“This is what I believe to be true; you have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining” (Pat Solitano, Silver Linings Playbook)
There are moments in life that become punctuation points. There’s the before, the after. And I assure you, seeing the blockbuster movie Silver Linings Playbook Saturday night was one for me. Although we’d arrived intending to take in something completely different (good ol pregnancy brain here stuffed up the movie times!), apparently the universe was quite keen for me to see this instead – and afterwards I knew why…
It had been a tough week. The relentless heat was taking its toll on my pregnant body, sleep had been sparse, morning sickness had made an unwelcome return and my patience levels for people (in particular my poor 4 year old son!) and the outside world in general plummeted to non-existent status.
Underpinning it all was a gnawing anxiety. I had gone from being deliriously happy about the impending birth of our baby to being filled with fear instead. All the emotions of the early days of newborn parenting had begun gushing back at me, and I was starting to feel far more panic than excited anticipation. All the worst case scenario “what if’s” were plaguing me, and every time someone asked about the impending baby we’d be soon welcoming into the world I’d unconsciously reply with a tone dripping in dread and a frightened look plastered across my face.
But it wasn’t until I was encased in the darkness of the car, on our way home from the movie that I summoned the courage to say something to The Husband.
“I’m freaking out about everything at the moment,” I admitted. “I haven’t coped so well this week and I worry about what I might be like when the baby comes.”
It was then he reminded me what the main character in Silver Linings Playbook, Pat, had as his mantra: “Excelsior” – ever upward. That even though he was battling his way through the bleakest period of his life, he was still trying to look up, to search for those silver linings.
“Most people lose the ability to see silver linings or even though they are always there above us.”
It was a sign, and much like De Niro’s character, Pat Snr, says to his son,“Let me tell ya. You gotta pay attention to signs. When life reaches out with a moment like this it’s a sin if you don’t reach back…”
It was time to stretch out my arms and grasp on to the good instead of allowing myself to wallow in pessimism and fear. It was time, just like Pat says in my opening quote above, that I worked just as hard at staying positive as I did feeding my negative thoughts. And you know what? It has brought back my AWOL emotions of calmness and rationality ever since I made a conscious choice to switch…. And I’m thankfully back on track to my very own shot at a silver lining.