How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World

photo Paul Bloom

So much rage / violence / death / confusion embedded in our past, present, and future.

Past: the Burns/Novick series brings the anguish and horrors of Vietnam to our eyes

Present: our sisters and brothers die “unneeded” deaths in massive numbers: another mass shooting in the USA…killing, displacement, starvation in Syria, France, Myanmar, Puerto Rico – and so many other places

Past/Future: I just saw the 1959 movie On the Beach. I wake at 3 AM wondering, Is North Korea still here? Will my grandchildren live to reach 20?

What to do, how stay sane, in these crazy times? Back to the basics:

  1. Take care of my body
  2. Keep my mind as clear as possible
  3. Do what’s possible in front of me – the “ordinary things” – for myself and others

Even as I do all of this, I notice – and feel –incredible rage inside of me. I’m seen by others as a usually “calm” person, but in these days how many times I want to give the finger…

What to do with my rage?

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  • First of all, know that it’s there, inside of me
  • Second, see what the rage is about
  • Third, do something positive with that energy

If I, who am safe, loved, “privileged”, feel this so intensely, what must it be like for people not so fortunate?

What I decide to do will probably be different from what you decide to do.

If you’re near Madison, WI on October 24, I invite you to join me for my keynote How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World. Whatever, do something pro-active for you, and for somebody else. My simple Self-Care Checklist may give you a few ideas.

Oh, and why do I have a splint on that 3rd finger?

Playing football with my grandsons. I caught a bunch of the high spirals from 10-year-old Jules, but on the last pass I heard my finger pop. When 6-year-old Theo saw my finger drooping, he glanced up at me and said mournfully, “GranMillie, you’re really old.” Then a dramatic pause – “but you’re really good.”

So now my middle finger is not a rage weapon. Rather it’s a trophy reminding me that sometimes it’s definitely worth not “acting my age” – whatever that means.

After the orthopedist set the splint, he said “Ten weeks, 24/7. And don’t get it wet.” Then he added,” I’ll be watching you in Sunday’s NFL game.”

I may be kneeling with the rest of the guys.

Speak the truth. Harm no one.

What we do matters.