Thursday, January 9, 2014

At the end of the day, you've just got to say. "It's all right."

"The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present."
 Eckhart Tolle

I have always been an optimist. Not that life has always been peachy keen, but my mother often used the phrase, “Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.” She herself went through some very hard times as a child, times that could have produced a bitter, misfit adult. But she emerged from childhood a strong, determined, well-rounded individual.

The above quote, to me, means that rather than thinking always in the past and allowing the past to govern your actions, it is much better to deal with things in the present assure yourself a better outcome. Another phrase from my mom is “Only worry about that stuff that worry can change.” It doesn’t mean you have to be carefree if you have problems, but to concentrate on what you can change and not be consumed and paralyzed by what COULD happen in the future or DID happen in the past.

With that in mind, I often gravitate towards music that reflects that idea. One of the groups that exemplify this concept is Great Big Sea from Newfoundland, Canada. I was first introduced to them in 1997, when my hubby and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a trip to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. GBS was on the PA system in a gift shop up in the Cape Breton Highlands. I was captured by their “Ordinary Day,” which was an anthem to optimists. Here is the last verse and chorus:

Ordinary Day (Alan Doyle/Sean McCann)

In this beautiful life, there's always some sorrow

 It's a double-edged knife, but there's always tomorrow

 It's up to you now if you sink or swim,

 Just keep the faith and your ship will come in.

 It's not so bad.


 And I say way-hey-hey, it's just an ordinary day

 And it's all your state of mind

 At the end of the day, you've just got to say

   it's all right

 'Cause I've got a smile on my face and I've got four walls around me.

I always tried to convey a sense of optimism to my students. Their lives were hard enough and it was easy to take the path of the pessimist. But they loved the idea that this song conveyed and often requested to sing it r listen to it.  During difficult years, when it was hard to keep positive, we wrote “Unfortunately…Fortunately…” poems, practiced doing things for others, and I carved out the last 15 minutes of the day for everyone to think about one good thing that happened to them that day. Gradually, the class came around and we began to think better thoughts and it transferred over to their coping skills where frustration was concerned. 

I still go over the day in my mind each night when I go to bed and thank the Lord for the good things that happened. Going to bed on a positive note makes it easier to get up in the morning and do what you have to do.
If you liked the idea of Ordinary Day, here's a link to a You Tube video of Great Big Sea singing it.


Still learning!

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