Shake it off

Feelings have a way of sneaking up on us in the most inopportune of moments. Like when you’re going to lunch with your co-workers and realize it’s a restaurant you used to frequent with your aunt and you start crying in your car. Then you get there and consider texting that you can’t make it because you just need a <expletive> minute. But they’re all waiting for you. You’re already late, so you rally and go in.

My nephew has this move that I love. His parents taught him to shake it off when he would fall or whatever as a toddler. To ward off tears when he was fine, they’d tell him to shake it off. He’d literally shake his little body and move on with his day. He’s big now. He’s 5 and he still does it. Only now he often adds an, “I’m OK.” Which reminds me of this minion video that you should watch 5,000 times because it’s hilarious and will make you happy.

I keep trying to shake it off and say, “I’m OK,” but things just keep coming up for me lately. I’m talking emotionally. I’m not constantly falling down.

I think most weeks I could handle driving to Applebee’s without crying. Not all, but most. But the last couple of weeks have left me feeling emotional and vulnerable.

It’s been impossible for me to shake off the endless recounts of sexual misconduct that have been filling the airwaves, our Twitter feeds, and our lunch conversations. Even harder is listening to people justify actions that hurt others.

After lunch, my team went shopping. We were putting together gift bags for women in homeless shelters this Christmas. Walking down the toiletries aisle and trying to imagine what I would want if I were in that situation totally got me out of my own head. I thought about how luxurious some nice face wash and warm socks would feel if my whole life was turned upside down.

On this week when all the feelings seem extra powerful, doing that one nice thing for someone who could really use it felt that much more impactful to me.

Published by Candace

I’m a journalist, nutritionist, doting auntie, one-time bobsledder, and wannabe health nut (who loves chocolate and pizza too much to fully commit). I don't want you to think my life is perfect. It's not.

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