Although I knew better, it was difficult to avoid fantasizing that my submission to the AARP/Huffington Post memoir contest would be selected as a finalist. Not surprisingly, being subsequently disappointed started me reflecting on similar experiences. I wonder: How skilled are you at recognizing silver linings? In general, how quickly do you discern those linings? And how much impact does the size of the cloud have on your silver-lining detecting ability?
Based on past reactions to rejection and disappointment, I suspect my ability to quickly recognize the silver lining here is directly related to the size of the cloud. I wanted to be selected but a bruised ego is easy to shake off. What were the silver linings? Finishing the memoir; hearing the love in my sister's voice when she hesitated giving me her immensely helpful feedback; feeling the generosity of spirit of friends who asked to read it.
During the years when playing music supported me, every audition ended with either "no thanks" or "you're hired". Those clouds seemed pretty large at the time. My musings of late - Had I been a young adult as mature, poised and confident as my actress daughter, would my younger self have extracted silver linings from those rejections more skillfully? How would that ability, if developed earlier in life, have assisted me with later rejection and disappointment? And - Are many of the clouds smaller nowadays or does it just seem that way?