It's A Hard Knock Life!
“I learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s) he handles these three things:
a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”
Recently my daughter Shannon and I had an amazing experience of performing in a childrens’ theatrical production in our home town called Annie Junior. It was our first show together and clearly a dream come true for both of us. I have directed many plays in my teaching career, yet had not had much opportunity to be in any. My daughter was an orphan and servant and I was a servant as well. It was produced and directed by good friends of mine, Terry and Lenore Raisbeck who are extremely talented and gifted in the arts. I have long admired them and to be able to perform with them was so wonderful for both my daughter and I. They run a theater company called The Little Tomato Theater involving youth from our area and the shows that they produce are absolutely second to none. What an meaningful experience for kids to be a part of something so magical and memorable. It was so exciting to watch Shannon grow as an actor and get into character as both a rough and tumble orphan and a prim and proper servant. Polar opposite roles for sure, yet she played them both very well! Nearly 2500 people came to see this heart warming show where an adorable redhead finally gets a family. I will never forget when the curtain opens with all the orphans in place ready to sing their big number, a clear crowd favourite, “Hard Knock Life.” The song speaks to the “rotten, smelly life,” these orphans endure day after day at the hands of a cantankerous, task master, the manager of the orphanage, Miss Hannigan. Fortunately, through a wonderful turn of events, not only Annie, but all the orphans have a happy ending when the very rich and compassionate Oliver Warbucks comes to their rescue. Their once “full of sorrow” life now had a bright future and the audience could not have been happier!
It is wonderful when life is like that and things work out for the best, yet as you know it does not always work like that in real life. Happy endings do not always come in the real world. Many times we can feel like those orphans and that nothing seems to be going our way. Crisis, serious problems or maybe just a million little things bring us down. Life gets so hectic and the day to day grind can really take its toll. My mom, a retired teacher regularly volunteers in my classroom. She comes in with the most creative insights and simple life lessons to share with the kids each week. Last week she decided to launch a discussion on expressions and what they mean. She was curious to see what the students thought certain common clichés meant. It was cute to see what the kids thought about these common expressions. I had to chuckle to myself when she said “What about this one? Stop the world. I want to get off!” I was feeling that way lately with being into the crazy season of final assessments, report cards, and final projects and exam prep for my own kids. Interesting though that she also mentioned an original expression that my comical grandfather, her dad used to regularly say as well. He always had a positive spin on things and unique perspectives despite his circumstances. When asked how he was he would often reply “Everything’s jiggaloo!” Simply he meant like we often say these days “It’s all good!” A good example of a positive outlook for us to follow.
Perspective is a truly wonderful thing. No matter how hard we have it in life, there is always someone who has a worse scenario than us. It is easy to complain about little things when truly we are so blessed and have so much to be thankful for as Canadians. Sometimes it is good to make a conscious effort to take inventory of what we truly have. We forget too quickly all the wonderful things that God has given us to make our lives more comfortable and meaningful. The expression “This too shall pass,” often holds true for many of the challenges we face, although we sometimes cannot see it at the time. Sometimes getting away from things for a while can be just what you need to get a healthier view on things. Recently, my husband and I went away for a weekend together to a quiet retreat center, not far from home. He works afternoons and we were really needing a chance to have some time together to reconnect and talk about things other than what errands needed to be done and the day to day household chores. It was very quiet there with very few guests that weekend. All the staff kept apologizing for the lack of activity on the grounds yet in reality this was exactly what we needed. A welcome change from the hustle and bustle of life. I work with 20 little kids in one room all day long, so a quiet, restful atmosphere was absolutely heavenly. We felt that the staff catered to our every whim and we left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. This is something I recommend for all married couples. You really need to take time for each other and carve out time for just the two of you to keep your sanity in the busyness of life.
The world lost a wonderful and compassionate soul this week. I have long admired Maya Angelou who is an actress, poet and civil rights activist and her deep insights and perspectives on things. She went through many challenges in her youth but she learned how to overcome them and made a name for herself. Her positive outlook on things and determination to keep focused on the things that really matter in life where truly her saving grace. She was a powerful mentor of Oprah Winfrey and I have included one of her quotes on the blog this week.
I don’t know what you are going through right now. You may have a “rotten smelly life” or your life may be going very well, quite “jiggaloo” as my grandpa would say. Life has good times and bad and we have to handle them all. When the bad times come, we need to remember that life can be hard, but God is good. The Bible says: He will never leave us or forsake us which means God is there as a source of comfort for us always. Talk to people you trust too. It is very healing to know people can relate and they have been where you are and have lived to tell about it! Keep your perspective everyone! Whatever you are going through can be used to make you a better stronger person if you let it. Often our biggest struggles with time, patience and the right outlook can become blessings if we are open minded to it!
Deuteronomy 31:6 ~ Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord God goes with you: He will never leave you or forsake you.
Little Lesson Learned: The right perspective can turn a seemingly impossible situation around quickly if we allow for this possibility.
Copyright: Littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2014
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