“out”- moving or appearing to move away from a particular place, especially one that is enclosed or hidden
“let”-not prevent or forbid
“outlet”-a means of expressing one’s talents, energy, or emotions
I am fascinated by this word, outlet, a word that’s been speaking to me lately for some reason. While I’m stopped at red lights, daydreaming, or sneaking some quiet time, the idea keeps coming back to me. OUTLET.
Organizing a race and fundraising event is not simple task. There is a lot more that goes into a one-day event than I ever imagined, and the jury’s still out on whether Starry Night Knoxville will be profitable. My gut feeling is that it’s worth it , though, either way.
Recently, I have had a few friends ask me how I’m doing it, or make statements like, “I don’t know how you’re doing it.” With a new school for me, back to work as a counselor, and trying to juggle the demands of motherhood, it does feel busy at times. Not a bad-busy, but a good-busy. I enjoy doing it. This brings me back to ‘outlet’: a means of expressing one’s talents, energy, and emotions. Organizing this race is my most current outlet, the choosing of where to express my energy and time. This outlet has felt like a calling, or just what I needed to do as I have considered it since last fall. It just feels good to be attempting to do something good.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s my means of not getting stuck. It’s my way of moving away from bad feelings or times of hurt. It’s my way of forbidding negativity to overtake my world. It is the way I express my energy. Because we all have time, and we all choose what to do with it. Right now, I choose to keep focusing on positive outcomes.
Not only does the word and action, ‘outlet’, work for me, I see it work for others too. When I counsel kids who are stressed, upset, or hurting, I have discovered those who hurt the worst are those without outlets. Kids who lack true hobbies seem less resilient, and overall, less happy and less likely to get over stressors. Without ‘fun’ or positive things to do and think about, what are we left with?
It’s easy to get depressed or stuck when we have nothing to look forward to. The daily grind, for children or adults, can just get old. The most successful or positive people I know, both young and old, are those with hobbies or ‘outlets’. We have to have channels for our energy, our physical and mental energy. Without a distraction from the challenges of life, these outlets may show up in negative channels: depression, hateful actions, gossip, hurt, abuse, and apathy. Our energies will go somewhere. We need direction, and sometimes we have to create this for ourselves and choose the best outlet so it doesn’t choose us.
Exercising, writing, reading, helping, volunteering, coaching, adventuring, traveling, praying, loving. Choose an -ing, and do something! Don’t fold and allow the let-downs to take you down. Choose to move away, or get out of your head. An outlet will motivate and stimulate us. Outlets are what keep us moving ahead instead of getting bogged down and stuck.
We need to urge our children to have an outlet, something they’re passionate about. (* And, something besides video games, Brody! We need an -ing!) We need to choose our outlets and keep ourselves healthy so that we can give positive energy back to the world. Even if it only appears to benefit us, positive outlets impact those around us to. Making ourselves happy, and not just expecting it to happen automatically, takes some work. But, with the right outlet, it just might be done!