Should you aim for gratitude and positivity, should you be mad or both?

I’m sorry for the messy title to this post but I didn’t know how to frame that question. Sometimes I think of the breast cancer survivors who have spoken out against the pink ribbons and the commoditization and “pinkwashing” of their illness. There’s a time to be positive, there’s a time to be pissed off, and it’s ok to be both. Sometimes I feel guilty for worrying about my small business when I have so many advantages other people don’t. I work from home and things are not as bleak as they could be. Everyone is going through this, with so many people struggling. I try to count my blessings and do my favorite things, but it’s scary to see things change so much and to think that the world will never be the same. This is just a jumble of my thoughts on this topic using what I’ve learned from various sources.

It’s ok to be mad just don’t get stuck there
The drug-addled buffoon passing himself off as the President after stealing the f’ing election with Russia’s help is going to kill so many people. He and his squad of horrible goons are profiteering off a pandemic. They’re seizing vital medical supplies from the states and making them bid on them. They’re promoting unproven treatments they have a vested interest in. They’re going to do everything they can to steal the next election after doing it in 2016. The economy is in the toilet, kids are going hungry and Trump is still praising himself, attacking anyone who questions him, and lying on television every day. It’s ok to see all this and be rightfully outraged, but that doesn’t mean it has to eat you up or that you have to eat your feelings (although I’ve found that helps). It also doesn’t mean you have to think about this sh-t all day. It’s ok to try to keep your mood up when things are objectively quite bad.

Put this in the perspective of other hard times
Last summer I went through a breakup. I hope he doesn’t read this, but I was miserable at first and had no idea what to do. I read articles on how to deal with a breakup and decided to do most of those things. The first step was acceptance and resolving to let him go, which I did. So that’s kind of like accepting this new reality I guess. It really worked, I got over him by using the other strategies in this list and realized it was for the best.

Connect with your friends
One of the first pieces of breakup advice was to make more friends. I joined a women’s group for women over 40 and went out with them at least once a week. We went dancing, hiking, shopping and to dinner. I couldn’t believe how much fun it was and how welcoming and kind everyone was. I made so many new friends and ended up with a great support group. Of course you can’t go out with friends now which sucks, but you can text, you can video chat and you can reminisce about all the fun things you did. Plus you can always gossip! (If you need people to talk to, join my Zoom group which meets every Wednesday at 4pm. Email me at and I will add you to the invite list! I’m sure there are other video chats you can join too now. If you need to connect with people and are not on Twitter it’s a great resource for making friends with your interests. Add Kaiser, Hecate and me: @celebitchy @kaiseratcb @hecateatcb)

Do distracting sh-t, listen to music and get a hobby
This was another recommendation and it helped me so much. I absolutely love the dance games on the XBox 360 like Just Dance and Dance Central (RIP), but it’s not as rigorous as regular workouts so I don’t make time for it. I resolved to do that and my other favorite things. Just think of times when you were truly lost in a task or activity and try to do that if it’s still possible. I also decided to listen to music more. This is such a simple thing but it really helps. The other day I started bingeing Queen concert videos on YouTube. It improved my mood so much! I listen to my favorite Sirius stations at home: Rock the Bells (43), First Wave (33) and Fly (47). It’s like old school radio with DJs you get to know and that’s comforting. I don’t have many hobbies other than riding my motorcycle and thrift shopping but I am trying to cook more. I’m also baking for the first time. It’s about staying busy. Also, as I’ve said before, lists and plans really help me to stay focused and out of my head. Your results may vary.

Have gratitude and keep a journal if that helps
I’ve been doing this guided gratitude meditation and I really like it. She tells you that you can practice gratitude by making a list, by just thinking about what you’re grateful for and/or by thanking people. I have a blank journal on my desk waiting for me. My idea of gratitude is just a vanilla list like “my son,” “my friends,” “my house,” “my job.” I found this really detailed article with ideas for gratitude journals including comparing your current situation to a year ago, thinking about something helpful you’ve learned recently and writing a thank you letter to someone who has helped you. I’m going to try it today.

I want to end with something I learned from Suzanne and something I’ve heard trainers say: you can use pain and difficult times to upgrade your life. This may be one of the hardest things you’ve ever gone through. You can look back and see that you rose to the challenge, that you worked your hardest, did your best and you didn’t quit. I hope this is not insensitive to people who are truly struggling right now and I am thinking of you.



