Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lighten Up & Live

“Life ain’t nothin’ but a funny, funny riddle…”

Yesterday, I had to keep reminding myself to stay positive. I had agreed to work on a Saturday and journey from Nashville to Spencer, TN to complete a home visit with prospective foster parents. After three hours of forcing my poor little Altima to climb up curvy mountain roads, I needed to get out of the car.

Traveling alone had provoked more thoughts than could be contained in the limited space of my cluttered car’s interior- Working in foster care does this to me sometimes…I often find myself wondering how to make things better for kids and I feel a mixture of confusing emotions when I think that my efforts don’t have near the world-changing impact that I’d anticipated…This is a common thing for social workers, I'm sure- I assured myself of the normality of self-doubt as I drove the last stretch of miles that seemed never-ending.

I took comfort in my ‘turn that frown upside down’, negative to positive altering of thought, for whatever reason- and decided I needed to take a break from thinking- and from the confinement of my car. I spotted an open field that afforded ample space for an old barn and small family cemetery. This would have to do for a rest stop, since the next one would be at least 50 miles from my almost too-rural location.

Once parked, I sprang from my car like a caged cat and slammed my driver door shut to trap and house all thoughts within. Now, standing alone in this newly discovered rest area, I felt better. I stopped debating whether or not my efforts in social work were futile. I lightened up as warm sunshine embraced me and seemingly insisted that everything would be okay. I was reminded of John Denver…Sunshine On My Shoulders, Country Roads- These melodies now, thankfully, replaced my obnoxiously conflicting thoughts as I trekked across this unknown land.

I love a line from Denver’s ‘Thank God I’m A Country Boy!’ After all, he’s right- “Life ain’t nothin’ but a funny, funny riddle.” Yesterday, I stopped trying to solve life’s riddle and happily accepted the peace that derived from this simplicity. Things are often far less complicated than I determine when I consistently over-analyze everything.  I did end up solving my own life’s ‘funny, funny riddle’- here in this field of mysterious healing powers- (at least, I think so) 

It may be the solution for others’ life riddles, as well:

Worrying is needless. You have more of an impact on others and on the world than you will probably ever realize during your lifetime. Do what you can to help every person you can- It DOES matter- even when you think it doesn’t. Don’t over-complicate, Don’t underestimate, Don’t under-appreciate…

Lighten up, live, and enjoy your life. Things are far simpler than they seem. In that simplicity, you’ll find happiness. 

(Listening to John Denver doesn’t hurt, either.) 
Try it for yourselves- click play and scroll on…

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