This post has been a long time coming. In fact, I’ve been thinking about writing it since the second week of January! We all love fresh starts, and the new year is a great opportunity to wipe the slate clean. But what if life presents a series of challenges that aren’t easy to face and dismiss? Sometimes we have difficult seasons in life, and there’s no calendar change, resolution or new schedule that’s going to take away the fact that things might be tough for awhile. Today I want to reflect on what happens when life gets messy, how to deal with it as best as you can, and (on a lighter note) how a couple of ’80s/’90s movie heroes can be a source of inspiration.
“I’m right on top of that, Rose!”
When I spotted this enamel pin from Laser Kitten, I knew “I’m right on top of that, Rose!” would be my new motto for 2016. If you don’t recognize the line uttered by Christina Applegate’s Sue Ellen Crandell in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, take my word for it: it’s what you say to a demanding boss whenever she asks about your progress on a project, regardless of your actual progress on the project.
If a teenager can secure a job as an administrative assistant in the field of fashion design, give herself a complete makeover to appear twentysomething, and juggle the responsibilities of work, caring for her siblings, and dating, maybe there’s hope for all of us. Plus, there’s something about Sue Ellen’s attitude that’s a great blend of straight shooter-meets-idealist. She’s not going to smile her way through everything, but she IS going to get through it and hope for the best in the process.
I don’t like winter. I’ve never handled the cold well, and while this year has been milder than usual, most years are not. Which is why I watch The Thing each fall to get ready for the chilly weather. My personal hero: Kurt Russell’s MacReady. This is a man who is relentlessly pursued by an alien being who disguises itself as human and knocks off nearly an entire team of Antarctica-based researchers one by one. Yet MacReady stands in the face of indescribable discomfort and fear, armed with his street smarts and a flamethrower. He doesn’t complain. He gets the job done. Because sometimes that’s all you can do.
Above is a screen shot from The Making of The Thing, which you can watch on YouTube. About filming in the sub-freezing weather of northern British Columbia, Kurt Russell says, “…my favorite thing in this whole picture is to be able to be up here in a location like this and be able to shoot up here. It’s unbelievably fantastic.”
So where does that leave all of us? The three main things I take away from these movies:
Get the job done. Seriously. Sometimes in life there’s no way around a challenge. You have to go through it. You have to say “I’m right on top of that, Rose” until you start to believe it. And while you probably shouldn’t steal from petty cash or walk around with a flamethrower, you can always raid your mom’s closet for the perfect blazer with giant shoulder pads, and you can have a personal motto that reads something like “just torch it.”
Embrace the chaos. Let’s all learn a little something from Kurt Russell. There can be moments of glory in the sub-freezing, uncomfortable, overwhelming chaos. A good attitude is one approach. So is leaning on the people around you and enjoying the camaraderie. Chances are, you’re not as alone as you think.
Give yourself a break. I love collecting advice about balance, healthy living habits, and inspiring routines that will change your life. But sometimes life just gets crazy and no matter what you do, no two days will be the same. Maybe you’re dealing with a loss, caring for a loved one in poor health or being there for friends who are going through some serious challenges. You might not be able to cook every night, but that’s OK. Life will get back to normal. If not this month, next month. If not this year, next year. But have something you do on a daily basis that’s just for you, even if it’s going for a 10-minute run or watching 30 minutes of a favorite Netflix series each night before bed.
Thanks for letting me share and reflect. Wishing you well in the new year, and if it’s not the fresh start you’d hoped for, know that you’re in good company. XOXO, Kate