs are buried, cars drive down the street with a foot of snow on the roof.

This amount of snow is so unusual, I have come up with a theory about it. The beginning of our very bad – the worst, in fact, you’d better believe it – very bad winter began roughly about the time that a certain man was elected – #45, I believe his name is. This White House Wizard, like the White Queen of Narnia, has cast a spell upon our land; we will have 4 years of winter, with no Christmas, if this keeps up. 

So how do you deal with something you just don’t like at all -- like snow, for instance? And make no mistake: we don’t like it. You too may be struggling with something that makes you feel mad or sad, and may be wondering how to handle it. Well, good news: today I read a post on Bernice King’s Facebook page. She’s the daughter of Martin Luther King, and she has advice for dealing with a difficult situation. In her case, it’s #45. But I think it also applies to the snow situation we are in right now. Perhaps lumping #45 and snow into the same category belittles and insults one of them, but it's good advice, so I wanted to share.

First, she advises us, don’t repeat the name of the thing you dislike over and over again. It only distracts you from the issues that underlie it. (Henceforth, the unwelcome thing will be known as *@!#).  *@!# is a fact, a true fact. No lie. The issue is the crappy situation we find ourselves in, and the bad feelings the situation arouse. If we keep bemoaning  *@!#, we will neglect the work that could make our deplorable conditions better. Thus, the RS and I cleared away as much *@!# as we could – and we feel good about that. We discovered that the energy we put into that is much more enjoyable than the energy we put into whining and complaining.

Also, remember that it’s not just  *@!#  that’s causing our discomfort and distress. There’s a whole complex of issues behind that: climate change (literal and metaphorical), for instance. If there’s something we can do to address those issues, we may change our lives for the better.

Don’t argue with people who love *@!# . Accept that some people get excited by all the ways  *@!# might possibly benefit us. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” they say. “Now it’s our turn.” There is no way you can convince them otherwise. So save your breath to ... shovel.

Sometimes,  *@!#-lovers like to get us all riled up by saying outrageous things that make us mad. Getting all worked up creates a bad atmosphere – clouds up the sky, you could say. And cloudy conditions just lead to more  *@!#. So stay positive – after all  *@!# is not the only thing in your life. Think about sunshine. Family. Love. Create beautiful things – beautiful things are an antidote to  *@!#-sickness. Surround yourself with people who make beautiful things so you’ll be inspired and encouraged.

No more hopeless and helpless talk, either. Give it up.  *@!# won’t last forever. After winter, spring will come. We need to believe that.

Sometimes,  *@!#-lovers will make outrageous claims – “ *@!#, and only  *@!#, will make this world great again. We really need it. ” Sometimes we’re tempted to believe what we hear, and we might even pass it on to others. That’s called fake news. Check it out. Don’t pass it on.

Here's an example of fake news: the original photo, taken at Roger's Pass, didn't have the goats on the train. Nice job of photoshopping. Too bad it isn't true, but it is making its way around FB anyway!
We may be tempted to think that  *@!# has the upper hand – it’s such a powerful force, moving into our streets and towns, creating turmoil and chaos by its unexpected appearances. But  *@!# is powerless against humour. It is powerless against a smile and laughter. It cannot dampen our spirits. So indulge in these often.

When it comes to  *@!#, knuckling under is not an option. Holing up in your house and hiding your head under the blankets won’t, in the long run, solve the problem of *@!#.  It  may seem insurmountable; nevertheless, persist.

You’ll be glad – really, really glad, I guarantee it – that you did.

You can find  Bernice King’s Facebook page, with a compilation of advice re the political situation at:

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