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2017

“It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to.”

— Lesley Gore

Is it just me or does anyone else notice that the phrase “April showers bring May flowers” is starting to pop up during conversation a little too often lately?

It’s one of those sayings that people love to spout out this time of year — kind of like how the phrase “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” gets used during the summertime. For some reason both of these statements make me want to smack someone up-side the head just so I can say “It’s not the slap that hurts, it’s the impact.”

Getting back to the first phrase, though, I’m not seeking to be a Negative Nancy or a Debbie Downer, but I’m not so sure that it’s good for the eyes to always be looking on the bright side of things. I like a little frustration from time to time. Matter of fact, I believe that it’s through struggle that we find our greatest strengths. Where would we be if our caveman ancestors didn’t take on the boring task of rubbing two sticks together to create fire? Could we be as advanced as we are today if the ancient Greeks didn’t ponder profound questions but instead chalked everything up to “stuff happens” and then went back to eating grapes? I ask, would we have ever been able to enjoy a Bangles song if the Egyptians had not struggled learning how to walk in the first place?

My point is that a well-balanced life should come with its own share of woes, as well as wows. There’s nothing wrong with singing the blues. Give a listen to Etta James or Ray Charles, and you’ll find that they were so good at wailing, they made careers out of it. So I think that it’s fine, even healthy, to dip your toe into the waters of worry, just as long as you don’t wallow. Learning to swim is what keeps us from drowning, and that’s a skill that will definitely come in handy if you ever want to make a splash, because you can’t dive into a pool unless you’re at the deep end.

Into everyone’s life there will be dark clouds, but if given enough time the skies will eventually part. But that doesn’t mean you can’t dance in the rain a bit before reaching for a silver lining. I mean, without the ups and downs, a roller coaster would just be called a train and no one is going to stand in line all afternoon for a ride without any thrills.

So I’ll take the storms as they come, and I’ll pick the flowers if they grow, but in the meantime I’ll enjoy the moment I’m living in without any added spice other than what’s already in the stew. After all, the only time we can ever be guaranteed of is happening right now. So enjoy things while they last — even if it’s something you’d rather not enjoy.

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Auburn native Bradley Molloy’s column appears here each Sunday. He can be reached at lovonian@hotmail.com

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