When I was about 11 years old (sixth grade), in the dead of a Ft Collins, Colorado winter our heat was shut off because of our inability to pay the bill (we were not what you would call affluent). One night, around 2:00am, bundled in blankets but still cold, I wandered into my mothers room to complain.
Her response was simple, “if you’re already cold, we might as well go make snow angels!” … and make them (and laugh, and cavort, and forget our troubles) we did.
When I was 14 (and a day… we had celebrated my 14th birthday on the train from Alice Springs the previous day) we arrived in Canberra, Australia in the evening with no place to stay (the youth hostel where we were planning on staying was full when we got there). Five minutes later we had a reservation at the YMCA, announced to us by, you guessed it, a full choral rendition of the song… arm motions and all… right in the middle of Australian equivalent to Grand Central Station.
I started thinking about these stories (and many more) when this song hit my radar this morning:
I have often heard this song (which I’m pretty sure is being sung to a parental unit of one gender or another) and thought, if I just flipped the words it would sort of reflect my relationship with my mother. take:
Because of you I’ll never stray to far from the sidewalk
and change it to:
Because of you I’m only vaguely aware that there are sidewalks…
You get the idea…
My mom was indomitable. Not only was no problem to big to handle, but there was no situation that couldn’t be laughed about and enjoyed along the way. Penny “if-your-walking-on-thin-ice-you-might-as-well-dance” Fuerst just didn’t have a “safe mode.”
As anyone I have dated (or has otherwise known me well) over the years can attest, adopting this mindset has been both my blessing and my curse. I have never really accepted the idea of disaster as reality.
Mind you, this does not mean I haven’t made a disaster or two of things during my life. In fact, I have done more than my fair share of that. Further, it doesn’t mean I don’t worry about things either, because I do. However, what I don’t do, pretty much ever, is accept the worst case scenario as a viable option in any situation.
There is always, ALWAYS a silver lining. There is good in every situation and a far worse situation that, thankfully, I do not need to face. For every sold out youth hostel, there is a jubilant, rousing chorus of YMCA, and a cause for celebration. So no matter what I might face… I never actually think, or even consider the possibility, that things are going to go horribly wrong…
…and if they did… there are always snow angels to be made