Let's hear it for the men!

 When is the last time you checked in with your male friends? Or your husband (if you have one)? This one is about the men in our lives. 

Let's be honest. No one is ok right now. We are all tired of living in historic times. The isolation that we would normally stave off by being together stays. We are slogging through existence like Artax and Atreyu in The Neverending Story. Our swamp of sadness seems to be never-ending and the short bursts of happiness are coming in shorter intervals. 

Now I am going to get around to the question I asked at the outset comes in. As a woman, it is societally acceptable to feel, talk about, and show my emotions. Generations of men have been told that "men don't cry", to suck it up and be the strong male archetype. They have been shown by movies and TV that men only cry silently in the garage, or in the truck on the way to their father's funeral, or when they have to shoot their dog that somehow got rabies. Most men have never felt the release of a really good overwhelmed cry, or how cleansing it is just to sit and be in your feelings. When they do show that they are in bad moods, or try to talk about what is bothering them, they feel like they are burdensome. Then there is more guilt. And the whole cycle begins again. 

I am not really sure how to fix the many years of emotional stunting, or if people really want it fixed or even addressed. But men should be able to watch an emotional movie and eat a box of chocolates without justifying it. Or buying themselves something as a treat if it makes them happy. Well, something beyond a bottle of vodka, some beer, or the midlife crisis convertible. 

Here's a challenge. Check-in. Not just the surface conversation, but really check-in. If they don't or can't talk about it just being there helps, too. And eventually, the conversation will start. We have all been segregated, literally and metaphorically for the last little bit. It could be that a little extra effort could really make the difference for someone you care about right now. And maybe, just maybe you could feel a little lighter as well. 


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