Jul 24 2013

Steppie Royes,


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Fun, Gratitude


I’ve read about a study that suggested that Facebook offers a high percentage of depression! Most people, when posting on the popular site, tend to talk about how great their lives are and the friends and family reading these posts get depressed because their lives don’t seem to be running so smoothly.
I’m one of those people who try to stay positive on Facebook. My heart is full of gratitude and I always want to offer the simple happiness that can be found in being thankful and useful. But my life doesn’t follow a perfect routine. Take my Friday for example:
Normally on Fridays, Irwin and I volunteer at the zoo. But a dear friend called the other day and asked if I could come help with a problem that she was having, on Friday. So, I dropped my zoo plans to open up a time to assist her. She called last minute on Friday and asked if I could come another day. Being too late to go to the zoo, I figured my day was shot! But I already built up the energy to DO something.
This whole week wasn’t booked with magic shows and I was determined to do NOTHING but had ended up running around doing volunteer work, helping others that asked for a helping hand and fundraising..
A “nothing” moment opened up and I didn’t know what to do! Not needing to be in professional mode (wearing a uniform with perfect finger nails and a smile constantly on my face) had become something foreign. I felt like a light switch that couldn’t be flipped off!
I spent the day wanting to DO something but there was NOTHING to do. Chores were done. Bills were paid and the few stores that I visited didn’t offer anything interesting to purchase. That’s okay.
I didn’t have much spending money anyway.
There was nothing to do but to do nothing. So, I did the best thing that I could do to relax myself. I pulled out my lounge chair, put it in the one spot of sunlight that can be found next to our little apartment, pulled up Hawaiian music on Pandora, mixed myself some cherry limeade, put on my bathing suit (revealing my scary pale skin) and sat myself outside to take in the sun.
I didn’t consider the idea that my fingernails (and toe nails) really need a new polishing, that my hair wasn’t fixed up or even that a big gray cloud covered the sun after 10 minutes of being outside. I had made up my mind to sun-bathe and the lack of sun wasn’t going to stop me! I had a few neighborhood joggers do double-takes at me, my imperfections and the fact that I was lounging under a potential rain cloud.
For once I didn’t have to care. I’d finally arrived at my “imperfect paradise”.
As I was considering all the things that I have and don’t have, what I can do and can’t do and being totally grateful for everything, the postal worker walked up our carport. A little embarrassed to interrupt me, he asked “How are you doing?” My response: “I’m living the life”.
My life isn’t perfect and I shouldn’t expect it to be.
Read that last sentence out loud a few times.
If you’re like me, and have days that make you feel like you’re holding the world on your shoulders, you need to know that you’re not only allowed to put it down for a rest; you’re expected to. You need time where your best self is someone lounging around in comfortable clothes, no makeup and no plans in the foreseeable future.
 Make it a goal to spend some time where you can flip that “on” switch “off” and do nothing. And every once in a while post it on Facebook. You’ll find that many people can relate to your perfectly imperfect life.

Stephanie “Steppie” Royes is a survivor; dealing with challenges from an 18 wheeler accident to going though Hurricane Katrina/Rita, Gustav & Issac and everything in-between. She makes a living as an entertainer (face-painting clown, party games, magician’s assistant and tarot card reader) and when given the chance she does background extra work in the movies. A lot of her time is spent volunteering at the Audubon Zoo and pursuing hobbies such as searching for extraterrestrial life in our universe and working with arts and crafts. She lives in Metairie Louisiana with her husband Irwin -The World’s Smallest Magician.