Photos by Craig Adderley, Andrea Piacquadio and Jonathan Borba from Pexels

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38 Responses to “Should you aim for gratitude and positivity, should you be mad or both?”

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  1. Debbydoo says:

    This is such a lovely post. I’m an extrovert who lives alone and am finding it really difficult (unlike my introvert ex who is happy as Larry).

    I’m so grateful my family remain untouched by this awful disease and at the same time am unhappy to be missing my friends. As you said, it’s OK to be both.

    In the UK we’re fortunate that most people are taking it seriously. The Government have stepped up, although a bit later than they should, and people are looking after each other. My friends in the US you have my sympathies having that tangerine pillock in charge and I hope your individual states are doing a better job than he is.

    Best wishes to everyone xx

    PS I think a return of Hot Guy Friday may help us a little bit…

    • f. Fantyfan says:

      Thank you so much for “Tangerine Pillock”!

      PS-second request for Pandemic Hot Guy Friday

      • Debbydoo says:

        The only thing I can stand about Donald Trump is all the amazing names this website comes up with for him. My personal favourite is Cheeto Mussolini. Or perhaps Agent Orange 🙂

  2. IMUCU says:

    Thank you for the suggestions! I’m going to look at some of the gratitude journal ideas. Also, your description of your women’s group makes me want to find one too (even though I’m an introvert and do better with one or two people at a time, instead of a group).

  3. manda says:

    I read a really interesting interview on harvard business review (someone had posted it on facebook) with some kind of socialist/psychologist who worked with Kubler-Ross in studying the stages of grief about how we are all collectively experiencing grief right now–grief for a way of life that is gone and for things that have changed, and anticipatory grief over what might happen. And that it is important to feel those feelings but also to remember that (hopefully) right now things aren’t that bad and there is a chance they won’t get that bad. And to hopefully find some meaning from the grief you are feeling. I’m not doing it justice, but it was along the lines of what you are saying, try not to dwell but don’t avoid either. I’m hopeful that we will see a light at the end of the tunnel soonish

  4. Tate says:

    Thank you for this post! We are all struggling in one way or another. I had a friend reach out to me who was so stressed that she was doing everything wrong. I asked her what guidelines she was using to judge that she was doing it wrong because none of us know what we are doing right now.

    Be kind to yourself everyone!

  5. Anna says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I’m more introverted than not, but even so, this is a tough time. There’s a difference between choosing to stay at home because you feel like it and knowing you can’t go out to any restaurants or shops. I worry for our local businesses, and of course, I worry for all the people who have been diagnosed. And I can’t help but worry about my job, which has been furloughing employees.

    Anyway, I appreciate this post and this blog more than I can say. I love being able to escape for a little while and focus on something else.

    • LadyMTL says:

      You’ve nailed exactly how I’ve been feeling. I’m definitely introverted / a homebody but I am tired of people making jokes about how happy I must be now that I don’t have to go out and socialize. It’s like they can’t wrap their heads around the fact that there’s a big difference between my choosing to be home and having to stay home.

      I am fortunate enough to still be working, and I am grateful for it, but that doesn’t mean that my life is free of stress. I live alone and still have minor anxieties around being able to get groceries, or how to renew my prescription when my doctor cancelled my appointment…is it a big deal compared to others like hospital workers? Of course not! But my being an introvert doesn’t mean that everything is sunshine and lollipops either.

    • Becks says:

      Me too Anna. I’m more introverted but this whole situation has been very surreal at times. I am very lucky in that I am working from home. but there are some challenges in that. I teach high school art, which is very hands on and now here we are.
      I tell myself I have nothing to complain about when compared to people who are experiencing great loss at this time. I feel bad for those who have lost their jobs and the small businesses that will not bounce back after all this is done.
      I have found that working out, reading, Zoom happy hour with friends and my art have really helped me feel better.
      Celebitchy, thank you for this post. You have managed to put into words what many of us are feeling 🙂

  6. Becks1 says:

    Thanks for this post!

