Pop Music and Other Cliched Remedies

Last night I dreamed that some of my dreams came true. Francesco (read this for a romantic story of star-crossed love) got his act together (twenty years ago) and we ran off together to the mountains where we hiked and climbed blissfully forever. Then I dreamed on was on the Swiss National Ski team. Yep. Who wants to wake up from THAT?

I’ve been disappointed a lot in life, but that does not make me unique. It makes me like everyone else.

There are about nine million and a half cliched homilies for dealing with disappointment and as itchy as those things are, they’re pretty right on. The most annoying is “When life give you lemons, make lemonade.” The Rolling Stones even got in on the disappointment train telling us that we don’t always get what we want but we just might find “you get what you need.” Yeah, well, that’s easy to see in the rear view mirror.

My mom was always trying to protect me from disappointment when I was a kid. “Don’t get your hopes up,” was one of her mottos. By definition, HOPE is UP, but… I got her message which is really that no matter how good hope feels, it’s not reality, and, uh, uh-oh, another rock reference, “future is uncertain and the end is always near.” And, anyway, not hoping doesn’t protect you from disappointment. It just prevents one from hoping and hope is necessary to humans. Of course, my mom had a pop-music axiom for when I came out all disappointed on the other side of hope, “I never promised you a rose garden.” I hated that but I’veย  wanted to use it a few times on other people, my niece for example.

My biggest disappointment lately was Bygone Era Books going out of business after it had agreed to publish The Brothers Path. Honestly, that upset me a lot. One thing worse that disappointment is betrayal and that icky little factor was a pungent ingredient in my disappointment. Betrayal makes me angry and anger is more difficult for me to contend with (especially when it’s useless) than simple disappointment. But.no one promised me a rose garden. I struggled through that with the help of a Michael Murphy song, “Cowboy Logic” where it says, “If it hurts, hide it. Just pick yourself up and get back on again.” I knew I’d have to do that and I knew I would. It was just a publishing contract. People lose their loved ones, their lives, body parts, their aspirations, their homes every minute of every day on this planet. Even the publisher was in a worse place than I; he’d been forced to abandon his dream.

So there you are. I have nothing new or meaningful to add to this topic of disappointment. I hope that’s not too disappointing. The best cure I’ve found is to look around at what is NOT disappointing and count your blessings as my Aunt Jo taught me years ago after my cousins hung my Tiny Tears Doll from a branch of a cottonwood tree.



14 thoughts on “Pop Music and Other Cliched Remedies

  1. Some of my mom’s advise came from… I don’t know where, not pop songs, I’m sure. Her favorite was, “You made your bed, now you have to sleep in it!” Another favorite was, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

    As always, this was a great post, Martha.

  2. I have a couple of Tiny Tears’s, so if you need compensation for the very early disappointment, you are welcome to Tiny or an equivalent Betsy Wetsy.

    Mostly, people disappointment me. I expect those I befriend to act like friends, except it doesn’t usually work out that way. So, I keep being disappointed. But by the umpteenth time the same thing has happened, is it disappointment really? Or is it more or less what one has come to expect? And is there a difference?

    • I recovered my Tiny Tears (my sweet cousin beat up his brother and another cousin on my behalf). I gave her to my step-granddaughter for Christmas last year. I am not often disappointed in people. I guess the way I grew up, I learned to expect very little from them and having taught so many and worked with so many, now I think we’re all plodding blindly down our anointed roads… I mostly take people as they come. 35 years teaching taught me to take peoples’ measurement very quickly. I can disappoint
      myself, though. I have been disappointed in some institutions that purport to exist for the behalf of others — the union at the university where I worked is a good example.

  3. Count your blessings indeed and be grateful is my own motto. I have gone through life with that belief for I’ve had my share of disappointments too. But as I’ve written before, you’ll get that book published sooner or later. You have a gift for writing and for that you can be thankful.

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