Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
How quickly do you recover your good humor after a shock or depression? The capacity to bounce back is called resilience, and it can mean the difference between a joyful life and one of gloom.
Where do you get resilience? Part of the potential for it comes in the personality package you bring to this world. If you look around, you see certain people who seem to be sunnier naturally—even when times aren’t great. Some of us simply refuse to give up and accept misery as our lot in life. I think of it as the positive side of being stubborn. For example, I don’t like to be unhappy and I do whatever I can to avoid it by changing my perspective and introducing fun wherever I can.
“You’ve got a friend” is a common idea in songs because having someone who’s there to give encouragement can make resilience possible. Going it alone is much, much tougher. In previous blogs, I mentioned that disadvantaged children who have no one to believe in them are far more likely to fall into dark, sometimes destructive lives. We humans are designed to work together. I’m not ashamed to say I truly need my friends and family, and I like to think they need me.
Yesterday, my husband and I had our electric power restored after an outage of a week due to a wet and windy snowstorm. Certainly, many people have coped with more stressful situations, but not knowing when our difficulties might end (i.e. when we could stop spending money daily on dry ice, crushed ice, and emergency candles) was a nagging worry. (At least we could be confident our troubles would eventually end.) We were cooking on our wood stove—which was an adequate replacement for our furnace but no help at all with our allergies.
As we performed a happy dance to celebrate the return of the light (and running water!), I couldn’t help but notice how much more resilient we seemed to be when we were younger. We would’ve laughed more during the outage, pretending we were snowbound (in spite of temperatures that rose into the 60’s before dropping again) and taking advantage of our lack of communication with the outside world to enjoy more private time. But, being more experienced, instead we attended to our list of adaptations we’ve learned to make—driving from grocery to grocery seeking the least expensive dry ice, reading novel after novel using headlamps—less fun, more practical. No wonder we felt exhausted when the wait was over.
Those who aren’t happy with the unprecedented actions and ethics of our new government administration need resilience to maintain their hope for a better future until it’s possible. Meanwhile, death, divorce, financial hard times, etc.—we all need to bounce back over and over again. We need to seek out friends and family, find reasons to be happy, and change the rhythm of our lives by doing normal tasks in fresh ways. Resilience is a choice. We choose to believe the sun will come out tomorrow. “Make it so.”