What a week I’ve just had.
Over the last few years I have embraced social media and I can honestly say it has embraced me back. This week I was invited to LA for Oscars Week. The events included panel discussion by members of the Academy, private movie screenings, cocktail parties in gowns and rhinestones, way too many hours spent in uncomfortable shoes, on set tapings of a couple of shows, and watching Survivor with Jeff Probst (You bet I asked him about a million questions. You bet I asked him to JUMP–video below). The week also included tons of fun with SM friends, and lots and lots of swag.
It was fun. It was glamorous. It was exhausting. But most of all it was a distraction. It was proof that even during the hardest of times, one can rise to the occasion to be in the moment–even if drawing the blinds and crawling between the sheets to hide and cry, would have seemed a more appropriate response to the current stimuli in my life. I can’t be more specific as to the things that are breaking my heart, as it is not my story to tell. But suffice it to say I’ve been struck by a double blow of sadness and grief.
When I first was invited to participate, I asked myself if, in my sadness, I could pull it off. What earrings go with a broken heart? It would certainly be a test of my philosophy. I have always believed in getting out there and coping. I have always told myself to NOT to make the decisions using my sad soul as decision maker. Instead, to be aware enough, to know that my sad soul needed some help from a happier version of myself.
So I asked myself, if life were rosier right now, would I enjoy playing dress up and hanging out with Hollywood big wigs? The answer was a resounding, “YES.” I love dress up! I love hob-knobbing. I love all the insider fun of attending tapings and being backstage. So, the next question was simple. Has there ever been a time when I more needed something fun and distracting in my life?
When I looked at it that way, the answer was simple. I needed to do this for myself. I needed to see it not as a frivolous activity in a time of crisis, but as a respite. Would it be OK, if during some of the events I bowed out for a quick cry in a bathroom stall? Sure. Additionally, in the whirlwind of activities, surrounded by friends, it would also be OK if I occasionally forgot to be sad. That happened. More than once. I am grateful.
I was reminded that sometimes we need to smile even when we are sad. Our face reminds our brain what happy feels like. I didn’t make that up. Scientists have been able to show that the neural processing in our brain, related to happiness and contentment, is activated by smiling, even if the smile is fake or forced.
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I am also VERY GRATEFUL that my wonderful husband encourages and supports me in everything I do! Thanks, Dave! You are my partner. And big thanks to my pal Bryan Moore for the invitation.
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TOP PHOTO: A lovely coincidence that the first star I saw on the sidewalks of Hollywood stars was Michael J. Fox, a fellow optimist! Those are my toes decked out in Smiley Face yellow.