Staying Positive

I lived in three different states before I started school, but then lived in the same house with my parents until I was nineteen. The wander lust took over and since then I have lived in nine different states and have lost count of how many different addresses I have owned. Other than my family and dog, I have two other loves in life, photography and writing. The writing came to me later in life when I decided I could write some good fiction based on real life experiences. Truthfully, many of the things I have done most people would think I was making that stuff up. So, I started changing names and some places, adding a bit of spice, and my writing career began. People often ask me if something in the story happened to me and all I can do is smile. Some secrets are best well kept.

Staying positive can seem impossible in our world of fake news, sad and many times terrible news from around the globe, trolls on social media, families at odds, job stress, believing one must be a perfect mate or parent, and for authors, that lousy book review.

There are as many ways to deal with all that brings us down as things are making us feel negative or sad. From as far back as I can remember, I have been dealing with life through humor. My theory being, crying over some things is a waste of tears. I save those for significant life events. Some may argue that last statement since I used humor during my breast cancer, a life-changing event. Sure I was scared. I cried at first. Then I decided there was nothing I could do about it, and got on with fixing the problem. I hosted a Boob Bon Voyage party to say goodbye to one of the girls.  Drinks, silly hats, beads, photos, and maybe a few more drinks.

My first one-star book review broke my heart. After all the time, hard work, sleepless nights, agonizing over the thought that what I just wrote was horrible, the report so much as proved my worries were not wasted. After reading the review several times, I began to analyze what she had written.

First, the book has a warning, 18 years or older, Adult content.  One comment said there was so much cursing in the first two chapters the reader couldn’t read any further. Of course, I grabbed my copy and started reading again, as I couldn’t remember cursing that much.  Ah ha! I was right. “Boy, if she thought that was bad, I hope she never reads any erotica!”

I was so tempted to write the reviewer back, using my best drunken sailor language. Instead, I visualized the review author in the same situation as the main character in the book. I found myself laughing at the thoughts of her saying, “Oh darn, he just raped me. Phooey, what will I do now?”

I learned that day; writing is like any other art form. What some people love, other’s look at it and think, what the hell is that? My husband and I are like that. While he enjoys modern art, I make fun of all the lines and squiggles. He likes abstract photos, and I’m more of a landscape person. Many eye rolls when we visit a museum of art.

Humor may not work for many, but it works for me. Honestly, I can find humor in myself, everyone around me and everything around me. From the sunrise in the morning to the moon coming up at night.

Many years ago while attending a funeral, I whispered to my spouse a memory of the deceased doing something ridiculous. We started laughing. People are looking at us as if we had lost our minds until I shared the memory. Soon everyone was chuckling or smiling. Later his widow told me thanks for bringing some good memories to light and a smile to everyone’s heart.  Going through life with a smile in your heart and grin on your face is much more comfortable than crying about every little thing.

A sense of humor also makes it much easier to stay positive no matter what we are facing.

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