Bittersweet songs of life

Paula and I are sitting around listening to sixties and early seventies music today instead of watcing TV, and it’s quite enlightening. I cannot understand how it is that I can’t remember which drawer I put my socks in, but can remember every word of practically every song this station is playing.

I think the difference is that for most of these songs, I have a very vivid memory attached. “Saturday in the Park” …and I am remembering singing this song in August of 1972, when a certain baby girl was born. Joyous memory…Kirsten Brown

Then there are some which have brought tears to my eyes. We used to have performances at school at Trion, and when I listen to “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul and Mary, I remember a little High School group who performed this song on stage, composed of two brothers…the Myer’s boys, and a young lady named Susan Cavin. It is bittersweet because two of the three of these wonderful people are now gone…

There are many of these oldies which take me back…it’s wonderful and sad at the same time. How can that be?? Then…they throw in a Taylor Swift song called “Never Grow Up” and that one makes me cry to because of another certain little girl I love so much, and it being her “theme song” Auttie Bowers Saw a photo of her in a red prom dress today for Senior prom and…..well…..I gotta quit writing now.

I hope you understand……

The Old River

When you walk to the river, you see the ground beneath you teeming with life. The air you breathe is free to you, and you may gulp it in at your leisure.

And the crows up in the clouds, a hundred at the least, circle around you cawing either their indignation or admiration. Perhaps their acceptance, because they recognize that you are a creature of nature also….

And not it’s master.

What do you make from life?

Good life, bad life.

I thought about it a lot this past weekend. What determines how we judge whether our lives have been positive or negative?

I finally decided that it all comes down to attitude. Your attitude is what makes the difference in whether you are having a good life, or a bad life. Attitude is either your best friend, or your worst enemy. It’s your greatest asset or your worst liability.

It’s easy to say that we are going to change our attitudes. I have said it many times before, and then after a while, I find myself slowly slipping back into my old habits, and again becoming negative. That old pessimism that has been prevalent in my life starts to creep up on me like a swamp gator sneaking in for the kill. And when it gets close enough…BOOM…it springs.

It’s not easy changing your attitude.

Of course, nobody can stay positive all the time. At least I don’t think that’s possible. I have known some pretty positive people, and even they get down on life every now and then. I think the magic trick is picking yourself up quickly after you do get down. It’s not an easy trick to learn. It’s not built into some people’s genetic makeup, which makes it even harder. One thing which I think helps is to try and surround yourself with people who have positive attitudes.

Or, in my own case, I often find more solace and ability to rebound by doing just the opposite. I get outside and take long walks, a lot of time by myself. On a recent walk I took down by the river, I prowled along the shore like a hermit crab…picking things up and looking at them….simply breathing in the air, and reflecting and rebuilding the neurons in my brain. I could have probably spent the entire day doing it. Weird old guy. It’s not for everybody, but it works for me in the here and now.

As we get older, we have an ever growing bank of memories on which to reflect and remember. I think now looking back down the pipeline of my life that even the bad days were good. I have had some pretty dang bad days. I think we need them. If we have no very bad days we don’t have anything to which to compare the very good days. There has to be contrast, there has to be dark and light, evil and good.

However, I believe I have learned something from all of my days. I hope all of us have.

One thing I really appreciate is having good kids, and I am grateful for the people they have chosen to live their lives with. That’s one of the things I really didn’t think about back when Paula and I were trying to raise our children. I didn’t realize that instead of 3 kids we were going to end up with 6 one of these days. (and some super grandchildren to boot!) It’s a funny thing about how your children and grandchildren can become great friends in the process of living you life, if you will let them.

Back to good life, bad life. Attitude. Is there anyway that anyone knows of to stay more on the track of being on the positive side? I think sometimes I go up and down more than a roller coaster. It would be better to stay up at the top of the hill but I am sure that there are no easy solutions for doing it. It takes work, and it takes consistency. I hope everyone is having success.

One thing that helps me though, is to put my thoughts down on paper…even if it is virtual paper. At least I can kind of keep up with that way. I think that’s probably the biggest thing I like about this “social media” experience. There’s a bunch of things which have developed which I don’t care for, but as a friend was telling me the other day, he thinks the good outweighs the bad. I guess time will tell on that account.