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Art is a way to express yourself and through that you can escape a bad situation

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- I was having a conversation the other day about the lack of available spaces to escape these days. It seems like everything is so serious and divisive. Football is no longer just football, it has become a political, social and racial discussion that almost forces everyone that engages –or chooses not to engage –must pick a side. With the uptick of alcohol related incidents last month, going out and relaxing and just having a “good time” is not even as innocent as it seems it should be. The reality of military life, and honestly life in general, is that it is stressful. Stressors are involved day-in and day-out and many of us are just looking to escape. Where can we turn to escape from the reality of day to day life? Where can we find release in healthy and constructive ways? I emphasize “healthy” and “constructive” because we can all find release in unhealthy and destructive ways that will not do any favors to us, our families or our careers.

One way to find that release and that escape is to unleash your creativity. Whether that be on the job, through a hobby, or some other form of personal satisfaction, find something that you are passionate about and have at it! Life is too short to wake up one day and have a long list of “I wish I had tried…” or “I never got a chance to pursue…” quotes in our mental bags. Are you passionate about education? Pursue it! Love writing or reading? Make time for it. Do you find release in your kids and in your family? Invest in them. Do you love football? Watch football! Go out of your way during this holiday season to unleash your creativity.

Finally, another way to find release and escape is take stock of what you have and take time to be thankful. We are in a season that calls on us to reflect over the past year and identify those things for which we can be thankful. Some of us may have had great years, while others may have had a harder go. Whatever your experience has been this year, find something that you can be thankful for. Here’s one: if you’re reading this it means you’re alive and breathing. That’s something to be thankful for if nothing else. Enjoy the holiday everyone.