Day 2903: Living with uncertainty

Living with uncertainty is very difficult, yet we do it every day. Certainty is often an illusion — a denial of mortality and the constant changes we are barely aware of.

Here and now, as we live with the uncertainties of the pandemic and the results of the USA election, the level of uncertainty is very difficult to live with. I’m certain how this uncertainty is affecting me, my family, my friends, and my patients:

  • insomnia,
  • changes in appetite,
  • stress eating,
  • anger,
  • hopelessness,
  • helplessness,
  • worry,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • lack of motivation,
  • a reversion to old unhelpful habits,
  • withdrawal,
  • fear,
  • catastrophizing,
  • blaming,
  • all-or-nothing thinking,
  • mind-reading, and
  • the rest of the cognitive distortions (which I’m certain you can find here).

I’m uncertain how I and millions of other people are going to live with so much uncertainty in the days ahead.

In a sea of uncertainty, I’m certain that routines — like daily blogging — help. I’m certain I have new images to share but I’m uncertain exactly what they are.

I’m certain that I felt less uncertainty about the future when I took those photos than I’m feeling now.

Here‘s “The Courage to Live with Radical Uncertainty” — a Ted Talk given by “Compassion-Driven Oncologist Shekinah Elmore” in March 2020, right before our current age of uncertainty.

Here‘s “Coping with Uncertainty” by MindTools Videos:

What are your thoughts and feelings about living with uncertainty?

No matter how I’m living with uncertainty, I’m certainly grateful to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, blogging, cognitive behavioral therapy | Tags: , , , , , | 20 Comments

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20 thoughts on “Day 2903: Living with uncertainty

  1. your ‘hope heart’ is where I am focused and I’ve never stopped

  2. May at least the outcome become certain soon

  3. May the concrete rules of democracy prevail and the frantic bluster of desperation fade into our past, Ann, of this I hope dearly.

  4. Ann – everythig is going to be okay! It will all work out – you will see. Chin up, my friend!

  5. There’s no uncertainty in knowing that in this election Harley received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for becoming the first kitty to cast a ballot by mail.🐾

    “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity. ” — Gilda Radner

  6. Like you, I’m suffering from overwhelming feelings of uncertainty and even dread right now, for reasons both common and personal.

    After reading your post I think it might be helpful for both of us to do an inventory of the things that we feel certain about. Although nothing is really certain in life, there are some things that we can feel more certain about. I’m certain that when I go to the fridge there’s going to be an egg in there that I can fry up for breakfast. I’m certain that some of my kids left at home last night and are safe. I’m certain that I got a fair bit of painting on the past few days and even though I fell off the ladder twice, I’m going to be able to put our furniture back into the room and restore order to our house pretty soon. The things that are uncertain are pretty scary. Sometimes I do what I can to affect the outcome or remove the uncertainty. I uncertain from reading your posts that you do that, too. And that gives me comfort and makes me feel less afraid of uncertainty.

    I hope that the border between Canada and the United States doesn’t close more firmly in the next while because I am looking forward to a visit from my son, my daughter-in-law, and my grandbaby during Hanukkah. They will do 2 weeks of quarantine at the start of their visit. We have been separated for what is certainly too long.

  7. puella33

    Everything went bad, things can only go uphill. Be optimistic.

  8. I’m living in hope that someone develops an off switch for morons!

  9. The uncertainty is affecting some people I know because they wanted a strong and decisive repudiation of Trump as a way of saying “this is not who we are”. I understand how they feel and he’s not who I am but I’m certain I can’t speak for others. I’m certain there’s deeply entrenched racism in the United States and Trump is a symptom.
    I’m not certain we can be better but I hope so.

  10. The current uncertainty has shown me how foolishly I do reach for certainty, and of course, there never is any. I have reflected this week on the shock and grief we felt earlier this year when the same week Los Angeles County shut down for Covid our daughter received her Cancer diagnosis. We’ve been through a lot of stuff this year…all of us have. We are stronger than any election outcome, even if we are deeply bothered by the current occupant. I still have hope that we’ll install new leadership, but let’s be real, the numbers reflect some very sad conditions that aren’t going to go away. I agree with you, however, on all fronts. And I hold onto hope.

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