Celebrate 100 Things in 100 Days

I’m sure you’re well aware of the Casey Anthony trial, the verdict, and all the controversy surrounding it. I’ll explain what little about it that I do know, if you haven’t heard already, but if you want more info, take a look at this Wikipedia page. Essentially what happened was this: A young mother was on trial for the murder of her two year old daughter, and after a long trial where the mother lied many times to the court, Casey Anthony was declared innocent of murder, and a lot of people are mad about it. They’re comparing it to OJ, saying that they’ll all remember where they were when they heard the news. It’s that bad.

My Facebook feed is still brewing with statuses exclaiming disbelief and anger about the verdict. It’s pushing the boundaries of shock and awe, and climbing steadily toward malcontent and violence. I don’t follow politics, and I feel that I don’t know enough about the case to form a strong opinion either way, but after seeing the flood of emotions come through Facebook, I’ve decided that I don’t want to know more.

I’ve read status after status condemning the accused and the judges alike, and it’s hit me: Why do we all care about this so much? Why are we letting ourselves get so angry over something that we have no control over?”

I haven’t even formed my own opinion about this case, but just seeing what it’s doing to my friends is upsetting. There’s this out pour of rage and indignation and I know that it’s not just because of the Casey Anthony trial. This is something that’s building up in our generation. We’ve grown up with an economy that sucks, constant troubles in the Middle East and elsewhere, and don’t even get me started on the environment. Of course we’re stressed and ready to blow up at any minute, and it doesn’t help that I can’t change ANY of those things. I am absolutely powerless to do anything for the economy, the Middle East, and I recycle, but that’s about as much as I can do for the economy at this point in my life.

So, I’ve made a decision.

Instead of being angry about what I have ABSOLUTELY no control over, I’m going to do 2 things:

1) I’m going to start taking my happy pills again.

2) I’m going to be completely cheesy and celebrate 100 things that mean a lot to me in 100 days.

3) And I’m going to avoid the news as much as I can. The fear mongering has become too much for me personally to handle.

There is SO MUCH anger in the world. I can’t escape from it. There’s anger, and fear, and despair, and loneliness, and angst and… it’s overwhelming. I go to bed every night feeling like tomorrow’s going to just be another complete disaster (and of course that means I don’t get any good sleep).

I can’t do anything to fix these global issues (I’m not the type of person to start a political committee and ‘get things done’. I just don’t have extra time or energy for that), but I can take a look at my own life and choose to see good things.

I can look at my house and choose to see it as a symbol of my independence as opposed to “the little dump in the ghetto that I only live in because it’s all I could afford.”

I can look at my little basil plants and remember that gardening breathes life into my home and how it helped bring me out of my depression in the first place.

I can look at a loved one’s smile and thank God for blessing me with that moment of joy that I’m sharing with them.

I can choose to be happy and content with my life. Right now, as I sit at my computer, I have exactly negative two dollars in my bank account, and I won’t get paid again until Monday. But it’s ok. Instead of being worried and upset that I’m not going to be able to do anything this weekend I’m just glad that I was able to pay my rent.

I can choose to be upset about these things or I can think, “Well, maybe it’s just as good that I won’t be able to go out this weekend. I can finally refinish that coffee table that I’ve been meaning to.”

I’m not saying this is an easy thing. I didn’t just decide to do this and immediately started flying around with rainbows and unicorns everywhere. I’m still going to have bad thoughts, and it’s work to have to force yourself to counter those thoughts with something good, but it’s SO worth it.

Already today I made the decision to call my Grammy on my way into work, instead of being mad about my long commute and traffic. By the time I pulled up to my office, I was wishing that the traffic had lasted even longer. So just take some time and mental effort and you’ll see how quickly you can turn your day around.

13 By Sam Foster | Sam is a 20 year old part-time college student and full-time office manager in Charlotte, NC. She’s a bit of a hippie, a complete foodie, and has always dreamed of being a guest blogger. She’s recently decided that maybe she needs to set bigger goals, but she’s still happy to be here.

