Rose-Colored Glasses

roseGlasses2I’ve always had a unique way of looking at things.   I’ve been told that I live in a fantasy world, because I can always see the positive side of everything.  Believe me, there’s enough negativity to go around, and I’d prefer to be a light in the darkness.  I’d prefer to keep looking through my Debra Rose-colored glasses.

It’s not that I don’t see the negative, but I don’t dwell on it.  I focus on solutions, rather than problems.  Instead of discouragement and defeat, I focus on the lessons I can learn through the experience.  The bible says that we should keep our minds focused on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable.  I’ve found that this positive outlook has not only helped me, but has helped others as well.

Isn’t that what we’re here for?

The world has gone absolutely mad.  Social media is a vehicle that has been used to bully, shame, and be downright hate-full.  I want you to consider using it to spread love and light.  I’ve learned a few things in my 60 years on this planet, and it’s time for me to share some of them.

You won’t always agree with me, but my speech is free.  So is yours…at least for now.

Know that what I have to say is with love, and it’s purpose is to make the world a better, more loving place.  I hope you’ll join me.

Note to Self…

Note to Self...-1Note to self…start READING my notes to self.

I don’t know if it’s my old age, or if it’s just habit, but unless I write things down, I don’t remember them.  This goes for shopping and to-do lists, ideas, passwords, directions, schedules, and even theatrical lines.

I’ve been journaling for years, and there’s something about the physical action of writing, that connects my hands to my brain, and helps me stay on track.

Notes to Self evidently don’t fall into this category.  Because they’re mental notes – not physical – they usually get forgotten.

My notes to Self usually relate to expectations.  I do a certain thing to, for, or with someone else, and expect a certain result.  When another person doesn’t respond the way I think they should, I get disappointed, and make a mental note not to do that thing again.

But then I do it again.

Has this ever happened to you?

I think that maybe if I write these notes down, and actually READ them from time to time, I’ll keep those promises to myself.  Yeah…that might work.

Or, maybe the solution lies somewhere in my expectations.

The truth is, when people don’t live up to my expectations, it’s often because I haven’t communicated with them effectively exactly what those expectations are.  It may also be, that I expect them to act and think like I do, and I should know better than that.

Perhaps they’ve expressed their expectations to me, but in an attempt to further my agenda, I pay no mind to what they’ve told me. Or, maybe I’m just stuck in the way things used to be, and am resistant to change.

In any case, I think my expectations could use an update.

Maybe a little calibration, or a change in operating system, will eliminate the Notes to Self entirely, and end the cycle of broken promises.  Perhaps the answer lies with me, not in the other person.

My brain is still buffering on that one, but hopefully I’ll get the picture one day soon.

In the meantime, drop a note to me in the comments, and let me know your thoughts.

 

 

 

Behind the Scenes

BehindTheScenesOne of the most exciting moments of live theater for me, is just before the show starts.  Whether I’m on stage or in the audience, I get caught up in the anticipation of the first note of the overture, the first lighting cue, and the first sign of movement on stage.

After being involved in countless productions  as an actor, singer, stage manager, costume designer, prop mistress, consultant, set designer or director, I’ve been witness to the tremendous amount of preparation that goes into the final product.

This is particularly true with theater repertory.  This year marks my sixth season with Oberlin Summer Theater Festival, and by the end of the summer, I will have completed my eighth production.  I’m still amazed at how three productions can be produced on the same stage, with many of the same actors.  If you time it just right, you can see two shows in one day, and the third production the following day.

I’ll be in two of the productions for the 2016 season: Anne of Green Gables, and Inherit the Wind.  I’ll be playing three different characters, and although my roles don’t require a lot of memorization, there is much work that goes into character development, interacting with and supporting my fellow actors, being sure I know my cues for lines, entrances and exits, and putting in hours of rehearsal.

What goes on behind the scenes of a production…or three…can be interesting, exciting, grueling, exhilarating, exhausting, and wonderful.  But it is so worth the effort, and it is so worth your time if you happen to be in the Oberlin area and can witness one or all three productions.  Each year, it gets better and better.

Well…back to rehearsal…the show must go on!

 

Open post

Offense is Not the Best Defense

Rose-Colored Glasses

If you know me personally, you know that I am not a sports fan.  While other people in Northeast Ohio are cheering on the Cavs, Browns or Indians, I’m usually playing a computer game or watching Ancient Aliens or Star Trek reruns.

But I have heard a few sports idioms, and the other day, the saying, “Offense is the best defense” came to mind.  Now, I know the phrase has been misquoted, but this is the way it came into my head, so that’s what I’m going to address in today’s writing.

What it’s meant to say, is if you have good offense in a game, aggressively focusing on making points, the other team spends all their time defending their turf, so there’s little time for them to score against you.

When I hear the phrase, it makes me think of how easily people are offended these days.   They may feel that being offended is defending their way of life, their opinions of themselves, or the reputation of a group to which they belong.

I’m all for standing up for what we believe in, but I wonder if being easily offended is the best defense.  When we take everything personally, we ultimately isolate ourselves by leaving groups, unfriending or blocking others, or deciding we’re better off without “them.”

And isolation makes us more vulnerable.

I can quote you other sayings that tell us we should seek the counsel of others, there is safety or power in numbers, and we all need each other.  The truth is, we do need each other.

Isolation leads to separation, and separation leads to destruction.

When we speak to others face-to-face, we can see body language and facial expressions, and we can filter our words before we speak them based on another person’s reaction.  We can also clarify ourselves if we see that our words have been misinterpreted, or hurtful.

Reading words on a computer screen do not give us the same options.  And computer screens are where most of us get our information.

Before being offended, why not take a moment to think about who said it, what was said, and the context in which it was said.  Don’t be so quick to close the door on someone else because of the way you may have perceived their meaning.  Why not go to them and discover their intent before eliminating them from your life?

Building walls keeps others out, but they also keep you in.

Stand up for what you believe in, but remember that other people do have opinions that may differ from yours, so sometimes you have to agree to disagree.

Build bridges instead of walls.  Being easily offended is not the best defense.

That’s the way I see it.