Monday, April 12, 2010

Mad love for The Carpenters

I'm sure I'm outing myself as a not-so-young mom by telling you I remember a certain song, but surely you've already figured out I'm no spring chick through the infinite wisdom contained in all my posts, right? This isn't the kind of stuff you can find on My Space, my friends.

So why, if I'm such a crusty old thang, does this song make me cry practically every time I hear it? Honestly, I'd forgotten about it for ages, and then, from some dusty corner, it sprang back to mind. It was during a typical, two-year old's tantrum that Eloise was plugging away with. In an effort to stem the tide, I shouted, "You know, what? We need to sing a song!" And before you could say, "I wanna watch Dora!" one more time, I was belting out this tune.

Sing a Song
Sing, sing a song

Sing out loud
Sing out strong.
Sing of good things not bad

Sing of happy not sad.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last

Your whole life long.
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear.
Just sing, sing a song.

Made famous by The Carpenters, and probably a 45 that was in my collection (please say you know what that means), this little ditty is cheesy to be sure, but I think it has so much heart. And maybe it's nostalgia that makes me cry when I hear it, but I'm pretty sure it's more than that. It's the message -- sort of the "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" bumper sticker of the 70's.

Especially this part: Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear. Just sing, sing a song. That is profound, people. What an amazing message to not only pass on to our kids, but also to live by as adults. How many things do you avoid doing because you're afraid you'll look silly? Or because there's a chance the end result won't be flawless?

As a far-from-perfect perfectionist, I can say that I suffer from this paralyzing mentality frequently. Most often, in the kitchen. Maybe that's partly what got me into this boat (the chunky girl boat) to begin with. I've never felt at ease in the kitchen, so I've just kept myself out of it. If it couldn't be consumed after nuking it or opening a bag, it probably wasn't a food I'd eat. Cooking was something I had no experience in, so instead of getting any experience, I chose to just ignore the work involved in feeding myself good food. But now with two little mouths to feed and minds to mold, my conscious will no longer let me pretend the kitchen doesn't have a stove. So that we all live long lives, I am choosing to put homemade meals on the table. Burned edges, soggy bottoms, and all.

Experiment with me this week, won't you?
Whether you're
trying to lose weight,
restarting your running routine,
sewing a dress,
interviewing for a new job,
cleaning the house,
ending a relationship,
painting old furniture,
getting out the scrapbook you abandoned last year,
studying for a big exam,
baking bread,
planting a garden,
taking your first pottery class,
calling an old friend,
or just singing along to the radio,
how about brushing aside your worries of not-good-enough?

I'll be right there with you, tackling two daunting-looking recipes that truly scare me. I'm intimidated. They're out of my league. I had to look up what "blanched" meant to be sure I got the right thing when I shopped for almonds. Yeah, so if you need some motivation, think of me worked up in a lather, trying to figure out how all the parts of the food processor fit together.

Oh, and we sing this Carpenter's tune all the time in our house now. The girls especially love it when I throw in a whole bunch of dramatic head shaking and some jazz hands. I'm telling you, it's a sure fire pick-me-up (when I can hold back the tears). Give it a try. And don't worry about whether anyone else hears.

Is this thing on?


VivaciousVegan said...

Ok girlie, I am there with you! I love the Carpenters, but my heart melts when I hear John Denver...
Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy!!!! I cry like a fool!
My mother loved that song and now so do I. I think it is tender hearted of you to feel so much from hearing a song. I am a child of the seventies and while some may make fun of the music of that generation, I adore most of it!!!
I dance sing and act like a fool in my house, I have morning music, I listen to, Michael Buble', somethings gotta give soundtrack, french kis soundtrack and a ton of other music too!
Be free and have fun in life, is my motto.....I am a

Tracie said...

Viv -- YOU ARE KIDDING ME!! Do you have any idea how many times I've seen Something's Gotta Give and French Kiss?!?

We have been separated at birth! :-)

Stefanie said...

Ok, I have tears streaming down my face now, which wouldn't be such a big deal, but the people sitting around me at Corner Bakery I'm sure are wondering what the sniffling is about.....

Love, love, love this message today.