This past week of Thanksgiving and multi-legged travel across the country to see grandchildren during heightened fear and security levels was enlightening for me in so many ways. Not the least of these ways was that 5 year old twin girls with Thanksgiving birthdays are wonderful bundles of joy and non-stop energies of all sorts.
Other darker understanding also dawned on me. I consciously refuse to allow fear to shape my life. I have control over how I choose to respond to life and cultural events. I have control over how I shape my reality. Not everyone, in fact most people, do not understand the power they have to shape how they feel about and see the world. Collectively this ability can transform interaction, processes and ultimately the world.
I recognized fear in those around me as I traveled. Fear in airline passengers, fear in crowds, people with distrust of authority who embrace irrational solutions. I am calling this fear out as manufactured paranoia. So much goes on in our lives at this time of year, that stress alone makes it challenging to navigate the Holidays in the best of times, but when the larger world adds to the stress, things begin to break.
The good news is that women, as always, have the power to shape the information and reaction to that information that comes into their homes. When we do not actively engage in understanding and processing information, we allow it to wash over us, to be delivered to us as a finished product rather than as a bits and pieces of data that have to be assembled.
Big media news adheres to policy and structure of news delivery and analysis that convey a distinct view, a style of delivery that is a branded viewpoint. That view is presented as though it is objective. One of the few things of which I am sure is that nothing is objective.
Who says we have to buy things in stores on a Friday, or shop locally on a Saturday, or order things online on a Monday, or “give back” on a Tuesday? Companies who are selling things and the media that carry their advertising and messages are the only ones I can think of who promote these things. I shop locally all year long. I do purchase from major online retailers who can get things to me quickly when necessary. I try to give and give back all the time.
To me the day after Thanksgiving is a day to play games, take walks, construct models, and put together puzzles, I try to buy nothing on that day and just be with the family with whom I am sharing the holiday.
I will not allow fear to manipulate my healthcare choices or travel decisions. I am sad. I will spend as much time as I can with family. I will maintain my informational autonomy as best I can.