Outlook Is Everything
One of my favourite (and well used) items in my make up bag is this - notice it's called "concealer/highlighter". That does not make sense you may say, and you'd be absolutely right. However, in spite of the fact that those words mean opposing things and therefore one item cannot possibly serve both purposes - it actually DOES both conceal AND highlight!
Having just started to crawl out from under my winter blanket fort which, as always, started off as a snug and alluringly cozy place to be before becoming a tangled claustrophobic nightmare of stifling atmosphere. I am remembering once more, and again as if for the first time, that outlook is everything.
When I was a teenager I had a pair of sunglasses with pink lenses and they were my favourite thing. I wish I still had them but no matter how many times I put my hand to my head, they're still not there (usually when I cannot find my sunglasses, they're on my head. I yell at everyone around me asking if they've seen them only to see them smirking and shaking their head at the thought of what has become of my once towering intellect - at least that's what I tell myself). It turns out "looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses" is a real thing. I would wear them all day as I went about my business and had a generally happy time, but when I had to remove them the world appeared as your mantelpiece after Christmas - a visual representation of a disappointed sigh.
To get back to the concealer/highlighter. This morning, I was part way through applying my make up when my son made me laugh. And the face in the regrettably magnified mirror turned from "porcelain veneer of strikingly ageless smoothness" to "papier mache rendering of crumpled paper bag crafted from dried fish skin". When the initial shock had worn off I realised these are simply smile lines. And the concealer that hid my eye bags so well was highlighting them. Like the marks a prisoner makes on his wall, these are undeniable proof of all the thousands of times I’ve grinned and laughed. And I'm so very grateful to have had so many things in my life to smile about. They looked completely different when I had decided to be grateful for them.
My next example involves some interactive participation from you. Do the following: lift your arm as if you are demonstrating your biceps. Now take your other arm, reach across and grab the underside of the "muscle demo" arm. This wobbly piece of flesh right here is known as a bat-wing here. In Britain we call it a "Bingo wing" because they tend to be prevalent in the bingo playing community and get waved about as a cry of "BINGO" is called. This is a part of my body I was deeply ashamed of and always tried to hide as much as possible. I certainly never waved my arms about and celebrations for me involved more of a Riverdance type movement than anything else. However, I have discovered that in Australia "nan flaps" are called ...... dramatic pause ..... FADOOBADAS. Is that not the best word you've ever heard? Not only is it fabulous to say, it's also onomatopoeic (well, my fadoobadas make that noise anyway). I no longer hate my sugar gliders, I embrace them. In fact I am working on developing them into super-duper-fadoobadas or fadoobadoobadoobadas. See? Outlook is everything!
In the midst of hard times gratitude is often difficult to find. When you are sunk in misery and you can’t seem to hear God or feel his presence it might be a good idea to go and look in a mirror and smile. There on your face is the undeniable evidence of past joys, a fully completed to-do list of happy things in your life. And you can be sure there are more to come, after all you will NEVER be this wrinkle free again.