Well, it applies to everything we do. On a personal level, for the last two weeks, I've been dealing with some challenges with a couple of my own family members. The issues themselves aren't relevant, and too personal to share in a blog. However, some of the things I did to stay focused are relevant to today's post.
My parents always taught us to "do our own dirty laundry." You never shared anything personal with a friend, and often I'm not sure they shared stressful issues with each other. I remember being shocked but also proud of my Dad when he'd go with me to the Caregiver's Support Group meetings while we were dealing with my mother's Alzheimer's. Opening up about what he was feeling to a group of people he didn't know wasn't something his generation ever did, let alone cry during the process.
So, when it comes to your own "dirty laundry," what do you do? Here are three things that helped me get back on track:
- Share with your partner: I've written a lot over the years about my relationship with Sheila. So, when something happens that's entirely off the charts in internal pain, there's no one better than my wife. I don't have to keep the old stiff upper lip with her. Whether you're married or not, everybody has that one person you can talk to without hitting a wall of judgment.
- Phone a friend: For me, it was all timing. "Vanelli" and I had planned on hanging out for a guy's weekend, and the timing couldn't have been better. I wrote about it in last Sunday's post, but here's my point. The best thing for me was stepping away from my business, and directly into the fun of photography accompanied by a lot of laughs with a good friend. The image with today's post was captured during a couple of hours of us watching butterflies with a few cameras in our hands.
- Expand your skill set: Over the years many of you have talked about how being a photographer has helped you through difficult times, and essentially saved your sanity. Well, this past week I had a one-hour conference call with "Abba" at Skylum. He took two of us through a demo of Luminar, which is remarkable. I'm now hooked and a complete believer. I had experienced a small demo watching Vanelli when he was working on his images of Molly and me, but getting into it myself was another thing altogether. Again, it kept my mind off the pain I was feeling and into the pure joy of creativity.
Here's my point this morning - I grew up as a right-fighter from a long line of genetically dominant right-fighters. I'm still work in progress, and while old habits die hard, my life is richer letting go of the need to prove I'm right. There's a terrific Dr. Phil line, "Would you rather be happy or right?" The last couple of weeks reminded me, the need to be right is a cumbersome commodity. It accomplishes nothing but takes away from the energy you need to be happy.
The next time you're in an emotional crisis and digging deep to find the strength to focus on your own well-being rather than the challenge itself, do your best to step back and remind yourself of all the good things in your life. Start with that one person you trust the most to help you through the moment then focus on the one person you always forget about trusting, yourself!
Wishing everybody a day filled with peace, and respect for the love you have for your family and friends. And, if coincidentally you're in crisis mode like I am now, take the time to look back at the good times. Run your own "Throwback Thursday" moments through your head and enjoy the process. As always, go for those eleven-second hugs, but during the embrace, think about how much that person means in your life.
Happy Sunday everybody...or Monday if you're on the other side of the world!