Saturday, July 27, 2013

When Life Hands You A Green Mess: Part II

Josh Calabrese /
"I don't have too many bad days because I don't let them happen. When I'm having one of those days, I'll just be like, 'I'm not going to let this be a bad day', and I'll do everything I can to turn it around." ~ Matt Dallas

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. You see, I've been learning that it is possible to find the beauty in the midst of 'one of those days'. Here are some ways that work for me to make it all 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 Dairy Queen ice cream was one of the errands). I wasn't sure what made the noise; I hadn'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.

Laughter in most situations helps to ease the tension that can build. Stare down 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 that one time.

There was a moment on my wedding day when it got a bit tense. We were under a tight time schedule for photos happening at the beautiful conservatory; 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 got lots of great photos and I felt great.
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.

A little unnerving ... and so humbling to get that feedback. What if I had joined in -- I felt a little warm at the possibility. Not to boast, but to say changing our conversations from griping, judging, or resenting will change the atmosphere... for ourselves 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 picnic.

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. In this particular season I was feeling rather sorry for myself that I hadn't met Mr. Right yet; I'd get in the dumps and feel sorry for myself.  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 the feeling showed up, I'd stop it immediately and say, No, not welcome!

I learned not to entertain pity parties. They will take you down a path you won't like, and it's so hard to come back to happy. When an invitation arrives, decline immediately. Those. Parties. 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 xo