Life is What You Make It

When I was a kid, I had a record (yeah, a plastic disk that spun around and was activated by an actual needle, producing sound waves that were amplified as electric signals through hot glass tubes and pushed out into the atmosphere through big ol’ speakers, not headphones) that included Guy Lombardo’s “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)”. I always liked the song and what it seemed to suggest … for those who think that Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying” represents some new breakthrough in psychology, I would suggest checking it out. Anyway, I was sitting here watching a family of cardinals dining at the bird feeder in the backyard and enjoying the sunshine, and came up with the line “there’s no use in complaining, son, when life throws you a curve / we each get what we ask for, or at least, what we deserve.” And the rest of the song sprung (as in “spring has sprung / fall has fell / winter’s here / and it’s colder than … usual) from that.

Now, I suppose each of us chose
where we were born and raised,
just like we pick which songs to play
and what work fills our days.
I know it’s true that fortune moves
in strange and wondrous ways;
the lessons we require are given
’til the learning stays.

Good times and bad both come and go,
one day leads to the next;
you never know what’s coming
or just what you can expect.
There’s no use in complaining, though,
when life throws you a curve;
we each get what we asked for,
or at least what we deserve.

Life is what you make it
Don’t waste time knocking around
Don’t let your dreams split at the seams
Don’t let those teardrops drown
The sun that keeps on shining
Every morning until night
It may not be a perfect day
But it will be all right.

Geography and circumstance
are not just random luck;
and it’s no accident you drive
a Beamer or a truck.
Blue collar or accountant,
each has their own row to hoe,
and either fights the current
or learns to go with the flow.

There’s not much point in judging, then,
how the world has passed you by;
we each serve our own sentence,
a life’s span, and then we die.
So live like you want life to be,
and dance to your own drum;
who knows? tomorrow you might find
your lucky number’s come.

Life is what you make it
Don’t waste time spinning around
Don’t let love bloom around you
Without chasing a bit down
The sun will keep on shining
Every morning until night
It may not be a perfect day
But it will be all right.

10 JAN 2006

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