    I’m so mad at everyone who voted for Cheeto Satan. Every morning I wake up and learn about something else corrupt that he is doing or trying to do and I get enraged all over again. Its hard bc there’s not really a good way to channel that rage, I feel like I cant do anything about it besides donate to Democrats. (which I do.)

    but my husband and I have said multiple times to each other how grateful we are – we are both working FT which is hard with the kids home, but it means we get paychecks. We have multiple devices/computers so the schoolwork part of this is manageable. We don’t have any chronic health issues, etc.

    that said, I still allow myself to feel grief over what is missing (my 7 year old is so bummed about missing baseball this spring, we had a family road trip planned to Niagara Falls, etc) because that helps me to process it. Someone always has it worse but we are still allowed to be sad for missing planned events or trips etc. so I am dealing with those emotions.

    • Erinn says:

      Honestly? I think it would be super concerning if we didn’t feel ANY grief over the current situation. It’s so NORMAL to feel disappointed that your plans didn’t work out. It’s normal to be frustrated, it’s normal to be a little irritable here and there. I think it probably helps us work through it a lot better to allow ourselves permission to feel a certain way.

      And I’m not saying go out and make stupid comments like someone like Ellen. But we’re all missing out on things! That does suck. There are loved ones who only have so much time left, and I feel so bitter that I’m losing out on important time that I could be spending with my family. But – I do know it’s for the greater good, and I still do feel guilty for feeling like that. I know I’m incredibly lucky in the scheme of things and that I don’t have it that bad compared to others. And I do feel grateful for that. But there’s still going to be little things that remind us of what we’re missing out on, and I think it’s only natural to be disappointed, and even a little angry once in a while. As long as it doesn’t consume us.

      • Ali says:

        Yes to all of this. I am sad, disappointed and angry but also aware of so many things to still be grateful for and appreciate.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        Right. I think it’s real to feel both, and that we also need to give others (young and old) reasonable room to feel both too, online and offline. This isn’t a situation everybody has already had practice with or lived through before, so not everyone is going to be prepared to handle it smoothly.
        Being able to connect with loved ones out of state and out of the country, the fact that home is a safe place where we have what we need, plus some of what we want, and the century that we live in while this is happening are some of the things I’m grateful for right now. It’s also good to be able to help out (including with our neighbors) and know that relatives who are elderly and the ones with compromised immune systems almost all have someone else helping them out with errands too.

    • JB says:

      just chiming in here to say don’t minimize the losses (baseball, Niagara falls) compared to others losses – Brene Brown says something super helpful about this in her wonderful way (and I just went down a lovely Brene rabbit hole but could not find it). But I am guessing that it is about honoring and going into that loss (for us things like getting her first science award, my son finishing his first year at a new school (HS) & all of the fun things planned, my two nephews and one niece who graduate from HS this year…). Anyway, we too are fortunate to have a house, jobs, income, devices, internet…but the crushing sadness is all around.

  7. olala says:

    I can feel both. I must say (even it sounds awful) I am more relaxed since lockdown as i had to go to non essential work and it was stressing me.
    I am in a shit situation as just before lockdown sale agreed on marital home (bad divorce) and of course at the moment all came to halt. I couldn’t sleep worrying about banks,mortgages divorce, where will i live etc. But knowing many many facing the same it really calmed me.
    I do meditation watching/reading about space (which grounds me)
    But one thing i noticed my clothes/fashion priorities did not change. I actually want shopping so much and daydreaming of going out and what will I wear etc. I want ysl bag so badly that decided will get it for my birthday in lockdown. And then bam! And going down scared and thinking that only to come out alive out of this is matter for my family and friends. And to keep sane with preteenage child:))
    Celebitches keeping me so happy! Thank you! Stay safe!

  8. olala says:

    P.s. strangely alao i feel more connected with people than ever. My old student friends reached out and we have a chat group now. Also so connected with others we doing drink wine parties:)

  9. olala says:

    All this situation made me to look deep at myself and my life. What should i change howshould i live and to be clear of what i want and how to be better to others.
    And i know for sure it will be different. I will live more fully now.

    • MeghanNotMarkle says:

      I’m trying to be as introspective as you. Some days I do alright and some days I fail terribly.

  10. Dhavynia says:

    Thank you for your post, I can definitely relate and I’m actually thinking about joining a group like that, God knows I need it. I have noticed that it has been a very slow process for me to get out there after my relationship with my ex of almost 20yrs ended 3 yrs ago. I have realized that I sacrificed a lot for him and now that he’s gone I have no close friends, I don’t get out much and I doubt myself more and I think about how I was before I met him and I get mad. I don’t know what’s taking me so long so pick myself up but reading posts like this one gives me hope that I can get out of my own cocoon.
    I know this is not so much related to the current situation , but working from home (I am grateful I was able to do it) I’ve had enough time to think about my life and think about what’s next instead of just taking it one day at a time.
    One more thing, SiriusXM’s First Wave (33) is my favorite go to channel!

