First Things First

Let’s get some optimism in this place

By Lora Felger

May is such an optimistic month, isn’t it? Tulips and trees bloom; young scholars are graduating full of dreams and ambition; moms everywhere are getting breakfast in bed.

With a deep-in-the-heart-of-February birthday, I always envied the Taurus having picnics and pool parties for their birthdays. As a rabid gardening enthusiast, there is nothing more beautiful than a local garden center in May with all those reasons to spend my paycheck.

Collectively as a country, it seems we still have a case of the mopes. Eggs are so expensive I’m considering my own chicken coop in deep suburban Cary. We have very legitimate suffering happening all over the world, and we worry about family members who might be in harm’s way. We open up our social media apps and get a bad case of FOMO looking at people who call themselves “influencers” taking rides in private jets and staying in beautiful, blue-water resorts. Our beloved Tar Heels didn’t make the NCAA tournament this year. Can life get any worse?

If we tell the truth and history shows us anything, the answer is yes, it can get worse. History also tells us that life will get better. To quote my grandmother, “It’s just the way these things go.”

This month of all months, let’s stand up to the blues and get outside! Breathe in deeply and breathe out even longer. Do it again at least two more times. To quote our nation’s president, “C’mon, man!”

Let’s get outside and demand to see something beautiful. Laugh at something ridiculous and breathe some joy into our lives. COVID stopped us in our tracks, and we need collective inertia from each and every one of us to get the joy ball rolling again and stand up to those blues.

Get back to worshipping in your actual church building. Walk around the block, then get in your car and grab a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop for no reason at all. Sit down at the outside table and greet your neighbors you recognize.

In tough times, joy must be summoned intentionally. Let’s make May the month we all bring back our joy.

Lora Felger is a Community Outreach/Medicare Advisor with FirstCarolinaCare. She is the mother of two terrific boys, a world traveler and a major Iowa State Cyclones fan. She also has a naughty yet lovable Yellow Labrador Retriever named Harvey.

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