Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bouncing Back

This weekend I went to my first Cirque Du Soleil show - Kooza - in Santa Monica. It was the very last show of the tour, on the very last day, at the very last show time, 5pm. I had a great time with my date and ran through the whole gamut of emotions. The most exciting parts were the tight rope walk and the cylinder performers.

For each of those stunts, as practiced and polished the performers were, the highlights of each act were when the tight rope walker lost his balance and almost fell, but caught himself, or when the cylinder runner almost tripped on his own feet and could've fallen from two stories up without any safety precautions to save him. My date and I were talking about how each mistake made the feat more impressive because they almost did fall or perhaps die, but each time, they shook it off and righted themself and tried again. Such pressure for the Cirque performers on their very last show... We had more respect and were in awe of watching them recover and do it perfect the second time, then if they were to do it perfectly the first time.

And that to me is what life is all about. As adults and non-perfect beings, what matters is bouncing back. That's what counts. Everyone makes mistakes. How do you recover? How do you learn? How do you move on? How do you forgive/forget? How do you prevent the same thing from happening again? That is what matters. That is what makes us human. That is what redeems us.

As I go through life and sometimes stumble or wonder what I could do differently, I already know I did the best I could, at that time, with the information and knowledge I had then. No regrets. Should I make another similar mistake, my goal is to analyze what was slightly different, what didn't I catch, and how can I think it through and act differently this time?

All too often as I commiserate with my friends over life's dilemmas, I rejoice in how well I know myself, what I want, and how proactive I try to be in getting myself to where I want to be. All too often, not knowing is the first dilemma. Without that foundation, one is muddling through life.

I'm bouncing back and things are great. I only hope -------l is also. I wish you great things, great lessons, and great happiness for the holiday season and new year. Life is too short to be lost.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Faith is Half.com (Why Half.com is my Best Friend)

I just ordered the book HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND START LIVING by Dale Carnegie. A good friend of mine just finished it and spoke highly of it. The great news is, I have one of the main concepts down - imagine the worst-case outcome of an ordeal and figure out how you can move on from there. I've been doing that all my life, unknowingly. After reading books by Donald Trump, I realized he does the same too, especially when making business decisions. However, this doesn't mean I don't ever worry. I've cut down a lot since a teenager. I now try to severely limit wasting any emotional energy on things I can't control.

I bought the book today because it made me think of a concept I've read about recently. I can't remember which book since I read 3-4 at a time. Anyway, the concept mentioned bad times won't last forever and good times won't either; life is always in a state of change and flux. So then it dawned on me that while I've learned to stop worrying about scenario A, B, or C - the very slight annoyance I get with my private life now comes down to how do I reframe an inkling of a worry when I don't know what's going on due to a lack information from the person/event I'm worried about.

I'll give you a real life example. I live in Los Angeles and the running joke is everyone is flaky. Of course being the person I am, I'm usually 15 minutes early to meet friends. So when people are late, I've actually been sitting there a really long time. And when someone is 5 minutes late, I wonder where they are. When they are 10 minutes late I want to call them. But I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and I wonder why they haven't called me. And when they are 15 minutes late I wonder if they are even going to show because who doesn't call when they are running late?! They probably forgot our dinner for all I know. (I will call after 15 min though.)

I also worry if they got in a car accident or are tied down/super stressed at work and totally lost track of time or if an emergency arose. However, while sitting there for 30 minutes I always debate with myself HOW should I feel - annoyed, worried, angry, calm, or happy to have extra time for myself?

I've trained myself to not think anything until my friend shows up or calls because I want to have the "fair/justified" reaction. What ends up happening is I text friends and kill time while refraining very hard from having any reaction because everyone's allowed to be late on occasion even though I try never to be.

One time me and a group of friends were expecting 2-3 others and they never showed up. We called and left a message and kept calling because their behavior was highly unusual. We finally heard back a couple days later and while their reasoning was understandable they didn't show, I thought it was incredibly rude to fall off the face of the earth for that long. At least send a text! "I can't come. Something came up. Can't explain now. Touch base with you on Tuesday."

From the time I realize a situation is "out of place" to when I know why and what caused it is the conundrum. When people semi-disappear I worry a little because I don't know what is what. I want to give people space, breathing room, and don't want to add any more stress to their life; I get the world doesn't revolve around me. I also wonder how I can help. Then I wonder if I need to think about implementing those strategies I devised when I decided NOT to worry and envisioned THE WORST THING POSSIBLE happening. If the other party can't or won't communicate with me, when do I know it's time to put my strategy to use and move on with my life?

I'm very good at closure and being proactive in life. I'm less great at waiting, being kept in the dark, and wondering. How long is too long to wait for an explanation that may never come because someone is busy, depressed, or being evasive? And to make myself feel better and not fear the worst, I buy books like Dale Carnegie's and write posts like this. :) See - I feel better already. I just hope *******L is fine.