The Art of Mirriam Neal

//for better or worse

[Note: I am not advocating ‘hiding your head in the sand’ or avoiding important issues. This article isn’t even about politics, although I use them as an example. I completely believe in being informed and able to hold an opinion on important issues. Carry on.]

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with my friend Izzy. She’s one of those people who loves discussing conspiracy theories and politics – and I’m not. Fortunately, we have quite a few other areas where we intersect, and we can spend a lot of time discussing brain types, writing, or humanity in general. I forget the exact question, but she asked me one concerning politics. I told her that I was sorry, but I really hated politics. I have definite views on big issues, but in general, it’s something I really dislike. I was trying to word exactly how I felt about it, exactly why I attempt to avoid politics, and she said, “No, I understand. It makes your life worse, why would you want to spend time on it?”

                I had never mentally put it that way before, but it was true. Reading headlines and subscribing to political or news websites – those are things that I keep abreast of but avoid as much as possible, because they don’t improve my life in any way. They don’t give me more joy I can share. They don’t improve my mood. They usually don’t affect my life, and when they do, knowing the bare minimum has always been enough.

                Too often, we focus on things that make our life worse instead of focusing on the things that make it better. As a result, we’re frequently nervous, frazzled, panicked, rushing, and unhappy; because we’re constantly focusing on things that make our lives worse.

                I don’t want to settle for worse. I want my life to be better. I really do believe that one of the reasons I’m usually happy and content is because I focus on things that make my life better. Right now I’m listening to a peppy kpop girlgroup while drinking my morning cup of coffee and mentally planning what I’d like to get done today. I haven’t checked the news or bothered with any headlines, and most mornings, I never do unless something huge is in the works. I’m completely okay with that.

                Now some people, like Izzy, enjoy those things. They improve her life rather than making it worse. The better/worse ratio is different from person to person, but I would urge you to find the things that make your life better and embrace those while realizing the things that make your life worse and shedding them, letting them go.

                Sometimes, those things we thought were all-important really aren’t important at all; and sometimes those things we thought too insignificant are actually the most significant. Pick and choose. Better, or worse?

breakfast

coffee + toast with mascarpone and apricot preserves. better.

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