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Poison Ivy & Poison Makers

It’s a reaction that causes the problem.

 Poison Ivy Reality Pauline Baird Jones

When you hear the words “poison ivy,” does the song start inside your head? I wanted to add it here, but Youtube won’t let me. And it might give you mind words…

And yes, if you know the song, it is evil to remind you of it. But Monday does that to me. 

I was tooling around the hubs Flickr feed looking for blog post inspiration and saw the poison ivy photo. I thought it was interesting to learn that poison ivy isn’t actually poison. It’s an allergic reaction (from mild to severe) that can happen when your skin comes in contact with the oil. 

It looks very harmless, doesn’t it? If you don’t know what to look for, you’re in it before you realize it. 

For some reason this made me think about Life. And how it Happens. Because that’s how I roll around here. And because it is kind of symbolic or something. I mean, think about it. 

It’s a reaction that causes the problem. Of course, we can’t control how our skin reacts to something, but in Life, there is a lot of toxicity out there and we don’t always recognize it until we’re in it. 

There are days I can’t watch the news and wince when scrolling through my Facebook news feed. 

Unlike our skin’s reaction to poison ivy, with people and events we can choose our reaction. We’re not helpless in the face of human poison makers (Natalie Gold coined the phrase and I’ve never forgotten it). 

I’m not a Pollyanna. I can’t turn every lemon in my life into lemonade. Who can drink that much lemonade? But I do make a conscious choice to be positive and optimistic about Life, and yes, even about People. I try hard to look past differences, to find common ground. And I try very hard not to react to toxicity. 

I choose to act, even if that action is just to step back, to step away. 

For sure there are times in our life when the only choice we have is the choice to choose how we feel about something. Stuff happens. Big stuff. Little stuff. Stuff. 

It happens. 

If someone rear ends your car or cuts you off in traffic, you can’t control them. But you can control you. You can choose not to give Debbie or Don Downer rent-free space in your brain. 

As an author, this can sometimes be hard. When someone doesn’t like what I write, and says so in public, it’s like someone kicked my child. Lol But if I let them decide how I feel about my work, then I’ll stop writing. (And while they may be happy about that, I wouldn’t be.)

I was once “accused” of being an optimist. LOL Trust me, if you saw me in the morning and heard me whine until my spirit re-enters my body around ten, well, it’s not pretty. But I try not to inflict that person on anyone outside the family. I put on my (relatively) happy face, because I figure there is enough sadness in the world already. And I like me a lot better when I’m happy. 

What do you think? Am I annoying? (I can take it. Lol) What do you do about poison makers? Did I give you a mind worm with the song? 

Perilously yours,




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