In A Shot Of Optimism

You may remember reading Madame Bovary in an English class years ago. Written by Flaubert in the mid-1800’s and considered by many to be one of the first examples of modern narration.

When I saw it on my Netflix menu, I decided to get reacquainted with the Emma. Soon after marrying a local doctor and moving to his village near Rouen, Emma realizes what a dull life she has signed up for and sought distractions where she may. She begins ordering finery for herself – beautiful gowns of heavy silk with elaborate embroidery, all with shawls and hats to match. Then she decorates her house with furniture, paintings, and rugs to delight the eye.

None of this satisfies her, and it’s not long before she begins a series of affairs, all of which end badly. In the end, she has bankrupted her husband and destroyed her good name. She eventually takes her own life.

When we see period dramas, it’s easy to think that would never happen today – but that misses the point of the story. When we feel bad about our circumstances, it’s easy to compromise long-term good by making choices that seem to relieve our present sense of loneliness, frustration or feelings of deprivation. This time of year it’s easy to overindulge in spending, eating and . . . oh! let’s hope not having affairs.

Doing something for others is perhaps the best way to get out of the dumps. Work at a food bank, mentor a child, volunteer for a community project, or offer to take a senior out for a drive. The possibilities are endless. Not only will you do the world some good, but you will also shift the focus from your current situation, and avoid tempting distractions that can lead to terrible outcomes.

Tell me what you do to get yourself out of the dumps.

Until next Tuesday,

P.S. You may want to check out my free Live Large worksheet, Discover What Energizes You, for some extra inspiration.


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