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Ro asks: Is it Just Me – Or Have You Ever Done This, Too?
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Is it Just Me – Or Have You Ever Done This, Too?
Some days are just plain lousy.
There will always be days in which the car breaks down, the broccoli burns, and the dog runs away.
There will always be days in which new pants rips, red punch spills, and the neighbor's cat digs up the tulip bulbs you ordered from a catalog.
There will always be days in which every envelope holds a bill, every phone call carries unhappy news, and the safest places to be are under a thick comforter holding a remote control or in a closet holding your head.
Yes, because this world is a menagerie of opposites – darkness and light, happy and sad, success and failure, health and sickness, love and disregard – it is inevitable that some days will be stinky, messy, upsetting, and utterly, depressingly lousy.
Now here's the bright spot of this lousy-day story (whose appearance shouldn't surprise you because everyone knows that a tale is best if it contains a bit of positivity)...
Lousy, bad days have the potential of spring-boarding to greater altitudes the positive feelings we experience when good days follow bad days.
A string of lousy days can stand as dark backdrops that make the spotlights of good days shine brighter once they appear on stage.
The heaviness of lousy days can propel the colorful balloons of easy days higher once they are released to the sky.
The sadness of lousy days can increase the buoyancy of successful days once their ship is launched towards a new port.
But here's the rub (because there always has to be a bit of friction in every good story)...
Sometimes, we trust the lousiness of misery so much that whenever a period of ease and joy appears in our lives, we unconsciously blow ourselves up. We don't like hard times, but we understand them.
You'd think that we'd always enjoy good days, licking them up with the type of pleasure a small child feels as she enjoys a cherry frozen pop on a scorching summer afternoon – and sometimes, we do. But far too often, instead of sighing with relief when a string of golden days appears on our doorsteps, we eye them suspiciously; half-wishing that they would leave us alone in the miserable status quo that we have become used to.
We often don't trust them – these periods of health, wealth, success, and love – because we don't think we deserve them. We wonder if any large amount of happiness we feel during good times is a foreshadowing of the depth of unhappiness we will experience when lousy times reappear. We do whatever we can to mitigate the damage that may follow if we allow ourselves to enjoy our lives a... little... bit... too... much, so we undermine ourselves in some way.
Here is the ending of our story. I can't say – at this point – if the end will be happy or sad because... well... because how it turns out is completely up to each individual. We all have the ability to choose how the menagerie of opposites we call life affects the level of joy we embrace.
"Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend... when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives, but are grateful for the abundance that's present – love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure – the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth." – Sarah Ban Breathnach
"Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy." – Joseph Campbell
"I see my life as part of the earth, a patch of ground to be cultivated. This field I have chosen to call joy. What grows in the field will be some grasses called happiness, and some called anguish, sadness, and disappointment. They are not permanent. They grow, wither and die. But the field of my being remains joyful." – Robert White
You realize, of course, that as is true of nearly every muse I write, the thoughts contained in this essay have been born out of some recent truths I have finally allowed myself to see about myself. In case you haven't figured it out yet, my muses usually contain some form of lecture I am giving myself as part of a never-ending-and-not-yet-successful program of self-improvement. If my journey of self-discovery is even a tiny bit useful to you, then I am grateful to know that I am not alone.
Now, let me ask you a question as a method of wrapping up: Have any of you ever experienced the madness of self-destruction I have described? Has anyone else ever caught themselves blowing up their happiness and success because they either think they don't deserve it or because they are more used to unease than ease? If so, I'd love to hear from you. You can email me at [email protected]
P.S. Here's a pep-talk I gave myself in my journal one night after a day full of minor self-destructive mistakes. As you can see, my heart is in the right place. Someday – perhaps – my heart will win the battle.
Muse: To be absorbed in one's thoughts; engage in meditation. Not intended to solve the world's problems, another person's problems, or to cover topics completely. One does not have to agree with musings to enjoy them, just as one does not have to be the same as someone else to appreciate who they are.
Learn to make digital scrapbooking layouts and more! – Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Ready to learn advanced techniques? – MORE Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Join the Scrap Girls Monthly Club and you can have fun with the newest traditional digital and printable scrapbooking looks while saving! (A $40.87 value for $9.99 or less!)