    • olala says:

      Dhavynia you will be fine! Many of us here went through similar and now my close friend in the same situation. You are aware of yourself and on the right way to make your life better. Despite all the tragedy around i think it is good time to work on yourself. Look at differemt sources of how to reconnect with yourself. Look at melanie tonia evans (helped me to change my life) or “homecoming” meditations

    • Celebitchy says:

      Once the world is not on fire, try Meetup. I also have belonged to co-ed groups but this woman’s only group for older women has been amazing. Hopefully there is something like that near you. You will get through this and I can relate. I LOVE Richard Blade!! He liked one of my tweets at him and I was thrilled.

  11. smee says:

    I participated in the global meditation on April 4th. It felt right to join the collective in positivity instead of endlessly scrolling and becoming outraged over and over (and I continue to meditate daily). The energy you put into things matters – shift your focus. Google the Shumann resonance.

  12. Melissa says:

    This is truly helpful, thank you for sharing. This a refreshing change and I have deeply missed your writing.

  13. Case says:

    This is a wonderful post. Every day, and sometimes every few hours, I feel like I’m feeling something different. It depends on the weather (I am SO GRATEFUL for every sunny day now), but it’s usually just my mood. Sometimes I feel hopeful, other times it’s difficult to imagine a world where I can hug my mom or get coffee with a friend again. Most of the time I feel so grateful for how comfortably I’m able to live during this uncertain time, but some days I’m so anxious I lose sight of that. Most of the time I’m very happy by myself, but sometimes I’m envious of those who have a quarantine partner. I let all the emotions happen to me. I’m trying to be gentle with myself. I work from home, but I tried scheduling after-hours activities and chores, which…didn’t work. I can’t force fun or chores right now. I don’t let myself go into a depression spiral where I just sit on the couch all day looking at my phone, but I also don’t force myself to do laundry that if I’m really not feeling productive. I’m trying to just be balanced, kind to my brain, and kind to my body. Most days, I’ve been pretty happy by letting myself just…be. I’m an introverted only child, so I was already kinda prepared for this, lol. But some days it’s still tough, and my heart goes out to everyone who is struggling. We’re in this together.

  14. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    I am very grateful that my family is healthy and that my husband and I still have jobs. I’m grateful that we live in paradise and can get outside in beautiful weather every day with our kids. But I am also upset at everything that is going on. I’m trying to homeschool a first grader, fifth grader, and ninth grader all while maintaining my job (though my hours have been cut severely), taking care of the house, and keeping my sanity in tact. I’m angry at the loss of income because of this crisis but I understand why these steps are so necessary. So yeah, I feel both and I think that’s perfectly a-ok and normal at this time.

  15. LAB says:

    Thank you for this post. The title made sense to me – Over the past year or so I felt like I was finding my ‘new’ self. My kids aren’t toddlers anymore so they don’t need me every second, so I could have hobbies again. I had found a fabulous group of women in my ball hockey team.
    This pandemic and the lockdown (almost 4 weeks where I am in Canada) has shown me so much about people and who I want in my life. It has shown me the people I know who think my family doctor husband is ‘overpaid’ for what he does. It has shown me which people respect me for leaving an advertising career to be a SAHM for my kids (and which ones think my Mom should be raising them while I go back to work (what?) ). It has shown me who is thoughtful enough to care and reach out to make sure we are doing ok.
    I guess this is my long winded way of saying I have waffled between all the stages of grief but I am aiming to come out on the other side stronger and better. I will stand up for myself and my family and call people out for their hatred, and racism, and rudeness. I will make sure I go back to ball hockey and continue to volunteer when I am able to again.
    Thank you @celebitchy for having this space – It is appreciated.

  16. Mee says:

    Great post. Yes I had to stop watching the Grand Idiots’ daily briefing to keep the anger at bay. I hold on to gratitude, everyday I wake I’m grateful God hasn’t taken me. 15,000 people have been taken in the last few months in this country alone. This plaque will pass.

  17. Valerie says:

    I don’t think you should confine (or resign) yourself to any one state. You can be all of those things and be normal. It’s ok to be mad or sad about missing out on certain things, even if they seem trivial. And if you’re mad about the bigger things, that’s entirely justified, too.

