Tool For Tuesday: Looking For Fifty Shades of Grey

Sometimes we see the world as black or white. We want either all or nothing. We want things to go the way we think they’re supposed to, the way we’ve thought of them, according to the way we’ve planned for them to go in our own heads.

But there are fifty shades of grey. Fifty ways of looking at a situation. We can choose to how we look at things. We can decide not to say something that might sound smart and sharp but is actually nasty and undercutting. We can decide to focus on the upside of a situation and not always look at the downside. We can practice cognitive intervention on our own brains and divert our thoughts from the negative and find something, one thing, any one little thing, to make us think of the positive.

The other day, I found myself in China. (Yes, really.) I had signed up for a trek with one of my kids and the weather was so drizzly, gloomy and grey.

Take the road not taken, China April 2014

Take the road not taken, China April 2014

I could have chosen not to go but I reminded myself, there are fifty shades of grey.

I just have to look for them.

The mountains in China, about 4 hours outside of Shanghai

The mountains in China, about 4 hours outside of Shanghai

Life is full of surprises and we never know where we’ll find ourselves. Sometimes changing our life means changing our perceptions. We might expect to be somewhere, and find ourselves some place completely different. So we have to stay open to all opportunities and trust the journey.

Tool for Tuesday: There’s beauty even in the dismal. There are fifty shades of grey. What? I didn’t say that first? You mean it’s the title of a novel about S&M? Oops!


About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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7 Responses to Tool For Tuesday: Looking For Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. juliabarrett says:

    I like grey. I like grey days. I like fog and clouds. Not too hot on pollution but I hope you aren’t suffering. Grey days provide food for thought. No happy sunshine to distract me. Have a wonderful time!

    • dianabletter says:

      Thank you, Julia. I love gray gloomy Wuthering Heights kind of days, too! Glad you find food for thought in the grey!

  2. Pam Huggins says:

    China! Wow! Amazing.
    Your photos prove your point that beauty exists even in our bleaker landscapes both mental and physical. Great words of encouragement. Thank you!

    • dianabletter says:

      Thank you, Pam, and glad to see you checked the blog. I agree that we have to look for the beauty no matter where we find ourselves!

  3. Such a great reminder…especially for me…I am so sensitive to the energy around me weather wise,environment wise and people wise…what a great reminder that there are so many other energies and choices floating around that I can choose to focus on instead. Love this!

    • dianabletter says:

      Thank you, Donna. I can understand your sensitivity to the energy around you. We have to make special efforts to don our invisible armor and stay focused on the important things in life. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Wow, beautiful photos even though it was gray. Gray days are great for catching up on all the things you meant to do. Like today, it’s gray and cold. A perfect day to catch up on posts that I’m way behind on. 🙂

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