Ikea got me with this one – I love this commercial. Recently I attended a production of 9 to 5 (musical) at the Huron County Playhouse and one of the lead actors is Lisa Horner, the star of that Ikea commercial. As I laughed and mentally snapped my fingers along to the upbeat songs of the production, I couldn’t help but be impressed with Lisa. It occurred to me that she had to have rehearsed and performed this play numerous times, yet for those of us in the audience, she brought it to life and played her character full out. I wondered how she could do that, night after night, no matter what might be going on in her personal life, or how tiring it might get. But then, she’s a professional – a master of her craft, so she goes out there and gives it her all every single time, and makes sure her audience gets their money’s worth. In an article written by theatre critic, Richard Ouzounian, Lisa comments, “Once the curtain’s up, all you can do is put one foot in front of the other when you’re out there.” Well doesn’t that just sum up so much of life?
I couldn’t help but admire her enthusiasm and professionalism during the play, and afterwards I began to reflect on that comment. Every single day, each of us has a choice. We can either lay in bed and bemoan our fate and current woes, or we can swing our legs out of the bed and get on with it – whatever “it” is. There’s another well known theatre quote that says, “Life is not a dress rehearsal”, and again I say, “hear, hear!”.
You see, things aren’t always easy in my life. I’ve been the single parent living at or near the poverty line while raising two children; I’ve been let go from a job I desperately needed to support myself and my family; I’ve dealth with loneliness, disappointment, blended families (just try bringing five teens together into something resembling a family), horrible family betrayal, and more financial stress than I feel I deserve; but it’s my choice how I deal with life and it’s bumps (or roller coaster rides). I could choose to sink into the morass of depression and “woe is me”, but that really won’t serve any purpose. I have my days, mind you, but they don’t last long. I choose to look for the positive and revel in the loving relationships I’m fortunate to have in my life. If a day is really a downer, I can always find at least 5 things to be thankful for – that first cup of coffee, the sunshine, the sound of birds in the trees, the love of my husband, my children and grandchildren…
Then about three years ago, I decided to write a romance novel. I’d always wanted to, but wasn’t up for the commitment of time and energy (it takes a ton of both), or had the confidence. But then I stopped worrying whether or not I was a good enough writer, or whether or not anyone would want to read it, I just sat down and started writing. I’ve researched and Googled my way through the process to better understanding of the business of writing and book publishing. I’m no expert, but I’m definitely learning, and as a result, I’m gaining confidence. I’ve met (on-line) some fabulous authors who inspire and excite me, and I begin to feel a part of this new family called “writers”. I am more confident claiming that title and using my learned abilities in my day to day work. I am evolving – again, and I’ve discovered it’s okay be uncomfortable and grow.
So, as Lisa says in her Ikea commercial, “Start the car! Start the car!”.