A funny story about my trip down to the Amish area of Ohio with my sister last weekend. The town of Berlin had what they called a 'Barnstorm' on Saturday. There was a long list of merchants involved. In each location, there was a painted wooden barn hidden. When you found the barn, you went to the counter and told them you found it, they would ask where it was, or what color it was, to make sure you had really found it. Then you would get a slip of paper to fill out with your contact information to put into a drawing at the end of the day. It was alot of fun, and we explored shops we would not have gone into otherwise. Some places we found ithe barn quickly, others we gave up after searching. That was hard, because neither of us gives up easily. After awhile, though, my brain started to hurt from scanning so many shelves and walls.
Neither of us got a phone call or email, so we figured we hadn't won anything. That was okay, it was fun anyway (though I really don't want to be on the mailng lists of the 10-12 places where we filled out the slips.) So today, I got a packet from Berlin. I won a $25 gift certificate to Coblentz Chocolates! YUM!!! My husband is more of a chocoholic than I am, but I like a little chocolate, and I can spend the rest on Jelly Belly Jellybeans, and other merchandise. My husband says that chocolate is one of the 4 basic food groups, I say that jellybeans are. What are the other 2?
Before I got a chance to call my sister, she called me. She got a $25 gift certificate towards a PUPPY!!! Sounds great, but neither she nor anyone we know is in the market for a puppy. That seems like an odd prize. I guess each merchant that participated donated a gift certificate. I think a gift certificate for pet products seems like a more logical prize than money towards a puppy, but I bet there is some kid out there who really wishes they got that one!
Some thoughts on relating this story to coping. (I can relate anything to coping if you give me a chance.) 1. The fun of getting involved with a game, hunting for the barns, kept our minds occupied and entertained. 2. The anticipation of possibly winning something gives something to look forward to- as long as you are realistic enough about it to not be disappointed if you don't win. I buy Lottery tickets once every few years or so, and spend a few days with pleasant daydreams. 3. The thrill of winning something, an unexpected and happy surprise. 4. The laugh my sister and I got about her winning $25 worth of puppy. 5. The anticipation of going back to Berlin to spend my prize. These are all things that gave us pleasure and made our lives enjoyable for awhile.
Look for ways to have fun, to play. Look for things to look forward to. Look for the unexpected in life, and learn to appreciate change. Look for things that make you laugh, and give you pleasure. Sometimes it is the little things in life that mean so much. Make sure it is the good little things that you amplify to mean more, and the not so good ones you keep little.