Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Some days are like that...

...even in Australia.”

One of my children’s favorite books growing up was “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” by Judith Viorst. I would read it to them at night and we would laugh at Alexander’s trials: gum in his hair, not having his favorite cereal, being forced to buy the wrong colored shoes, having to wear his train pajamas. Alexander’s day was so horrible that he wanted to move to Australia to escape. It wasn’t long before Alexander’s mother’s response to his woes became my response when we were all having a bad day, “Some days are like that, even in Australia.”

We’ve all had days like Alexander’s: days when we wish we had stayed in bed. Those are the days when absolutely everything goes wrong and as your day progresses it only gets worse. You wish you could run away to Australia and escape, but you are forced to keep plugging along and wish for night to fall, hoping things will improve tomorrow.

Literature has addressed this dilemma over and over again. Alexander is not the only one that felt this way. Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind” shared the same feeling of being overwhelmed with the events of her day. Her solution was to “think about this tomorrow, because tomorrow is another day.” Even Shakespeare’s MacBeth could not escape a day to end all days.

Screenplays have been written based on this premise. Jerry’s day in “Jerry McQuire” was a nightmare. George’s day in New York in the “Out of Towners” would make anyone run for the hills. Then there is Jamie Curtis’ character in “Halloween”, who can’t catch a break on that same day for years. And my favorite is the father in “Parenthood”, who realizes that life is like a roller coaster, with its ups, downs, twists and turns.

This is a recurring theme in fiction because it is a recurring theme in life. Some days just feel like they are spinning out of control. You can wallow in the reality of it all or go along for the ride. You can strap yourself in and hang on for dear life and know that some days are just like that. Some days require all the stamina you can muster to survive.

Personally, I have had many days like this recently. Days when I wished I could just pull the covers up over my head and stay in bed. Days in which I wonder if I'm ever going to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Barry knows about these days too. He has songs that speak of these days: All the Time, Life Goes On, I Made It Through the Rain, Lay Me Down, Please Don’t be Scared, You Begin Again to name a few. And those are the songs that help to get me through those days. They remind me that it is just the ebb and flow of life: some good days and some bad days. We all have them.

Take a moment to think about the coyote in the Roadrunner cartoon. He tried and tried to stop that bird, but failed every single time. He exemplified perseverance. It didn’t matter how many times he failed; he kept trying. He got up every day and got back on that roller coaster of life. You will find that no matter how sick the ride may make you or how afraid you might be to keep trying, the excitement that every day brings is worth the ride. Why should you keep trying? Because “some days are like that, even in Australia.”

Here's hoping tomorrow is NOT one of those days,

Texas Fan

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