Sunday, April 6, 2014

Nothing at the End of the Rainbow.

The other day I listened to a podcast titled, "Cry Baby Cry: Songs that make us Weep."  I know.... who volenteerily listens to such a podcast.  But we all know I am a sucker for emotion and tears..... the other day I even took a quiz on Buzzfeed tittled, "Will you Ever Give Up Listening to Emo?" The results:


So yeah, like I said, I'm a suck for emo.  So I loved listening to this podcast.  It was people just telling heart-wrenching stories and the song that goes with it.

But there was one song in particular that really got me thinking.  It was actually the song one of the narrators brought up.  He said it was the most depressing songs he had ever heard.  It was written by a dad staring into his new born daughters crib.  The chorus of the song, "There is nothing at the end of the rainbow."  The narrator of the podcast said, "When I heard this song... I thought is was the saddest view of life that any human being could ever hold." At first I agreed with the narrator.  I might have even shed a tear on the stairmaster as I listened to the song while climbing stair after stair.  (Thank goodness the stairmaster makes me sweat more than anything other form of exercise so the tears just mixed with sweat so I didn't make a scene.)  Thinking there is nothing at the end of the rainbow is depressing!  The thought that there is nothing to look forward to.  Nothing to be searching or striving for.  But I look at my life and can see that waiting to be content/ happy is a bad way to live.

Because then I started thinking of all the times I hear teenagers say, "I can't wait until....
I turn 16.
can date.
can drive.
go to high school.
have my own money.
don't have to follow rules.
leave high school.

Every time I hear one of these "can't wait" statements I smile.  If only they knew.... how the rest of their lives they will dream of the time with so little responsibility, worries, and fun.  But of course like always I know, "Advice is a form of of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth."  In other words, advice is given to try and make us feel better about our past and rarely taken by anyone.... so when I hear teenagers say it, I just smile.

But I thought about what wonderful advice "There is nothing at the end of the rainbow" is.  We can always find something to wait for.... something that would make life significantly better.  But it seems more often than not, when that thing comes and goes life is exactly the same.

I especially thought of this concept this winter when finally after 15 years of dreaming about, worrying about, starving myself over, and working my butt off I got to my "ideal" body.  5 years ago I would have done anything, given anything, paid anything to get to this ideal.  It was a goal or a dream so unattainable in my mind that I didn't think there was chance in the world I would ever get to the end of this rainbow.  Then there I was standing on the scale in disbelief.  At 5'9 I weighted 133, 16.5% body fat, could easily run 10 miles at a 7:15 pace, hold a plank for 3+ minutes, and do 50 boy push ups in one setting.  I had arrived.

But the most depressing thing happened.  Over Christmas break Jason and I took a picture in front of a beautiful swimming pool/water fountain in our swimming suits.  My thighs were still big, my stomach still stuck out (despite an almost perfectly defined stomach), and so in turn I still edited out most of my body when posting the picture.

I had ached for this moment for years.... and I still wasn't content.  I realized then and there that I really needed to change my perspective.  (I have cut back my running due to my aching hips, stopped teaching PE so I don't do as many pushups or planks, and have gained 5 pounds)

It hit me... no end of a rainbow will bring me ultimate happiness.  I'm afraid saying that will suggest there is no value to goals.  Clearly that is not what I am suggesting.  I am suggesting that waiting to be happy or content for something to happen means we miss out on the rainbow.  We forget or miss out on how beautiful rainbows can be!

It was almost perfect that as I was typing up my thoughts on this concept Elder Uchtdorf started talking,
"How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God for the rain."

So in honor of this podcast that got the wheels in my head turning.  Here are the top 10 songs that make me weep....

(If you click on the title it will go to the youtube video)

10. Everywhere

9. Age Six Racer

8. Round Here

7. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

6. The Dance

5. How's it Going to Be

4. Homeward Bound

3. Unchained Melody

2. Time in a Bottle

1. Somewhere over the Rainbow

I'd love to hear what songs make you weep.... and don't worry there is also a podcast on happy songs.  After I listen to that one I'll probably be creating another post about it.

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