Don’t Be a Downer, Y’all

Photo Source: LexScope via unsplash

Kat Kelly – No, seriously. The title of this piece might seem weird, obvious, or snarky – and I cannot stand the word “snarky” (sorry, not sorry, but sorry). But, truly, I mean it.

Let’s dig in, shall we?

Misery often does love company; however, in trying to relate to other people, we should check our motivations. Even when we mean only the best, we often forget that the recipient of our communications does not live inside our heads and hearts.

There’s a Pretenders song, “Middle of the Road.” That song seems so appropro when you think about Chrissy Hynde rocking out:

“The middle of the road is no private cul-de-sac
I can’t get from the cab to the curb
Without some little jerk on my back
Don’t harass me, can’t you tell
I’m going home, I’m tired as hell
I’m not the cat I used to be
I got a kid, I’m thirty-three”

Only some of us are a little older than 33….but, that’s neither here nor there…

The point of this is, when you’re smack dab in the middle of life, or perceived mid-life, things are changing. Friendships, families, life, hormones, jobs, interests, you name it, sometimes it seems like it is all shifting very quickly. Even too quickly.

Be patient with yourself. Be patient with others. Take the time to know – really know – that others are not experiencing things in the same way you are.

We often look to one another for the things that lift us up. As we age, it can become easy to get a bit jaded. We want to be knowledgeable. We want to me smart. We want to help. But, sometimes that help doesn’t really help.

As I pick up a piece that was started two years ago (the one you are reading right now), I can assure you that we are living in weird times here in the United States. We are seeing division. We are seeing sides of others that we never knew existed. Some of us have weathered the last few years better than others. But at the center of things, we must not lose site of our own humanity.

At some point, we will come back to center. I have to believe that. But for the moment, the best thing we can do is accept it and find ways to cope and work towards making ourselves the best we can possibly be. For me that has meant: loving my family with a fierceness, focusing on my work, building out my passion project here at Vexteo, learning how to breathe (goodness I hold my breath….a lot), taking one step at a time, and doing my best to be kind, yet holding my own ground when I need to, and protecting those I love.

I fall into traps of darkness, but I know I am human. I look for paths out and I start paddling in that direction, no matter how slowly I must go. You can do the same. Mr. Rogers used to say, and I often tell my children, “look for the helpers.” With that in mind, I highly encourage you not to fall into the trap of darkness and become it. Look for YOUR helpers.

We can share details about what is happening and negatively impacting our world without becoming that negativity. Don’t become the darkness. Don’t become the downer. And when you are feeling a little lost, let Mr. Rogers center you. If that doesn’t work for you, find your favorite jam, go for a walk, practice breathing, look at the trees, take a ride, exercise, or do whatever feeds your soul.


Kat Kelly is the founder of Vexteo and really does love humanity.