I’m not feeling it today, the guru inside me is pouting in a corner with a blanket over its head. This doesn’t mean I’m a bad writer, wife, mom, or bad anything else—it means I’m human. Not every day is gumdrops and lollipops, and that’s okay. I’m not going to pretend I always have a “Paula Positive” attitude. It wouldn’t do you, or me any favors. Today I’m wallowing in the sucky-side of life, giving it my full weight—so there. I hope I squish it dead. There is one positive I can see. Giving up today gives me all kinds of energy to try again tomorrow.
I’ve had some pretty crazy epiphanies over the years. They happen in all aspects of my life, from parenting to work, but whenever they happen, I’ve learned to follow. There’s something about those gut instincts that never seem to lead me wrong. It would be nice if they happened all the time, because of the assurance I get from them. Nothing is more comforting than knowing you’re on the right path every once in a while. But sadly, there are usually great spans of time between those moments. How I overcome the anxiety of moving forward without that assurance is to remember the epiphany I originally had. It gives me the strength to keep moving blindly into the unknown until I get another one of those magical moments.
Life seldom goes as planned. I could stop right there for today, that is wisdom enough, but as you’re probably expecting more I’ll add another insight to this truth. I’ve had enough of life’s “curve balls” thrown at me to know it’s best to deal with them by staying positive. I also know when the curve ball is bad enough staying positive almost seems impossible. But…and this is the important part…I’ve never seen my frustration, anger, or a desire to blame ever fix a situation. In fact, it usually compounds whatever problem I’m facing.
So when the weather decided to dump a ton of rain the night after we dug trenches to put sprinkler lines in this past weekend, I trudged through the mud with shovel in hand and a smile on my face.
“All that rain will make the dry hard dirt we couldn’t move for the patio last night easier.” I tell my children, going for that positive spin.
Right then my husband hunched over one of the muddy trenches laying sprinkler pipe just had to speak up. “A hose could have worked just as well too.”
“Thanks honey,” I said gritting my teeth so hard my smile might have looked a little sinister.
Don’t you just hate it when your spouse kills your positive reinforcement? I guess I can’t be too upset. Cold, and covered in mud the whole day, his job was way harder than mine.
In my teen years, I had many opportunities to use and strengthen my talents. I hit about twenty-five and no one seemed to ask me to do anything anymore. For a theater person who loves to entertain that’s a pretty tough pill to swallow. Then I realized the fault for the dry spell was my own. We had moved to Las Vegas to further my husband’s work experience. No one knew who I was or what I was capable of doing. What had I expected, people to take one look at me say, “oh such talent, how have we survived this long without you?”
The reality is the world is brimming with talented people. If you want to be a part of it, speak up. And that advice isn’t just for those of us who love to sing and dance. If you have gifts and ideas to better the community around you, tell people, get involved. Don’t wait for somebody to ask, or those opportunities you’re eyeing might go by without you.