Saturday, July 27, 2013

When Life Hands You A Green Mess: Part II

To affect the quality of the day,
that is the highest of arts."
~ Henry David Thoreau

Recently I wrote Life's Green Messes: Part I, my little story as a young girl encountering steamed spinach for the first time. Today, here in Part II, I'm thinking about what we can do with some of those other 'green messes' that land on our plate called life.

For I've been learning that it's possible to find the beauty in the midst of 'one of those days'. Here are some things that work for me to make them more palatable:

Look for the funny side of things
It's interesting that most things have a funny side. One day I'm driving around town doing some errands. And I hear a clunk as I pull out of the DQ driveway (yes...getting ice cream was one of the errands). I wasn't sure what it was. I didn't hit anything, I didn't drive into a pothole, but there was a definite clunk.

I arrived at the next stop, got out and found that my left headlight was hanging out of its socket like one of those prank eyeballs on a spring. I was driving a little old BMW at the time, and the idea that this 'posh' little car had an eyeball hanging out just made me roar with laughter. Ludicrous. And it just seemed hilarious that such a thing had happened in the first place. I never even thought to be upset about it, as I couldn't help but see the funny side. I laughed for days.

So use laughter to your advantage. It sure helps ease the tension that can build. Turn around at whatever ugly thing lands on your doorstep and laugh at it. Hahaha, you're trying to ruin my day, but you can't because I'm laughing instead. Joy is stronger than ugly.

Call your friend or sister or mom who makes you giggle 
Not to commiserate or eat a tub of ice cream with you as she cluck-clucks 'you poor thing you'. You need her -- not to cluck -- but to call out the giggle troupes on your behalf. Get her to tell you something hilarious. Maybe that crazy something that made you laugh so hysterically you almost drove the car in the ditch.

There was a moment on my wedding day that got a bit tense. We were under a time schedule for photos at the beautiful conservatory, as another wedding party was booked directly after ours. Things were stalling and I was getting nervous. Tense. I knew I needed some help, but not to have someone commiserate with me. I needed something to release the tension and shift things back to the joy. My sister remembered the perfect funny story (one we'd howled at several times before) and as soon as she started the first line, the funny came back and I knew I was okay. The time line was still tight, but it didn't matter anymore. We still got lots of great photos.
Change your conversation
Two separate friends came to me some while ago and told me that they liked spending time with me because, unlike some of their other friends who tended to pull conversations into complaining sessions, I didn't talk about other people or complain about my lot in life.

And then, more recently, a third friend and former work colleague, got in touch with me to thank me for living out those ancient words of wisdom about choosing to speak only what is good, true, lovely and of good report in our work setting all those years earlier. For she saw those words in action. When a conversation turned negative, I would just quietly remove myself from the group.

How disquieting to get that feedback! What if I had joined in. (I'm not telling you this to boast) But I'm saying that changing your conversation from griping, judging, or resenting will change the atmosphere... for yourself and for others.

Tear up all invitations to pity parties
It's not a luxury. It's not fun. It's not a party. It's a downward spiral that leaves a person feeling lower than an ant under a log at a beach.

Many years ago I was examining everything about my life, looking to kick out anything in my life that didn't line up with what it might look and be like in heaven. And this particular season I was feeling rather sorry for myself that I hadn't met Mr. Right yet.  And so I'd get in the dumps sometimes and feel left out.  Except this particular day, when I felt that 'icky' thing come, I actually raised my hand in the air as if to slam a door shut -- and I mean, slam -- and I said, NO! You not welcome in my life.

Have you ever felt something shake deep on the inside of you? That day I did.  I felt that 'door' slam shut. And any time after that, if it showed up on my front porch, I recognized it immediately and I'd stop it immediately. OUT!

Don't entertain pity parties. They will take you down a path you won't like. And it's so hard to come back. So...when the invitation comes, decline immediately. Don't even entertain the idea. They. Are. Not.Worth. It.

Eat some true comfort food
I don't mean wolfing cookies and tubs of ice cream or a whole cheesecake -- that'll only make you feel worse, literally. But what about food that will truly nourish your soul as well as your body. For instance, the smell of garlic being sauteed in a few drops of olive oil can lift my spirits immediately. Add a few chopped tomatoes to saute, put the pasta to boil, and you've got real comfort food.

And what about the smell of bread toasting... maybe an English Muffin where you add a slice of Swiss cheese to melt all over it. It's the smell that promises something satisfying to come. Something that lifts your spirits and comforts your tummy and doesn't make you feel guilty or ill after.

Find the beauty in the midst of those 'green' days that come to all of us and it will change everything. It might still be green, but now you have the strength to carry on through it.

With big hugs,

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed these thoughts about turning green messes into something more lovely.



To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xox

PS. I do not always comment here, but I do look forward to coming and visiting you....