You’re Upside Down . . .
This is from one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite old movies, What’s Up Doc. Ryan O’Neal entered a party where craziness and hilarity ensued with Barbara Streisand. A waiter stared at him and said, You’re upside down.
The waiter was referring to his name tag. I’ve felt like more than my name tag was upended.
Among the many things to flip us on our heads, how do we stay right-side up?
I think of a three-legged stool. If one of the legs is wobbly or too short, the stool won’t remain stable. I’m picturing the three legs as:
1. Joy – There’s joy to find in all kinds of nooks and crannies of most days. If I’m not conscious of it, I miss it. Several early scenes in the Movie HOOK [I seem to have a movie theme today...] included the wife’s wise chastening to Peter Banning,
You’re missing it. . .
She was concerned about him spending time on the cell phone. Even during his children’s performances. Too caught up in work and money to make note of the things that are most dear.
I’ve thought of those words so many times over the years. I don’t want to miss it: The tiny beauties of nature. The priceless family or friend moments. Any of the good things in my now because I’m too rushed, self-absorbed, or caught up in the thick of thin things [thanks to Paul Dunn] to find joy right now, right here.
I’m not saying I’ve always understood this point. Nope. But I’ve learned better. I can’t go back in time, but I can move forward with more clarity. And that’s good!
2. Humor – The great gift of comic relief is awesome. I may use it more than most. It’s like a potent vitamin pill to boost me past upsets and things-that-turn-me-upside-down.
Here’s a good thought:
Every survival kit should include a sense humor.
It’s a release valve for stress. It’s a way to calm a coming storm. A means to find relief in a pressure cooker situation. If we can laugh at it, or at ourselves, or with the ones we love – we can get through it. A great survival tool!
3. Love – The song writer Bob Merrill [from the movie Carousel] got it right when he penned,
Love makes the world go round.
When I stand at the higher ground of Today, looking back at heart-rending difficulties of the Past, I seem to focus in on the goodness. I remember the love and lessons learned. The love stays and the hardships fade. You know what I mean?
Love is a feeling, a concept larger than the universe and stronger than those mountain cathedrals that Dan Fogelberg sang about. I can’t prove to a soul that God and Jesus Christ are real. It doesn’t matter. I know they are. I love them. I know they love me. All the rest is a trickle-down effect from them, and their love. That understanding provides a cushion of warmth in a sometimes harsh, cold world. A radiating source of strength when things are tough and I’m feeling upside down. Feeling loved – genuinely loved – has given me a place of peace inside.
My husband helps keep me right-side up. His love is real and pure and good. It makes my world go round. Our love helps perfectly sustain me on the occasions when I want to roll my eyes at him, or when something he’s doing [usually, a perfectly normal man kind of thing] seems annoying, for some reason. Silly. Momentary. Those not-a-big-deal things that should never interfere with our love.
When I’m steady on my feet and everything’s going just peachy, I’d best celebrate it. Because a curve or a deep dip or a huge wind is on the way. Because mortality is full of turns and tilts, of shocking surprises and off-putting moments. What tosses me might be a mere annoyance for you. Vice-versa. And we get to help each other through. Joy, humor, and love are lifelines.
Right side up. Steady as we go. Like weebles, wobbling but not falling down. There are principles that help me when my world turns upside down. Or I do. That’s a good thing.
And goodness matters.