Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rose-colored Lenses

    I'm not a big fan of looking at life through rose-colored lenses. I like to think I'm more of a realist. I strive to see things the way they are, as opposed to the way I want them to be. At the same time, I lean toward optimism. I believe that I can create the outcome I envision and cause things to go in the direction I desire. I don't think this will all just magically occur because I wish it. I know there is hard work involved - that I have to do more than just sit back and dream a lovely dream. I know there can be detours along the way, not to mention outright obstructions, but I feel I will win through to the end if I just keep my eye on the goal and persevere. When something bad happens I try to learn from the experience, so I can avoid it in the future and incorporate it into my journey in a way that propels me forward. Sounds reasonable, huh? A winning formula for success! Not quite rosy, but perhaps a touch of mauve...

    So, in the interest of keeping things real and providing a clear and unobstructed view, it's time to reveal my flip-side. There are days where I just want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers up over my head. A storm moves in, bringing thunderclouds of dark negativity and it begins to rain, rain, rain on my little parade. Sometimes (I like to think most of the time, but I'm not an impartial observer) I grab my metaphorical galoshes and umbrella and slog my way through, shouting out mental words of encouragement; "This too shall pass! "Focus! Focus!" "Just get to work - what's next on the list?" "Don't give into that @#%^&*!" "Can't make a healthy omelet without  paying a premium price for cage-free eggs and separating the whites!" (Ok - I made up that last one just for fun :0)

But, there are times when I just give in to the dark side. I don't know why exactly. Maybe I didn't get enough sleep the night before. Maybe it just suddenly seems easier. Or, maybe life is just a big computer game and I used up all of my Magical Optimism fighting the Demonic Demons of Darkness and now have to die a virtual death and be re-born before I get any more. (I like that idea! Can I get a new avatar with a younger body?)

   Whatever the reason, suddenly it's a full-blown Pity Party just for me! The room is dark, but  nobody's there to turn on the light and shout "surprise". Oh look, there are banners! So uninspiring! "There's too much out there - you'll never get noticed!" "Nobody even knows you're there!" "The Universe is conspiring against you!" "None of this matters anyway!" "What's the point of even trying?"

   There are games to play, but they're a bit depressing.  Act Like You Don't Care About Anything; that one's almost too easy - a child could play it. Nothing Can Make You Smile; always a crowd-displeaser. You don't even have to dress up! In fact, it's best just to stay in your pajamas. No need to take a shower or comb your hair either - why bother? It's the perfect costume for the "Nothing Really Matters"party theme!
   (Ahem.) Is it too late to pretend I didn't just write that? Cuz, I'm thinking maybe those rose-colored glasses aren't so heinous, after all. (Sigh.) There was a reason I wanted to write this - now what was it?

   Oh yeah! I wanted to share my journey with you, but it's not a true picture if I don't let you in on the hard times involved. If I just pretend everything is rosy it's of no use to anyone. The hard truth is that my decision to quit my day job and try to make a go of it as an artist and writer is hard on my family finances and it does cause me stress. Sometimes I deal with it just fine, and sometimes I don't.When I don't there are a few things that I have found helpful;
1. Do NOTHING. Ride it out. I literally (or figuratively, depending on where I am) send myself to my room! Just like a real storm, eventually the clouds dissipate or roll on and I venture out again.
2. Avoid snapping at anyone! Say nothing destructive. Fewer awkward apologies later!
3. I snuggle with my dogs and tell them my troubles. They are very good at listening, keep their comments to themselves, and possess a magical quality that dispels darkness faster than anything else I've tried!
4. I don't beat myself up afterwards for feeling the way I did.
5. When it's over, I create something. ANYTHING!

 Well, that's all about that! Sorry about those rose-colored glasses. I think I just heard the crunch of glass under my heel...

And here's a new work of art just for fun and to say thanks for listening!


And here is my therapist, Honeybear. She's licensed.


Cindy D said...

I love the mouse looking through the rose-colored glasses. And your dragon looks rather contemplative, perhaps he is going through a rough patch!

I think the dog snuggling option is the best one in most situations. Honeybear is quite adorable. By the way, I hope you will post pics of the others also!

