With as fractious and divisive and judgmental and angry as our entire public discourse has become (along with many of our social media interactions), I feel like there's one thing none of us are saying out loud quite enough, and I'm here to give you whatever permission you need to say it:
Like... this really fucking sucks.
And I want to give you the green light to say this without any sort of caveat about privilege or status or guilt or silver linings or whatever else might be holding you back from just saying it. I don't care if you're in the best possible situation. I don't care if you're secretly kind of enjoying your quarantine time. I don't care if you're in an area that's reopened and you're back to living your best life.
Right now, things suck.
Our discourse sucks. Our economy sucks. Our choices suck. It sucks that businesses are closing. It sucks that our political machine is broken and useless. It sucks that we can't go sit in a coffee shop like normal people and enjoy an overpriced drink because the coffee shops are closed or we don't have the money for an overpriced drink or we don't feel safe being out in public. It sucks that there's no concrete end in sight and every time we say "when this is all over" we're more aware that we're making a wish, not identifying a specific point in time. The news sucks. Getting dressed sucks. Not getting dressed sucks. Primus sucks. It all sucks.
Obviously we have very real disagreements in this country (and world) right now about how to play the hand we've been dealt. Strong feelings all around, and in most cases strong and conflicted feelings because most people are decent human beings who genuinely don't want anyone to get hurt in any way, despite what the vocal minorities and the tone-deaf politicians and the memes would have you think.
One thing that I truly, honestly, genuinely think would help would be if we would all allow ourselves to take a break from obsessing over (or deliberately ignoring) the news and finger-pointing and judging and blaming and despairing for a moment and just bathe in the terribleness of our situation. Like, just let the suck wash over you. Really savor it.
This virus is a bad thing that is happening to all of us. There is all kinds of room for criticism in how various people and groups may have handled it (or not), responded or reacted to it, made decisions in the wake of it... but none of us caused it. We are all in this garbage storm together. And — say it with me —
As many times as I've just typed that sentiment, I have to tell you — it's still cathartic every time I write it again. And because coaching writers is literally part of what I do for a living, guess what?
I made you a worksheet.
You're gonna like it.
Unless you hate the word "sucks," in which case I assume you've already bailed, and we'll see you on Day 47.
For the rest of you, click here to download the official Own The Sidewalk Social Distancing Everything Sucks worksheet. Print and enjoy. If you get some release from it, feel free to share it with your friends. In fact, here's one of those Instagram graphics you kids like. Feel free to steal this one and share, too.
But give the worksheet a try first. I promise you... you're gonna feel at least five percent better. For at least fifteen minutes.*
*Results may vary. I'm a blogger, not a mathematician.