Things are not going so well around here. OK, (giving a nod to the positive psychology folks) depending on how you look at it, things are not going so well around here. Meaning: If you look at it with your eyes open things are not going well, if you close them or squint (or drink heavily) they're ok - maybe.
At least, that's how it feels to me. But even in the midst of feeling grouchy and kinda/sorta wanting to give up my heart was touched by the inspiring billboard pictured above. Of course I couldn't remember what it said 5 minutes after riding past it. But I knew it had touched my heart, so I was hoping to remember - or find out - what it said.
I came home and Googled "inspiration billboard" expecting zip. Really, I expected nothing - because "inspiration billboard" seemed like a lame and uninspiring search phrase. But hey - the third entry in my Google search came up with the exact billboard picture that I'd seen (the one above). Wow!
I ran down the stairs, excited to tell the Slightly-British-Daughter about the billboard - since now I could say more than "um, it was..uh, it was kinda inspiring..but uhum I don't know why..um". I explained how Norman Rockwell's picture was on the left - and then on the right it said: "Saw the best in us." By this point I was tearing up - something we've both come to expect when I talk about anything that inspires me (damn perimenopause, menopause, old age, irate tear ducts, soppy tender Hallmark heart or whatever is to blame!) - so we both looked away. I continued, in a choking - tear filled voice - "Inspiration. Pass it on. (sniff, sob, sniff)"
Without skipping a beat Slightly-British-Daughter commented: "Yea, and look where he is. He's dead! AND" - she continued scathingly - "he's not even considered a 'real' painter." Then we both laughed hard and went off to our respective tasks.
I've noticed that around here when the going gets tough - the tough get funny, nasty-funny, gallows humor funny, occasionally even slap-stick funny (that's usually me, as besides having this tearful thing "come upon me" I'm also possessed now of a deep vein of 7th grade humor). And it helps. The humor - the crabby comments. Somehow, like Barbara Sher advises in her section entitled "The Power of Negative Thinking" in Wishcraft: "Complaining--bitching, moaning, kvetching, griping, and carrying on--is a terrific and constructive thing to do. You've just got to learn to do it right."
And we know how to do it right around here! How inspiring!!
If you'd like to see more inspirational billboards, please check out The Foundation for a Better Life (loads of the folks on the other inspirational billboards are dead too). You'll also find inspiring stories there, a place to sign-up for their monthly newsletter and/or daily quotes, and you can add your own stories!