Last night, like every night before it these last few weeks, was one of the most glorious of my life. It was midnight, and I was walking through the woods, alone. The trees blocked most of the moonlight and starlight, but above and below and all around me, I was surrounded by fireflies.
All at once, I felt secluded in nature, and like I was scuba diving, and like I was riding Space Mountain, and like I was on some kind of drug that just makes you love everything around more than you thought possible.
One of the most important lessons I've learned as a dog owner (other than, "Keep the Christmas truffles on the highest possible shelf," "Don't assume they won't knowingly jump off a balcony chasing a squirrel," and, "Leave the tent door unzipped or else!") is that many of the health changes we assume are natural parts of aging... are actually symptoms of something totally treatable.
When people ask me what my blog is about, I want to tell them, "Playfulness." Playfulness is why I started this blog. It's on my About page; it's discussed on some of my most popular posts...
Yet one recurring theme has been assertiveness. Assertiveness seems at odds with playfulness... but, in fact, I've found assertiveness to be a crucial skill that enables my playfulness.
And it's probably one of the most important possible social skills you can learn and use during the current lockdown/quarantine/social distancing protocols.
I recently had the good fortune of meeting Rich Gosse, chairman of The Society of Single Professionals and author of The Donald Trump Syndrome: Why Women Choose the Wrong Men to Love.
He told me something none of you millennials are going to believe:
"Even though I founded the second ever online dating site back in the 1990s, I still think meeting face-to-face is best.”
And I agree.
You know I have a thick skin -- I love making fun of virtue signaling, regressive feminism, whiny little babies, and social justice warriors.
But I canNOT stand the disgusting rape song that is "Baby, It's Cold Outside." When it comes on, I literally wait outside until the song is over.
Last Saturday, as I was writing my review of Broadway by the Bay's Into the Woods, an episode of Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History began playing. Within seconds, I was able to summarize the entire episode in a few sentences:
"They're going to say that Olympic silver medalists feel worse than bronze medalists, because silver medalists upward social compare ('I could have been the best in the world, but I'm not,') and bronze medalists downward social compare ('I'm so happy I got a medal!')."
Let me start by saying that I love you. I love that you want to be there for me. I love that you're showing concern for my health and recovery. It means so much.
But can I just, real quick, tell you what my mornings have been like since my injury?
"All disease," some antivaxxing dumbass who, apparently, is writing a book about his amazing perspective and incredible life experiences, "comes from a toxic mindset and bad lifestyle choices."
"Right," I replied. "And the woman who runs marathons and does yoga every day and eats kale who still gets cancer...?"
"There is something wrong in her mind. Maybe she has a bad marriage or something."
Yesterday, I wrote about how there's a difference between helping a depressed friend and enabling an abuser. My intention was to inform those whose friends suffer from mental illness to be compassionate... but remember to think critically about your actions and the effects they may have on your friend and his/her partner.
Today, I'm writing a quick reminder to those who are, or may be, affected by mental illness:
Your partner is not your emotional slave.
My background is in psychology -- but not abnormal or relationship psychology. (I studied adult playfulness!) I want to acknowledge that before I start, because this is far from my area of expertise.
But I just saw some of THE MOST FUCKED UP SHIT on Facebook, and it prompted an important realization:
There is a difference between helping a depressed friend and enabling an abuser.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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