Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode! I am Cocoa Griot, a fifty-something who is not going to keep you long but strives to keep you strong. Have you ever had one of those days that was so intense you literally wanted to rip the day off the calendar and pretend it never happened? I experienced that last week and then I had to scold myself for allowing myself to get in the negativity zone. I have ingredients that I keep on hand to enhance my happiness and when I summoned them, my blue skies dissipated and there was sun shining in my life again. Let me just say I am only speaking based on my own experience. Ithought I would share a little info about what turns me around when I am down. This evening I was to share with you my ingredients for happiness: loving wisely, giving freely, and laughing frequently.
What does love wisely mean? I believe that when you love wisely your eyes are always wide open and you don’t overlook red flags when they are paraded in your face. A couple of sayings from my mom and grandmother come to mind when I think about loving wisely. Everything that looks good to you ain’t good for you my mom used to say. That handsome man or striking woman could be the source of immeasurable trouble dear listeners. Sometimes we are fascinated by a person’s outward appearance and we don’t take into account the inside may not be attractive. This is the case with he=who=shall-not be named. He was strikingly handsome but nutty as a fruitcake. A saying my grandmother shared with me describes my situation with he-who=shall-not-be-named. “The same thing that can make you laugh can make you cry!” In my case, it would often be within the same day. There was such an emotional roller coaster ride I would teeter between elation and despair in the span of a few hours. Now what does love look like for me? Loving wisely involves making self-love a priority. Understanding that when I am healthy and whole, a relationship has a better chance of surviving than when I don’t make myself a priority. On that day when I was struggling last week, I just focused on pampering myself. That was the downpayment on elevating my mood.
Living freely is easier said than done. I have a few strategies I like to employ which support this goal. One of the most difficult things for me to do, but it is absolutely necessary, is to recognize when my cup is full. Part of me sees this as giving up, but the reality is it is a self-preservation tool. When you chain yourself to a task it can drain you. I find myself overly committed to doing things for others sometimes. This eats up my available free time and it is difficult to stay emotionally upbeat when you feel like there is always something to do. I am going to say this and please hear me out. Voicemail exists for a reason. You don’t have to answer every call, text, or email immediately. There are times when you have to liberate yourself and just be free. It seems we are conditioned to quickly respond to communication once we receive it, but that is not the ideal way to live. I unplugged for a little while last week and it was an incredibly enjoyable experience. The biggest piece of advice I am sharing is know when you are at your limit, and out of respect for your own sanity, take some downtime to re-energize yourself. Don’t get caught up in the Atlas complex. You don’t have to take on the weight of the world!
The most effective part of my trifecta of improving my mood is to laugh frequently. There is a library of material on Netflix, youtube, and old sitcoms that I consult when I need to lift myself out of the dumps. I recognize that everyone has different tastes in comedy. I enjoy clean comedy because I want to be able to recommend the subject matter to all types of people. It amazes how Lucille Ball working on the chocolate factory assembly line still makes me chuckle like it did years ago when I first saw that episode. Beyond the classics, there