As someone who as battled depression for her entire life, first let it be said that anything I write is not to be taken too seriously or take the place of a doctor. Really? Did I just say that? I did. This culture is far too sue-happy without any help from me. But that is another topic. I digress.
In the spirit of Christmas and the various other holidays out there, the kids have been watching an unusual amount of television. Most of it is on ABC Family but quite a bit has been off on Nickelodeon and even Cartoon Network. Who doesn’t like a good Christmas special? The old stop-action puppets are my personal favorites, with Nestor and the Little Drummer Boy never failing to make me cry. But if you knew me, you wouldn’t be a bit surprised. I cry at everything. And Disney is famous for its tearjerkers.
But it dawned on me – a lot of things I do, say, or think of, come almost directly from cartoons. Or books. Or songs. And again, this should not be surprising. I am the woman who made herself a Wiggles skivvy in time for the concert and still tells the tale of meeting Anthony. Some of the things I’ve picked up are practical. I can rattle off the planets in order thanks to a catchy little song from Blue’s Clues. And I know the names of a lot of different colors, also thanks to Blue. Sportacus taught me about sports candy. I’ve learned a lot about Hispanic culture from Dora and Diego. Even Handy Manny reminds me of the difference between tools.
Life lessons? Oh my, but there are too many to list. But here’s a few:
- Go back, go back, go back, go back to where you were
- Don’t give up, just go on
- Stop, Breathe, and Think
- What’s gonna work? Teamwork!
Is it wrong as an adult to actually enjoy the so-called kid shows? I don’t think so. Some of the best workouts I’ve ever had were dancing along to the Wiggles (all the while ogling the former lead singer, the mighty Greg Page). Wall-E warns us to take care of our planet. The Chipmunks teach about family. Even Yo Gabba Gabba teaches the importance of friendship and respecting others. And if the little mantras I’ve picked up from years of kids’ programming get me through the day, what of it?
We all have our problems. Stress, health, money, kids, spouses, jobs. But maybe if we all slowed down just a little bit and looked at the world from a kid’s point of view, like thinking before we spoke and always saying please and thank you were expected, we’d all be a little happier. If nothing else, we’d never be bored. Bubble wrap would amuse us again. The sky would be bluer. The grass would be greener. A traffic jam would be a perfect excuse for a car dance marathon. Or maybe you could just pick up a pen and paper and draw stick people.
Some days when I can hardly hold it together, I don’t reach for a beer or a smoke. I don’t scream and holler (although, I wish we kept that priviledge as adults, most of all). I just do what Steve taught me. I stop, breathe, and think. I don’t give up, I just go on.
To quote a little blue fish, I just keep swimming.