I am so frustrated and sad; I feel like I am crumbling, and I am crying while, in fact, I am delighted and thrilled and optimistic.
My dad has an appointment for a vaccination with the BioNTech vaccine, and my uncle as well.
This is hands down the best news I got during the pandemic, and I am optimistic that my mum and aunt will get appointments soon as well.

So why am I crying?
I am crippled with worry about my parents and my aunt and uncle, who are very dear to me. So these appointments mean the world to me. And yet, when I announced happily that I managed to get an appointment after thousands of attempts and several days of trying without success, I accepted the same joy, relief, optimism I felt.
I was met with lethargy at best.
“It’s not the best time, not the best centre, it could have been more convenient, not this, not that, and vaccination is not perfect and listen to this article there they describe how shitty the online system is. This guy said that he felt terrible the day after the vaccination with AstraZeneca, and that’s shit too. The Anti-Vaxxers have been on marches by the thousands again AND AND AND AND AND …” An outpour of negativity, and I can’t take it anymore.

I can not get up each day and give my best when even joyful moments are violently drowned in negativity.
I am not even saying that those points are not valid.
– I have tried for days to get the appointment, and it was super frustrating.
– The booking system, organization and the overall political decision making was/is “not exactly perfect”.
– And yes, there’s a centre about 20min by car closer than the one I got the appointment with.
– Yes, the vaccine is not absolutely 100% guaranteed flawless and never will.
It’s important to raise those issues and improve, and I am sure people are working on them as I type, even if it’s Sunday.
– And I understand that the whole situation, even for people who are enjoying a lot of privileges, is massively draining. I am drained too.
– AND MY DAD GOT AN APPOINTMENT!!! Through all of these obstacles, he has an appointment.
So why not let go and be happy and relieved?
I understand all the negativity and it’s valid too – it’s just not the only thing that is valid. And I know for sure that drowning in it is not the way out of it.
Why hold on to the negativity? Why pour all energy into it? Why focus only on the bad?

I know that’s how humans are wired, the lizard brain and the negativity bias and whatnot, but if we stay like that, how – when – is life even worth living.
How can we change things when all we see is a massive pile of sh*t?
Yes, we need to criticize. We need to question. We need to be honest about the status quo to bring efficient change but please also see what’s good, just for a moment.
When facing the pile of sh*t, maybe also be aware of the sunshine, the birds, the nutrients the manure will we turned into when used as fertilizer.

Maybe let the feedback sandwich guide our attitude for life:
For every complaint, be grateful for two things.
For every hateful thought against yourself, remember to love yourself.
For every criticism, give praise twice.
For every setback, celebrate two successes.

Whatever works for you, please stop pushing yourself – and me – towards a heart condition through stress or depression or gastric ulcers. These things are a reality for too many people already, even if we are not actively pushing for them. We don’t always have the strength to make the world a better place. But maybe we can start by not seeing/ making it worse than it already is?
I am getting better with the self-talk, but I do not yet know how to be around people who ooze with negativity for a prolonged time. In the end, I tried to reason against it, but that – obviously – didn’t work. I was desperate and crushed and mainly talking to myself to get rid of the negativity that had infected me and that I didn’t want to hold or couldn’t hold anymore, and I am sorry for that. That’s what I learned at the retreat – take care of yourself first and then try again once your cup is full. So maybe the learning once again is patience and properly recharge.
I’ll meditate now, and I will choose a metta (loving-kindness) meditation to restore my own kindness. I need it desperately.
If we try to see the world for what it is, there’s enough to be sad or angry or frustrated about, AND there are many more moments when life is good – magnificent even. All I am asking for is letting those moments shine, too and as a note to myself. Let those moments shine for me. Maybe it rubs off a little or not – either way, it did shine for me.
Kudos to my wonderful cousin for being my motivation, frustration AND also “Yes, we have an appointment” party buddy. [Update: Thanks to my cousin’s top-notch collaboration skills all 4 have their appointments now. We are celebrating but I do not expect the same amount of relief and enthusiasm from the recipients 😉 lesson learned. Anyway, vaccinated and grumpy is ok too.]

If the sun is shining, do not close the curtains but go outside.

I am better now – Thank you for listening.
Here’s another thought. I am so drained because I am worried, and I am worried because I care. That’s sometimes all there is and all we can do.
Care.
Do not stop caring.
And when the anger and frustration are overwhelming, take some time to dig into it to find the care that lies beneath, connect with it and then act out of that place.
There are tons of things that anti-vaxxers and I can fight about, but maybe we start the conversation at the point where we agree that what drives us is that we care, and then we take it from there.

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