That’s Life!

29 10 2006

Recently, I discussed pessimism and how maybe I am one and how maybe that’s not so bad. The other day, talking with some friends, one called herself a “realist” and pointed out that there is more to it than the two extremes of “optimism” and “pessimism” and, in reality, it’s more like a spectrum.

Today as I was listening to the Garden State sountrack (holy crap there’s a website JUST for the soundtrack!), Colin Hay’s I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You was playing and rather than be saddened at the idea of living an entire life pining for someone, I smiled. NO, I’m not a sadist! And, actually, in my head, it’s quite a positive thought, let’e see if I can translate that for you…

My motto is: That’s Life! Colin Hay (or whoever the song is written from the viewpoint of) is not alone. Thousands of people end up living their lives without the one person they believe to be their true love. It’s sad, yes, but it’s the way life is. Some things go the way we hope and others don’t and sometimes we know why and sometimes we don’t, but we all go through it all together. No one person gets it all, all the time. We all suffer sometimes and when we can do that together, there is peace in it somehow.

Lately I’ve been teaching my daughter (usually after a tantrum) that sometimes? Life sucks. But we make a decision to deal with it and just be happy and then we find ways to do that. Is it wrong to teach my small child that life sucks? Not so long as I give her the tools to make the best of it every day. It’s reality.

Aw, hell, look at the entire movie, Life is Beautiful! It pretty much sums it all up there, no?

They Might Be Giants had a song long before they went into children’s television and there is a part in there that says

No one in the world ever gets what they want
And that is beautiful
Everybody dies frustrated and sad
And that is beautiful

And it is beautiful.

I think the real pessimistic thing here is how life is portrayed in the media – always on a happy ending. Don’t get me wrong, I like the happy endings because they leave one with a feeling of peace and hope and we need that sometimes. But at the same time I think we’re shooting ourselves in the feet by not being willing to discuss the reality of what life brings to each and every one of us. If we could open up and share, we’d find we are all the same and we’d find strength and beauty in that. It’s a huge part of the reason why I started the Shape of a Mother – I find the more I spill my guts, the easier it is to BE.

Anyway, this weekend has been a series of ups and downs and not at all what I expected so when I was feeling a little down awhile ago, I put on Petula Clark’s Downtown, turned the volume up and sang along, remembering the second part of my lesson to my daughter: Life sucks, but choose to be happy anyway.




2 responses

29 10 2006

Your post reminds me of part of a Dar Williams song…
“And I wake up and I ask myself what state I’m in
And I say well I’m lucky, cause I am like East Berlin
I had this wall and what I knew of the free world
Was that I could see their fireworks
And I could hear their radio
And I thought that if we met, I would only start confessing
And they’d know that I was scared
They’d would know that I was guessing
But the wall came down and there they stood before me
With their stumbling and their mumbling
And their calling out just like me…”

29 10 2006
lola coca-cola

I know a 4 year old whose teacher at school tells them

you get what you get, and you don’t get upset

Sounds good!

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