Is there a word for feeling contentment and sadness simultaneously? I am ever thankful for the life I live. I think those of us who are still breathing have some luck associated with our existence. But I am really, really lucky. I have a support team in my life that comes at me from all angles; I have enough food to eat, and a car to make an escape in if the going gets tough. And yet, there is this consciousness that sits next to all my joys. I struggle to ignore it.

I try to focus on the beautiful things in our tangled world, the birds in the backyard scavenging all my birdseed away in just mere hours, or the sun coming through the trees as I wait for the kids to get out of summer school. But I wonder. Is that okay? Am I allowed to be content? There is war all over our pretty globe, and just a few days ago a beautiful young woman chasing her dreams was senselessly killed. More than 50 others were brutally murdered for doing what we’re all trying to do, be happy. I am angry. I am sad. I am thankful for my own life. I’m caught in a constant struggle between feeling happy and feeling a little scared of the world we all live in together. If I go about my day as usual, it does not change the fact that someone else just a few states away, maybe even a few doors down, is grieving so hard they feel their entire soul will break. And how do I just simply do my laundry, fix the kids lunch and clack out a blog post like I’ll get another tomorrow? I do not know.

I guess I have to teach my kids how to be kind to all others and to understand that most people are extremely loving and good-willed, but that there is evil in this world. We must not let that win. We must help others, protect our loved ones, and we must go on with our happy lives to smite the fiends who try to break us into pieces.


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