I think everyone goes through tough times and questions their choices. But you seem to have a good attitude about everything, even your rough patch! Plus you've got lots of new art in your shop. Yay!

Sheryl McClure-Pitler said...

Thanks, Cindy! I probably should have added one more way to deal; Cultivate and maintain a sense of humor! :)

zenobiasouthcombe said...

I love the mouse looking throught the rose-coloured lens, too!

It's hard to share this stuff - with the whole world, I might add - but thanks for doing it! It reminds us all that no-one's perfect, we all go through rough patches, and blue days, but it's important to create ways of dealing with it. One of mine is snuggling with the cat (for as long as he lets me!), going for a jog, and even meeting up with someone, especially if you haven't seen them for a while.

Will email you the questions for the artist feature now :)

Take care!!

Sheryl McClure-Pitler said...

Thank you, Zee. I can't tell you how any times I hesitated over publishing it. In the end, I posted it for the same reason I wrote it. I promised to share my experiences, and that means the good with the bad. Also, if anyone is reading this with the idea of actually finding something helpful here, painting a false picture is misleading. I think one thing we all have had enough of, it's misinformation!

Going for a jog or any exercise is a great idea! Doesn't it increase production of "happy hormones"?

Palomasea said...

Hello Sheryl!

Palomasea here from GypsyInMe, and I wanted to thank you so much much for following!:)
I am so pleased to discover your musings and your BEAUTIFUL artwork. As a mom of a 10 year old daughter, I am loving your coloring books (for me too, hee-hee), and I adore your Little Dragon creations. My daughter loves dragons, by the way, so I will show her your beauties! I'm looking forward to getting to know you and your creative life. Thank you for sharing your adventures.

A marvelous day to you!

Sheryl McClure-Pitler said...

Thank you, Palomasea, and welcome!
Your blog is beautiful and inspirational. I love the theme, Gypsy in Me, and my favorite image is the gypsy wagon. I'll have to go back to explore all of it's contents.
Funny thing about the coloring pages - most of the feedback I get is from adults coloring. When I first started making them, I envisioned something creative a family could do together without spending a lot of money. Some of my best memories with my girls are of sitting around the dining room table playing with some form of artwork.
Looking forward to swapping stories!

Palomasea said...

Good evening Sheryl!

Thank you for your kind words about my blog!
I have to tell you, I love coloring, it's just so meditative and relaxing. I will check out your Etsy shop this weekend. I showed my daughter the adorable dragons, she loved them!
I also spotlight your blog on my current post! I have been given the Liebster Award, and you are one of the next recipients! Please let me know if you would like to pass it on, I can fill you in on the details. I know we just met, but I was so inspired by your story and your gorgeous art, that I wanted to include your blog.
I hope that's ok! :)

Take care...

Sheryl McClure-Pitler said...

Dear Palomasea,
I am honored that you would include me, and would absolutely love to pass it on. I have also included your blog on my site, as I know others will find it a treat for the eyes, heart and soul as have I.
Best wishes,

Ruben Rivera said...

Hi Sheryl,
I came here from Irina's blog Palomasea. My wife Anita and I know her and her daughter personally.

You have done what millions of people dream about doing but don't because, as you've shared, it is not a piece of cake.

My wife and I are also venturing out into new and deeper waters and it is exciting and scary at the same time.

I wish all the best in your endeavors and will look in on you from time to time to offer a word of encouragement, or simply to BE here as a fellow risk taker in dreams.


Sheryl McClure-Pitler said...

Welcome Ruben! Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words of support. I stopped by your blog and discovered whimsical fun mixed with wisdom - my favorite combination! I wish you well in your own journey and can't wait to follow to see where your path takes you.
It's so cool (I know that word is over-used but it IS cool) how everyone you meet is on some sort of journey and how the paths converge and diverge and run alongside.

Singing Swan said...

Personally, I love my rose colored glasses and would find life difficult to face sometimes without them. Life is hard, cruel, vicious and terrifying. I don't let them make me believe different, but on those days when the hard times want to take over, the rose colored glasses let me see things in a different light and the silver lining in every situation becomes a little more obvious and allows me to turn those bad days into something a little more bearable.