Small Beginnings by Lisa Schappell: Searching for silver linings

I donít know about you, but Iím a glass-half-full kind of gal. My eternal optimism has me always looking at the bright side and searching for the silver lining. Take last weekend for instance. Friday is my day off so I invariably stuff the day with tasks and errands and a wee bit of entertainment to allow me to enjoy myself without feeling like I totally indulged. But last week was a Friday particularly devoted to catching up on miscellaneous things like cleaning the bathroom and washing the dishes. In addition to those menial tasks, I had a bunch of cooking and baking to do, plus I intended to knit. Youíre shocked about that, I am certain.

Well, right smack in the busiest part of my day, while I was furiously multitasking with food preparation in full swing and my dish-washing going strong, I drained my kitchen sink and to my horror discovered that the sink was clogged. Not only did the left side of my sink (where the dirty dishes start) fail to drain, but the yucky water backed up over into the right side of the sink (where the clean dishes end up) so I had a double sink full of skunky water and my clean dishes werenít even clean anymore! Sheesh!

After a half a bottle of Drano and some aggressive plunging (I know, I know Ė youíre not supposed to plunge after using Drano) all of a sudden I heard a loud gurgle and discovered that my sinks had drained out! Oh happy day! Little did I know that the dreadful clog had only relocated to a position which now instead obstructed my bathroom plumbing. Now you might presume that this particular turn of events on my scheduled day off was disconcerting, upsetting even to me. You might expect that I could become a little flustered and frustrated. You might even anticipate the fact that I could have complained a smidge about the way it wrecked my whole day and derailed all my many plans. You might be right.

But after a while, after watching my husband tear out the closet in the basement so the plumber could get at the pipes, after having to use someone elseís shower because mine was out of commission, after not washing dishes for days because the whole mess is connected (that really isnít a problem mind you) I found a silver lining. We have been planning to remodel our basement since last spring and we just never started. Well, now weíve officially begun. So itís not all bad, you see. Thereís a bright, shiny silver lining peeking out from under that gray cloud and it looks rather lovely now that you mention it.

Itís funny because someone else mentioned their silver lining to me today. I was talking to a gentleman who was recalling how back in college he played trumpet in the band, but his band instructor insisted that he change the way he pursed his lips to blow his trumpet. He struggled and struggled to make that adjustment and as a result became discouraged with the trumpet Ė but he discovered his love of singing. So his demanding band teacherís expectations produced a silver lining for him that he still values to this day.

Another friend of mine found her silver lining this week as well. After having a fight with her husband that caused her to lose sleep, she ended up cleaning her house to vent her aggravation! Now thatís a silver lining that you gotta appreciate. And donít worry, they made up again so itís all good Ė and the kitchen floor is so clean you can eat off of it! Next time they argue Iím going to invite her over to my place for the afternoon!

Weíve all got them Ė silver linings. Sometimes we just have to try a little extra hard to find them. I hope all your dark clouds turn around and reveal that lustrous coating hiding beneath the surface. It helps us navigate those demanding people and cranky spouses and clogged sinks when we realize thereís a silver lining just waiting to be found!

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