Dealing with daily indignities or crummy stuff in a delightful way is hardly easy. And still, it’s a great skill for navigating life with moxie, pluck and more happiness. Our lives are not free from challenge, nor is it reasonable to expect ourselves to deal with each challenge with our first response being an upbeat or Pollyanna-esque one.
So, I happen to be someone who wears party dresses to big medical procedures, once had an Amy’s not getting married party when my engagement was called off shortly before a wedding was to have taken place (another lifetime ago, thank goodness!) and I believe that whenever possible, dealing with indignities and crummy-ness in the most delightful way possible is best. But I too sometimes “stink” at doing this and can also get depressed and wallow with the best of ‘em and have my own “pass the chocolate NOW moments,” in life! This is actually one part of why I created Joyfestival Industries…as a way to keep working on these important themes and tools in joyful ways.
Dealing with Life’s Challenges
Years ago, in a story straight out of “Tales of the Single Girl Episode 26B,” I came home from work, exhausted and coming down with a cold. I’d recently had either a bad series of dates or a bad breakup (I can’t even remember.) And on the way home, I bought a French silk pie to cheer myself up. I got home, drew myself a hot bath with Epsom salts, and got into the tub with a fork and the entire French silk pie. I must say that I went to bed in a significantly better mood than I had come home from work with. At this point, seventeen years later, I do not remember the guy or much of the life circumstances at the time. But the pie and the memory of the warm bath stayed with me. And, more importantly, I knew when I got out of the bath that night that without a doubt, “this” would pass and I would be fine in the end.
I hadn’t thought of this moment for a long time. Over the years, I started creating Celebrate Life Soirees and JOYFESTS and other gatherings and Happiness Rooms, both as ways to express my own personal creativity and to help others, as well as to learn to cope in healthy ways.
Then, just recently, something came up where there were a number of transitions and changes and it felt like a barrage of change and growth and yes, what we all term, “stress.” So my “calm moment” one morning after everyone got off for the morning involved my sitting on the couch in the living room, eating Neapolitan ice cream from the container in my pajamas at 7 am for breakfast and having a quiet moment…and just knowing that it was quiet, no temper tantrums, no noise, no major change at that moment. Thank God.
Sitting there in that Neapolitan ice cream moment, I knew then and there, that this time in our lives will pass and all will be okay, and more than okay, in the end. It’s super easy to sink into despair and disappointment or be depressed when something, or many things, don’t go in the direction I would like. It’s better to affirm in difficult times, that I’ve come through so many other challenges before in my life. And to remember that many of these yucky moments have been harder and much less easily navigable at the time than this current challenge might be now.
A mentor suggested to me once, that at the end of each day, I write about the most difficult problem for me that day and how I overcame it. It’s another way to look back and see our strengths at overcoming challenges.
I once had a simple medical procedure, except that it hurt quite a bit. Somewhere in the midst of being poked, I decided to tell myself to, “think good and it’ll be good,” mostly because I realized that any extra worry on my part not only would not help me in this situation, but it could possibly make the situation worse by flooding my body with extra cortisol and fear and I would tense up. So, I focused my mind on healing and only positive things happening. And it worked out okay – the rest of the procedure went quicker and easier, thank goodness.
Every day is another new challenge for all of us. Everyone has the challenge of trying to have more Teflon with the negative in life and more Velcro with the positive. What’s your story of taking the most upbeat approach you knew at the time to a challenging moment in life? Send your story to [email protected]
Would you like to know more about my Celebrate Life Soirees, JOYFESTS, C3-Cards, Crafts, and Connections, and my DIY Happiness Rooms Kits for your home, work, book club or organization gatherings? Visit my JoyFestival Industries Store and raise YOUR “Joy Quotient!”