Monthly Archives: April 2013

Silver Linings


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Photo By: © Vgrzinic


Last month, I went on a date, a Valentine’s date. I took myself to the AMC, bought an aisle seat, kicked off my Luccheses, and curled up in all the red pleather luxury my $6 dollars at midday could desire. And, despite my solitary seat and all the couples scattered about, I didn’t feel isolated at all. Five hundred miles away, an infinitesimal fraction of the universe away, my boyfriend was at a theater, sinking into a chair, smelling the popcorn in all its buttery and salty glory, and watching the same previews as me.

He lives in Michigan, I live in Virginia. Although the holiday of romance could have been a sore subject and a disappointment, it was instead an inspiring and uplifting experience.

We took in Silver Linings Playbook. The story, actors, and atmosphere of the movie were incredible. They reached down deep into the heart and shifted my perspective. I’ve been talking people ears off ever since. Talking about the movie, talking about what it means. More important than those, however, I’ve been talking about my own silver linings, about what they mean to me. My boyfriend moved home last August while his father battled cancer, a brave and admirable decision, leaving behind his job, his post-graduate network, and me. It forced us to examine our relationship, trim the bits that couldn’t survive, and approach the distance and infrequent visits with strength and creativity. We chose to make the most of our time together as well as our time apart.

Silver linings like that Valentine’s date, redefine life. They reveal the potential behind conflict and provide inspiration for creating value from pain or frustration.

Even this business has its roots in silver linings. Corporate provided us with very strict parameters for text, visuals, and copyrights on our company websites. Kristina and I realized that we had to work outside the box if we wanted to create for others the kind of community that inspired us. The result was, a website that might not have been conceived had the box been slightly larger. Our limits ended up being the platform for our creativity and a more developed vision.

You always have a choice when it comes to perspective and response. The healthy decisions come from within through inspiration and practice. Shawn Achor (The Happiness Advantage) shows that “when you write down a list of ‘three good things’ that happened [each] day […] this trains the brain to become more skilled at noticing and focusing on possibilities for personal and professional growth, and seizing opportunities to act on them.” So whether or not you have seen Silver Linings Playbook, try incorporating this practice into your daily game plan. Find your silver linings and see how open and creative your world becomes. (To see examples, check out Kristina’s 3 on twitter each day! @countful)

With hope and intent,

MaryLyle Jeanes