It is amazing how quickly a few words can abruptly change your mood, taking you from happy to sad or vice versa in zero to sixty and successfully changing the trajectory of your day. My feelings this week have been borderline anger, instigated by a few passing comments and imminent events that are leaving me to deal with a mix of confusing emotions. I have spent seven days self-pitying, somedays crying, other days moping in bed, and one day walking around a mall, desperately attempting to shake off the frustration and move forward. I know better than anyone that it is best to acknowledge emotions, regardless of how good or bad, deal with them, learn from them, then subsequently let the memories go. But sometimes, it seems easier to simply wallow in despair and feel sorry for yourself, never discovering solutions and never moving forward.
While all situations are different and unique, and should be respected based on the person and the way they are dealing with it, there is nothing like someone else’s misfortune to put your own blessings into perspective. I’ve been driving around town with my family all day, and with the hopes of abating my bad mood, I turned on my iPod, hoping to utilize music as a mechanism to ease my pain. The decision turned out to be smart, for when I hit shuffle, the most situational song sounded through my headphones, inadvertently teaching me a lesson with its lyrics. In “One of Those Lives”, Brad Paisley laments over the irritations of everyday monotony before receiving a phone call from his wife, who informs him of a friend’s cancer relapse. The narrator’s petty troubles are immediately evaporated, replaced by the realization of how fortunate he really is. While there isn’t much he can do to rectify the pace of rush hour traffic or his boss’s unwarranted accusations, he can change how he perceives life and the subtle blessings that surround him.
One of the things I love the most about Paisley is that his repertoire is filled with songs that preach the message of self-satisfaction and appreciation, conveying the notion of a silver lining in any situation. Life, to be frank, can suck. There are always ups and downs, and the cons are almost always magnified trivialities that are not as bad as they seem. The trick to overcoming them is to take a second to step away from the anger and open our eyes to the positive that almost always sits right in front of us. Life has an interesting way of working out the way it should. Happiness can be found in the smallest of things, but it is up to us to discover that solace.
The traditional favorite verse: And so it’s been one of those days/I let things get to me/I got no right to complain/Cause when I look around I see/ Folks that are fightin’ for every breath/And it makes me realize/It’s just been one for those days for me/But for them it’s been one of those lives. My day, my week, and the things that I have been upset about are not that bad. Eventually, I will not remember why I felt so much distress during this period of time in my life. While no situation should be disregarded as not important enough to fret or complain about, it is always important to remember that things could be much worse. It is a blessing to be able to live the life I have. If I am upset over something small enough to be forgotten in a short span of time, then I am clearly not appreciative of what I have and what is yet to come.