Thick rubber bands seem unbreakable. It takes effort to pull each end. In contrast, breaking a thin rubber band takes little effort. This is how my wife, Jill, summarized the current state of the world the other day.
It seems like we all start out as that thick rubber band in the morning, jazzed for what the day has to offer us and feeling a bit unbreakable. But when we head to bed at night, we feel like a broken, thin rubber band.
During the shorter winter days, Jill and I often feel like crawling into bed early because it’s so dark and cold out, and 8 p.m. just feels like midnight.
Jill came home the other night and shared that things that were minor inconveniences last year now seem to transform people into raging dumpster fires. At work, she recently observed a colleague yell at someone because the person sneezed too loudly.
She usually lets people vent because most of her family and friends just need to talk about their feelings. Talk therapy, she calls it. Venting, she said, doesn’t seem to be working very well lately. Many people are having a difficult time staying positive.
I understand that this is an unprecedented time in history, and we are all stressed. But Jill knows that her Huntington’s symptoms get worse when she is stressed, so she and I have decided to work on becoming more positive, which we hope will help her be calm no matter what goes on around her.
The goal is to try to be more thoughtful in our actions and words. Instead of complaining that the line at the grocery store is too long, we will be grateful we are in a warm place with enough money to eat. Instead of being upset when the alarm goes off at 5 a.m., we will be happy we have jobs.
We always try to be that way, but it’s often easy to get caught up in the conveyer belt of crabbiness that surrounds us. Instead of falling into that trap, we decided to do a 21-day negativity detox with real-world consequences to our actions. We placed a jar in our living room, and we will keep track of all the times we falter. Every time we are negative, we will put a dollar in the jar.
At the end of 21 days, we will take the money, which represents our negative behaviors, and turn it into a positive by donating it to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.
We are taking the gene-positive nature of the disease my wife and daughter have and turning that negative into, you guessed it, a positive.
If you are inspired, maybe you can do the same in your own life: Get a jar, put money in it when you are negative, and then donate to your favorite charity at the end of a specified time period.
In this way, we can contribute to a more positive and giving world.
Note: Huntington’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Huntington’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Huntington’s disease.
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