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4 Comments

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  1. I really appreciated this article and its truthfulness. This is my first time on this site and Ive never typed a blog article/response before but I love how expressive it looks! And it must be freeing for the author to write it as It definitely refreshing for me to read it!
    I remember this time when the casey ant. story was all over the news. It really made me look at people differently and I felt just as you felt! Thinking it was def a horrible tragedy story. But I held my thoughts together because in america i had just remembered the troy davis trial was also going on. And I remember feeling that nobody was paying attention to his verdict of being put to death!! However the difference in his case was that there was reasonable doubt that he may not have committed his crime. Yet a possibly innocent man was erased from this earth. I had to mourn for this man because all the cameras i felt WERE pointing at Italy.
    When i look at the world we live in it is very easy to feel isolated and fall into the dim state of mind that keeps us a mass consuming and uncompassionate society. However it is blogs like this and people like you all that truly move me, and help me maintain hope & love for us all.

    • Mia, thanks so much for your comment. I hope you come back! Have an awesome day.

  2. I have been following your blog for a few weeks now, and what you write here, I have also been thinking. And I wanted to comment, but then I wrote a book instead. So here you go:

    My fiance believes that all the suffering and uncertainty in the world is beautiful and romantic, and that we are all the heroes of a tragic adventure. He loves watching world news about terrible things in far away places, but I can’t do it. It is too hard for me to separate myself from feeling empathy for everyone involved, and despite being an optimist by necessity, I have realized that at heart I am really kind of a pessimist. I see how everything could be worse, and I am always grateful and happy for what I do have, sometimes so grateful that I am overwhelmed by it, but as I get older I realize that it is my lack of faith in what could be better that holds me back sometimes. It is easy to look at the world and see how everything is messed up. We are born with challenges that seem to be insurmountable, so many humans just don’t seem to have what is needed in life, and so many others seem to take what they want with no though for tomorrow, or for who they hurt. People are resistant to thinking logically in the long term, if they even have the capacity, and the world melts down around us every day. It is hard not to get caught up in it.
    But then, as a student of history, I realize that things never been so good! I mean literally! Poverty in a first world country today is such a far cry from what life was like to live without resources a hundred or five hundred or a thousand years ago, that the fact of being fairly sure of being alive next year at this time is the kind of luxury that would have blown the minds of poor and rich alike throughout history when lack of sanitation, violence, lack of information, limitations of transportation, complete lack of empathy or relativity on a worldwide scale, and the social structures in place to both explain and legitimize inequality could kill a vulnerable (poor) person without notice at any time. Humanity is all about keeping going because that is all that can really be done. It is no surprise that world religions emphasize sin, or samsara, or suffering as a basic truth of reality.
    But then you can see how far we have come. To the point that anyone cares about that girl. To the point that we can share our thoughts and resolutions from halfway across the globe and find something in common with a person we have never met but who has said what we were just thinking ourselves. This is evident in the presence of food choices, education, some level of security and rights, even if we have less money than average, and for that matter, as women. And if all that can spring up in just a few hundred years, it seems obvious that things are going in the right direction. I mean for example, we can be offended by racism that we see out there on a regular basis in society and shake our heads, but the civil rights movement was only a few generations ago. We can still meet and talk to those who lived through segregation. For that matter, the civil war was only a few generations before that! Things take time, but they always get better in the end. You don’t need to get into politics to get things done or to be a part of changing these things. You just need to care about them. As Sailor Moon told me this morning, it isn’t a girls appearance that makes her beautiful, but a kind heart and a love of justice. (And I would say that is true for men too.)
    I think it’s true because it doesn’t take an individual to change the world, it takes a critical mass of humans who think the world should be changed, and who take small actions, when they can. Individuals are only important in the present moment, but if we live only in the present, there is no room to hope for the future. If we live in the context of all of history and the future, then we can see that as a species, we are riding a choppy wave to paradise. Maybe there will be setbacks in our lifetime, but things get better. Always.
    And one of the best ways to take action in my opinion is by finding a smile and a good attitude to pass on to others. It is hard, but it benefits everyone and most of all the one who puts in the work to do it. I read that for each happy friend we have, we are 10% more likely to be happy. But for every unhappy one, we are 30% less likely. So our good attitudes are needed by everyone! Who is out there who might not have the energy to do what is needed if not for the reassurance of strangers out there that can be happy in life despite the sin and suffering and brokeness of the present moment.

    So basically, I have been thinking the same things, but I wanted to let you know that far from not being able to do anything, what you ARE doing helps. And that whatever it takes to keep the rainbows and unicorns coming,it is totally worth it, both in your life and for the whole world. So thanks for being a voice for happiness and beauty in the world. <3

    • Laura, what a magnificent comment. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us! I want to see an article from you about this topic in the near future 😉 (no, seriously…)