It’s a Jimmy Buffet kinda day…yes, I love being in a “lower latitude” aka the BEACH, but today in Charlottesville, VA it is sunny, care-free and easy. I am writing this on Saturday afternoon while sitting outside at King Family Vineyards enjoying the lovely sunshine, gentle breezes, cooler temperatures, a glass of wine, and warm bread and cheese with hundreds of other people seeking fun on a Saturday afternoon. I ran into a couple of friends (former neighbors) who made my day by telling me they are reading my blog. And a former boyfriend of one of my daughters, who told me he, too, is reading it! Imagine that!
My younger daughter works here at the vineyard a couple of weekends a month – it has become one of my favorite weekend “go to” places when I am not at the beach. One I am comfortable doing “solo”. First time going out solo was a bit awkward, but I am now very comfortable going many places by myself. Change of attitude. I discovered that if I want to go out to dinner alone, eating at the bar is a lot of fun. There is so much activity at the bar and many fun people to socialize with. Wineries? Take a book or laptop and enjoy a glass of wine and the scenery. Plus I usually run into someone I know. As I write, I am watching them set up for a wedding later today – what a beautiful day for a wedding!
Is real life this easy? Oh HELL no! (sorry for the cuss word, Mom!) If only life were simple. However, think about your track record for surviving what life has thrown at you so far – it’s 100%, right? You are still here – you survived! I am here and I survived. Or as my girlfriends say, I have thrived, through a change of attitude. Look for the positives – they are always there. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find the positives, but trust me, they are there.
“A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it.”
Your outlook on life determines what kind of day, week, or month you are going to have. Ever been stuck in traffic, late for work, or trying to get to that step class and claim YOUR spot, and all you can think of is someone or something is out to get you? Why won’t that light change? Why won’t that car move up closer to the one in front? Why won’t that blasted light change and stay green long enough for me to get through it?!?! What if instead you stopped, took a deep breath, and said a prayer of thanks that: 1) you have a car, 2) you have a job or place to be, or 3) you are physically able to go to a step class? Just change your outlook. What if by being late you avoided something bad – maybe if you had been 5 minutes earlier you might have been in an accident? Be thankful. There is always something to be thankful for. And remember there is always someone wishing they had what you are taking for granted.
“You may not be able to control every situation and its outcome, but you can control your attitude and how you deal with it.”
Many people have reached out to me asking, “How are you doing? Are you always so positive?” Again, HELL no! I have my days, trust me. Most of the time I am very happy and try to be positive. Then something happens that stabs me in the heart and I have to deal with it. I try to take my own advice, and while I know I can claw my way back up, it isn’t always easy. I have to tell myself that I have made it through these “events” 100% of the time and that, my friends, is SUCCESS! And I know I will survive again. It is ok (and healthy) to have a pity party every now and then – but don’t live there – have it, get over it, and put it behind you. Remember the best place for a good cry is in the shower!
“Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.” L R Knost
Truly, if you think about it, more good things happen in life than bad. I am not diminishing the tragedies that befall so many of us. But we have to look for the good. There cannot be a rainbow without rain. One saying that I continue to run across is that “the best is yet to come”. I truly believe this. I know my best has not happened yet. And I have had some really great times.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Plato.
Dave Matthews (of DMB fame who got his start right here in Charlottesville) put together an amazing FREE concert of “music and unity” in hopes of changing attitudes and highlighting peace and love in Charlottesville. Our little town is still being referred to in the news, and not in the positive light that we know it should be. So how to get those free tickets – a lottery. My younger daughter and I (and a million other people) entered the lottery, and lo and behold we won tickets! What a fun and beautiful night we had at the concert. Sunday night at Scott Stadium (UVA’s football stadium). First up Dave Matthews, followed by the Roots Band (from the Tonight Show) with Brittany Howard, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, Chris Stapleton, Chris Martin (Coldplay), Justin Timberlake, Dave Matthews again and then the surprise guest – STEVIE WONDER! WOW you say? Yes… WOW! Each musician performed for half an hour and all were fantastic! Lucky me – all sang my favorite songs: Pharrell “Happy”, Coldplay “Viva la Vida”, and Justin Timberlake “Can’t stop the Feeling”! And as the finale, Stevie Wonder sang “Imagine”. Y’all it was powerful. We had great seats and danced and sang along with the performers and stayed until the last note was played. We actually walked from my daughter’s house to Scott Stadium. It was a good walk – about a mile (had to get our steps in) and did NOT have to deal with any traffic.
“Life is like a piano, the white keys represent happiness and black keys show sadness. But as you go through life’s journey, remember that the black keys too make music.”
There was one thing my daughter and I forgot. The International Space Station was going to be visible at 8:44 pm and it was a perfectly clear night. We planned to look for it, but got so caught up in the concert that 8:44 pm went by and at 9:00 pm we realized we had missed it. I am a geek for the ISS. I get an email telling me when it can be spotted and I look for it. Spotted it a few nights later. Isn’t it amazing to think that people all over the country are looking up at the same time you are and seeing the ISS? I am also a sucker for starry nights… and mornings! BD (before divorce) I used to run at 5 am and loved looking up at all the stars shining so brightly and lighting my way. Now I run with the sun UP! And I am ok with that. Life goes on.
“You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe; harmonic connection between all living beings everywhere, even the stars.” Robin Williams
Maybe we all need a change of attitude. We need to accept where life has taken us and make the most of every day because every day is a precious gift. Believe that “today will be better than yesterday and tomorrow will be better than today.”
My heart breaks for Las Vegas where my daughter and other friends of mine recently vacationed. I keep thinking about those innocent people enjoying a concert when the unexpected and unbelievable happened. I remember reading once that Mr. Rogers (yes from the “beautiful day in the neighborhood”) said when scary things happen, look around for the helpers. There will always be helpers. There were many brave helpers in Las Vegas.
On a happier note, I have a fun weekend coming up with family. My sister’s birthday is Saturday. Remember to make an effort to spend time with those you love because, as we all know, tomorrow is not promised to any of us.
See you next week,