Here we are a year after coming to the realization that the world was going tops-turvy thanks to a virus. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t think it would last this long. Last spring, I though it would die out over the summer with maybe a little resurgence in the fall. I never expected to spend a full year (and beyond!) learning to live pandemic-style.
On Being Fortunate Amid Chaos
A term I ran across and recently talked about with a friend is “pandemic guilt.” One component of this guilt revolves around prospering while others are not. A side effect of this guilt is that people become hesitant to share their successes, their joys, or even a fun moment in their day. I know I have stopped myself from discussing good things happening in my life because it seems out of place when others perhaps don’t have good things to talk about. I also stop myself because I don’t want to get ugly blowback from the self-appointed monitors of what speech is appropriate during a pandemic. A nasty side effect of this self-suppression of expression is that it seems more polite to complain than to rejoice!
It is unhealthy to live under the burden of this guilt for very long! Each of us gets to own our choices and our feelings. If life is good, you are allowed to celebrate it – even in the middle of a pandemic. Very Well Mind published an excellent article about different varieties of pandemic guilt [Read it Here] and provides this excellent advice:
If your social media friends and followers are likely to call you out for any positive news you share—by saying you shouldn’t celebrate during the pandemic, for example—you may want to mute them, unfriend them, or suggest they unfollow.
It’s OK to share positive news. In fact, sharing the good things in your life (without bragging, of course) could inspire others or help them feel better.
Be aware of the other emotions and mood you experience when you’re around other people too. If someone tries to force you to go on guilt trips, set boundaries. Refuse to be “guilted” into doing things you don’t want to do.
The choices I made early in the pandemic allowed me opportunities I would have otherwise missed. I don’t feel guilty about those choices or sharing the resulting positive outcomes! Having time to make art and sew are top of my list. Learning new skills and experimenting with new ways to connect with people make each day interesting. If you, like me, have found ways to prosper despite the chaos, be happy and ditch the guilt (and people who want to make you feel guilty).
Bottom line: Don’t be shy about sharing the good things in your life!
(Let me know in the comments what positive things you have experienced in the last year.)
A positive outcome: Mail Art Friends
I joined a group of people who send mail art or happy mail to each other. We don’t send on a set schedule and there aren’t really any rules. Unlike postcard swaps that I have done for several years, this group is more relaxed. I decided to pick three group members each month to send a package of fun items they could use in their art. In each package will be an artist trading card, also called an ATC. My theme for March was The Green Fairy since March 5 is National Absinthe Day. Now, I have never had any absinthe, but I have always loved the myth and romanticism surrounding La Fée Verte during the belle epoque in France. (Moulin Rouge! is one of my favorite movies.)
My second Artist Vlog video goes through the process I used to make the ATCs. I would love if you would watch and give it a like.
I hope you all have a fabulous week in which you make some time to create and share your joy with others!