  18. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I’m thankful for this post! I’ve been managing extreme emotions for quite some time. And I feel like I’m an expert by now, but there’s always room for growth (don’t I know it). Through death, tragedies, suicides, verbally abusive alcoholism, raising three boys six and seven years apart, layoffs, it’s been entirely too easy for me to wallow in despair. I miss my loved ones. I mourn two friends who committed suicide. I’ve stayed married and faithful to a man who becomes Mr. Hyde when drinking. And that drinking caused him to trash so many things throughout the years. And trying to be a solid oak tree for three boys, (two of which are adults now) has been overwhelming. And then 2016 came and went and everything I’ve ever taught my children came under fire as I watched our country devolve.

    I can tell you, we can feel everything all the time. My husband has been sober heading toward two years and has a wonderful job which allows him to do things he loves. My oldest is engaged and my middle child is a linguist in the Air Force. We won’t discuss my youngest as he’s 14 and currently on my shit list lol. I continue to live in fear of everything, waiting for other shoes to drop. And I get angry that nobody notices all I’ve done and lived through trying to keep everything and everyone together. I’m angry learning how many horrible awful people there are and angry reading everyday’s news.

    Having coughed up all that, currently nobody in my family is sick. We have plenty of food. We’re able to entertain ourselves with games, movies, books, etc. And jobs are fine as well as online studies. Though we may not live in a grand house, drive impressive cars and have all the latest of everything, we continue to have each other and manage to laugh from time to time lol!

  19. olala says:

    I feel so shallow sometimes too. Looking at online shopping websites and want so much bags, shoes like my life depends on it 😂🤔 i can’t explain that need of having it. Does anyone else feels the same?

  20. Regina Falangie says:

    Thank you for this post. I have been on such an emotional roller coaster and sometimes I feel like I’m the only one. I feel so guilty that my family is doing well, that we are still getting paychecks, we have our health and our home. I find myself punishing myself by trying to imagine and feel the suffering of those who aren’t doing as well. Then I easily slip down a dark hole. How does that help anyone? It’s crazy, I know. I can’t be the only one who does that.
    I’m trying to focus on the good. Some times are easier than others. I appreciate this site and all you wonderful people. I learn something here every day!!! Thank you ❤️

  21. Larissa says:

    I think COVID may have fried my brain, but I couldn’t get the email address to work!

  22. Soupie says:

    What a great post. Thank you. My life is extraordinarily difficult right now, I won’t go into detail but it has to do with being a senior with many fewer options for progress. We’re brainwashed from an early age to progress in life. So much about being older is acceptance and finding peace while discovering what it is we still can do and what we are capable of. I know there are a lot of older women on this site (I’m talking women over 55) and that they can relate to what I’ve written.

    My dr. who is absolutely wonderful told me a few years ago when he was around 40 that he has so many older patients who feel like I did (do) at times. Worthless because we’re no longer able to have the career we once had, because our SS checks are 80% less than our former salaries, because there are fewer jobs we’re actually able to do, because of health issues that can be painful, stubborn, frequent and severe. The list goes on.

    So this post is really great and helpful. I will check out the various options described here. I am a religious person, former long time new ager, yet I strongly believe in a holistic approach to personal well-being.

  23. JB says:

    Thank you. This post clearly resonated with so many of us. Feel the feelings. Cry the tears. And figure out how to channel the anger (damn, there is SO MUCH ANGER).

    Take care & prayers to all.

  24. Laura says:

    I’m kind of all over the place. I’m a bartender, so currently out of work. I get unemployment payments though, but because I’m (bragging but it is true) a fantastic bartender who nourishes real relationships with my regulars, it is a fraction of what I usually make. And, I’m an introvert, so it’s easier on me to stay at home….but honestly I still miss my regulars. And a few of them are high risk, so I spend at least twenty minutes a day worrying over and praying for them (Paul. Peggy. Dean. Mike. Bob. Mr Ed. MGD John. Crackbox John. Hope you are all safe).
    I’m trying to make the best of it. Extending my workouts (safely), doing lots of yoga, reading a lot, going for walks when the weather is nice (you bet your bum I cross the street when I see another person), and experimenting with new healthy recipes. I can’t wait to swagger back behind my bar and scream “I’m back, bitches!!!” but until then, I do what I can.