Midlife Reflections #5

A3

Looking back on everything I’ve done in my life, whether it be good or bad, there are definitely things that I would’ve done very differently.  But I guess that’s how we all would feel if given the power of hindsight.  Some would say that what we did was supposed to happen in order for us to learn a lesson or set us on the right path to where we’re going to end up. 

For someone like me who’s a control freak, especially when it comes to my choice of jobs, it’s truly frustrating when you’ve made a bad choice.  After making that critical decision, whether intentionally, hastily or ill-informed, it feels like an eternity trying to get my life back on track.  Everything seems to be in overdrive just to get back to normalcy; but now every turn, every move I make I second guess myself. 

“I shouldn’t have done this!”

“What the hell was I thinking?!”

“What have I gotten myself into?!”

“Am I going to get out of this jam? And when!?”

All these thoughts run a continuous loop in my head and I beat myself up over making that error in judgement.  We’re all human, but I have high expectations of myself and feel like the whole world just came crashing down on me.  I feel trapped with no option in sight.  

We talk to our family and friends about our predicament to get their advice but it turns into a therapy session where we pour our hearts out in hopes of a quick and easy solution.  We’ve all been there…and we’ll all go there again. 

The one thing that keeps me afloat is the prospect of something better on the horizon.  Yeah, I don’t know how long it’ll take to reach that destination but the idea of finding something better keeps that hope alive.  AND I always hold out for hope!  I always err on the side of positivity.  Why?  Because at my lowest point, that’s all I can do.  It’s much better than the alternative; I can’t just give up.  Throwing in the towel and being resigned to the fact that I failed somehow is not an option. 

There is always a way out of every predicament I put myself in.  Strength and faith is all I need to have to know that it’ll all work out in the end.  Nothing’s impossible to overcome, I just have to be willing to take the first step forward…AND I just did.    

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Cloud1

For all my life I’ve tried to be an eternal optimist in a somewhat pessimistic world.  (To be more specific, I’ve applied that thought to my life as an aspiring screenwriter.) Lately, however, I’ve been trying to adopt that to my personal life.

 You have to believe that otherwise your life would be desolate and miserable.  No matter how bad things may get, you should never feel hopeless because better days do lie ahead.  There is a light at the end of that long tunnel, it may be big as a spotlight or small as a penlight flashlight, but it is there.

 Believe me, there are some days when my convictions and faith are tested to the limits.  A bad day at work, an injury, arguments aplenty, caught in terrible weather, rejected for a prospective job, someone close passes away, illness…the list can go on and on and on.  Everything bad, whether insignificant or huge, becomes fodder for our mind’s consumption. 

 We’ve all been there and I know that each and every one of you’ve said the same thing – “WHY’S THIS HAPPENING TO ME?!”

Cloud6

 It’s times like these when you start to wonder if there’s some validation to all the pessimism out there in the world.  Your outlook starts to look grim and any chance of bliss seems futile.  You begin to get envious of those around you whose luck and good fortune seem to line up effortlessly. 

 Once you get into that mindset, it’s SO difficult to recover; if you can’t, then you become another statistic in a world of pessimistic drones.  I’m not going to lie I’ve fallen into that trap numerous times, enough to the point where I have a plaque with my name engraved there.  But I’ve learned that no matter what, there really is brighter days ahead.

Cloud4

 Anytime you encounter a bad situation and feel like it’s the end of the world…STOP!  Soak in what happened and know that you are not the only one experiencing something “catastrophic.”   There are millions upon millions of people out there going through a similar or maybe even worse situation.  You are not alone!  Turn to God and pray if that’s your faith, confide in family members and friends, or spend time with your beloved pet to get some clarity on your life.

 For every negative thing that happens, there’s some good that comes from enduring our ordeals.  We may be able to see it clearly, it may be subtle or it may reveal itself down the road.  Either way, something positive will always appear. 

Overcome each hurdle one at a time, jumping over the smallest one first.  Clearing one impasse leads the way to clearing the rest of the hurdles ahead of you.

 Who knows, we might discover a new found friend, gain confidence from an underlying skill we never knew we had or learn something useful…there are countless of things that could arise.  So in essence, there is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak situation; we just have to have a positive outlook. 

 We should instead think of possibly the worst situation we could be in and compare it to what we’re facing.  I’m sure it pales in comparison.  We’re alive and we get to see another day; some people are not so lucky.  Just relish in the fact that we’ve conquered past obstacles and live to tell the tale.  That’s an accomplishment in itself.

Cloud5

 So when things don’t go your way, just stop, take a deep breath, soak in all that bad vibes and reflect on your life for a moment.   Look around you, look at your family, look at your friends, examine your life for a bit…reminisce on all the good times and laughter shared.  Revisit all those joyous memories and know that you’ve become a stronger person because of that.  Keep the faith in knowing that there’s always a glimmer of hope in the most dire of situations.

Cloud2