The Scrap Girls Club contents are released on the 1st day of the month (or the closest business day to the 1st).
With the Scrap Girls Club, you will receive:
April's Scrap Girls Club designed for you by Amanda Fraijo-Tobin
Layout by Amanda Fraijo-Tobin
using April's Scrap Girls Club
Join the ScrapSimple Monthly Club and you can enjoy the newest ScrapSimple looks while saving! (A $13.95 value for $6.99 or less!)
The new ScrapSimple Club contents are released on the 15th day of the month (or the closest business day to the 15th).
A commercially licensed version of the ScrapSimple Club is also available here.
With the ScrapSimple Club, you will receive:
Layout by Brandy Murry
using March's ScrapSimple Club
Commercial license versions of ScrapSimple Tools - Styles: Basic Shadows 6501 are also available.
Today's freebie designed by Jo Corne
* There is a "free download" button on the details page for each gift. You don't need to put them in your shopping cart unless you are shopping for other items. Also note that if you are slow reading your newsletter, you may find this freebie has already been retired, as the freebies are only available as gifts for about two newsletter cycles.
East Coast High Noon Crop
Wednesday, April 4th - 10:00AM MDT
Join April (April Showers) each Wednesday at 10am MT for the East Coast High Noon Crop. All coasts and time zones are welcome! These crops are designed to allow you to work on your own photos and themes, simply giving participants a one hour goal and a fun, new challenge each week.
On April 4th, we'll do a Photo Manipulation Challenge! Create a layout using a photo you have manipulated in some way - change it to black and white or sepia, remove a distraction, cut out the subject. Anything goes!
Create your layout and upload it to the special High Noon Crop Gallery. You'll be amazed what you can get done in just one hour, but there is no High Noon Sheriff timing you! Hope to see you in the chat room!
New Member Chat
Tuesday, April 10th - 7:00PM MDT
Join Pat (PBarnes) for the New Member Chat at 7pm MT in the Live Chat room lobby. This is a great place to ask questions about getting around the Scrap Girls site or about digital scrapbooking in general - and a great place to make some new friends. All are welcome, new and long time members included. You do need to have Java installed on your computer to access the Live Chat.
April's Forum Game: BINGO!
Join us for an exciting game of Springtime BINGO on the Message Board Forum in April! Pick 25 words from the list provided in the forum game thread and send them in an email to [email protected] with a subject line that says "BINGO CARD - your Scrap Girls Message Board username" by Tuesday, April 3rd at Midnight MDT in order to play in the first round. The first round will begin on Wednesday, April 4th. If you miss the first round deadline, you can still play! Just send in your BINGO card at any time during the month, and you'll be eligible to begin playing when the next new round starts.
Each day, a member of the Welcoming Committee will call five random words from the BINGO list. Match just 15 of those words to win a BINGO. You must be first to call "BINGO!" in the game thread to win that round. After a winner is called, the boards will be cleared and a new round will begin the following day.
Each winner will receive a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique! We like to see lots of winners, so please remember that each person can only win one round during the month. Have fun!
For complete details, visit the Monthly Message Board Games folder on the Scrap Girls Forum.
April Monthly Layout Contest: Life is full of surprises! Here in the United States, we have April Fools' Day on April 1st. Have you ever been surprised by someone playing an April Fools' joke on you? Or, you can scrap about another surprise that has happened in your life. You don't have to have photos. It could be a journaling page. Post your layouts in the April Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight MDT on April 30th. Be sure to list your layout's product credits in the description or under the EXIF Properties. Two layouts will be selected to win a $10 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Club Concepts Layout Contest: Post your new layout using the current club selection (either the Scrap Girls Club or the ScrapSimple Club) in our Scrap Girls Club Members Gallery or the ScrapSimple Club Members' Gallery. Be sure to list all of the Scrap Girls products you used. If your layout is chosen, it will be showcased as a Club Concepts layout winner, and you will win a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Check our Forum calendar if you have any questions about what is happening at Scrap Girls. All event times are given in Mountain Time Zone unless otherwise noted. Need help converting time zones? Check out the World Clock - Time Zone Converter. (Use 'USA-Utah-Salt Lake City' as the location for the Mountain time zone.)
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