Tunes for Tuesday – The Impression That I Get

My sister taught me a beautiful phrase: “Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” As brilliant as she is she doesn’t take credit for it. It’s a combination of quotes by James M. Barrie (Peter Pan playwright) and Plato. A wonderful phrase that I remind myself of often.

My sunny attitude. My glass half-full approach. I know it can be irritating. Annoying, even. I know I’ve lost some readers based on my posts and comments. And while I do feel down from time to time it doesn’t happen very often. There are times when I wish I was a bit more balanced. Could see through to reality. I’d avoid disappointment that way. But I know myself too well – and I’m not changing any time soon.

“Have you ever been close to tragedy
Or been close to folks who have
Have you ever felt a pain so powerful
So heavy you collapse” – My mother was an intensive care nurse. If we had a splinter, she showed us someone with a broken arm. If we had a broken arm, she’d show us someone with leukemia. Someone out there always had it worse than us. Now that approach certainly didn’t validate the pain we were in (and there’s enough fodder for a whole other post). But it did show us it could be worse.

“Have you ever had the odds stacked up so high
You need a strength most don’t possess
Or has it ever come down to do or die
You’ve got to rise above the rest” – Some of you out there are struggling with such pain. Physical. Mental. Financial. Struggles you keep private. Struggles you blog about to get off your chest. Illnesses that won’t leave your bodies. Depression that comes with the holidays. I want to be there to listen. I want to send hugs to all of you. I hate suffering, which is why I’m such a terrible nurse.

“I’m not a coward,
I’ve just never been tested
I’d like to think that if I was,
I would pass
Look at the tested and think there but for the grace go
I might be a coward,
I’m afraid of what I might find out” – I’ve had my fair share of struggle or pain. I lived a dysfunctional childhood that crept into my adulthood. But I turned out okay. But real tragedy? “There, but by the grace of God, go I.” (John Bradford) I feel so lucky sometimes. No, a lot of the time. I know my life is easy compared to some. And selfishly, secretly, I hope it continues. I don’t want to discover the coward I really am.

“I’ve never had to knock on wood
But I know someone who has
Which makes me wonder if I could” – I knock on “wood” all the time. I knock on my head. It makes people laugh. While they’re searching for wood to knock I offer them my head. I tease about my own ignorance of the woes of the world. I purposely don’t focus on local news anymore. I live near a major, metropolitan city. Murders. Gang violence. Drugs. I don’t need to clutter my pretty little head with that stuff. “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.” (Thomas Gray)

“I’ve never had to knock on wood
And I’m glad I haven’t yet
Because I’m sure it isn’t good
That’s the impression that I get” – So, no. I’ve never really HAD to knock on wood. But my heart goes out to those of you who have.  I’ve lived a pretty lucky life. I do my best to help those who haven’t. And during this happy (for me) holiday season I have become acutely aware from all the reading I’ve been doing in Blog World that if you truly have to knock on wood there is some deep pain going on. Without sounding too much like a beauty queen I’m wishing and praying for all of you out there to be at peace. To find and treasure the joy around you. To have quiet minds and healthful bodies. I am who I am – so you’re still going to see sunshine and roses here on most days. But please know I am aware of the struggles out there. I’m just doing what I can to help share some of my joy.

The Impression That I Get – by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

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21 Comments

Filed under Music

21 responses to “Tunes for Tuesday – The Impression That I Get

  1. Thank you for this heartfelt post. Never apologize for your sunny view, for your optimism. I am fascinated by optimism. I think it is a wonderful and powerful thing. I wish I had a little more optimism in me. Maybe it was being reared in the big city, but I have so many cynical threads in me. Fewer than I used to, but they are there.

    Thanks for this.

  2. Optimism is contagious. Great attitudes are gifts, and yours is heartfelt. Most people appreciate that…it’s the sugary sickly sweet fake stuff people don’t buy into. Stay on the sunny side!

  3. You amaze me. I mean, it’s one thing to come up with something like this, oh…once a month…but you do it consistently.

  4. I am not an optimist. Sometimes I can pull it together to not be cynical, but I usually expect the worst so I’m not surprised when the worst happens. It always amazes me when people have the ability to not only stay positive, but be optimistic in all they do. Keep up the good work!

  5. I think I have become less optimistic as I’ve gotten older and, more disturbingly, less able when feeling down to persuade myself to consider who might be doing worse or suffering more. I have an incredibly fortunate life and reminders like this one from you today are vital to help me maintain an optimistic perspective. So here’s to glasses half full! Thanks, Jane.

  6. LisaF

    Your header says it all. A warm light shining in the cold darkness, which is, most time, what your posts reflect! I try to find Five Good Things every week or so to write about to make sure I pay attention to all the little blessings in my life. Some weeks they are nearly impossible to find. But looking for them keeps me focused on being optimistic. I hope my sharing these little joys with others helps them watch for the little things that can create a smile.

  7. Well, you know that I’m a complete crank…but it’s people like you who make me stop, amazed.

  8. unabridgedgirl

    I, for one, am glad that you have a positive attitude. It is hard enough to get through life’s difficulties, let alone with a half-glass-empty outlook. I know that the only thing that got me through some personal tragedies is striving to find the silver lining. Thanks, Jane.

  9. I love your attitude. I think attitude is part of temperment to a certain degree, thus partly genetic. I’m a pretty positive person. Life’s too short. There’s always crap if you’re looking for it.
    I do that too, knock on my head for wood. I always have, if there’s no wood around. Can’t take any chances…
    Great post!!

  10. Great song and great post. I’m an eternal optimist too….I hope we’re not annoying!!

  11. There’s enough cynicism in the blogosphere. I love your glass-is-half-full-ness!

    (And I KNEW I knew that song. That’s a blast from the past.)

  12. You’ve lost readers because you try to remain positive!?!? That’s sad. I guess some people like to wallow too much. I am always glad for a positive attitude because sometimes I feel a little depressed, so reading a cheery blog doesn’t push me away… instead it helps raise my own spirits! Keep it up!
    -Jen

    • Yes, honestly I have. There was one regular (mostly) lurker who had commented once or twice. Then, on a particularly sunny post wrote me an evil comment. I deleted it. I didn’t want that negativity here. Accused me of being high on Prozac, that no one is “that” happy. It was phrased very unkindly with a few more idiotic things tossed in for good measure. Hasn’t been back since. (thank goodness)

  13. Today’s Tunes for Tuesday really touched me. It’s always the way we look at it. We can bitch because all our money goes to bills, but at least we have a bills. We get upset because we have colds and allergies, but we’re not dying from them. We’re disappointed that we’re having a boy, but we’re having a baby and with any luck one that will be healthy.
    It amazes me the messages people can send in a piece of rock music.

    • Well said. Next Monday’s post is written along these lines. I wrote in a few days ago but didn’t want to blast everyone with too many posts in a row with a positive spin on things – lest I offend someone or make them gag at my good nature!

  14. I think it’s all about balance. We negative people need a dose of positivity every so often!!

    I was reading an article by Dr Robert Holden about happiness and he said “Don’t try to be positive all the time, because a) it will exhaust you, and b) it will annoy people.”
    :D Not sure if that’s true or not really.

  15. I truly believe and live my life keeping your sisters deep thought in mind! I always say you never what is giong on behind closed doors. Makes you look at people in a different way, helps me to be more patient and kind, reminds me to count my lucky stars…and I often “knock on wood”.

    Great post

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