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Shake It Off

I’m not having an easy time. Who is, though?

But without forgetting that life is tough for everyone, I’ll reiterate that I’m not having an easy time. I’m dealing with some health issues, took a pay cut at my job as a result of insurance cost increases, and a whole host of other things I won’t get into here except to say I have a list of issues weighing on my mind every waking minute, and even when I dream at night.

Of course, everyone has one of these lists, so I don’t think I’m particularly suffering or worthy of some special pity.

No, I’m writing not to complain but to offer a small ray of light that might help.

Wait! Don’t stop reading. I’m not about to preach to you, though I will quote a sacred text:

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

My daughter and I were driving together in my decreasingly drivable minivan, both of us competing to have a grumpier expression.

Seeing the frustration in her face, feeling the stress weighing upon mine, I decided to help her and ended up helping myself.

I turned on a goofy song, adding a cheerful if homely high medley.

She smiled. She also rolled her eyes so hard her head titled back with the momentum.

“I’ve almost got her,” I thought, “Time to pull out the big guns.”

Enter the psalmist T Swift.

We had arrived at our destination. I refused to let her out of the car. First, we had to shake, shake.

There we were: father and daughter violently shaking our hands and waving our arms.

Now, she was laughing.

None of our problems got solved, but we forgot them for a moment. In that moment, and for at least a few minutes afterward, the weight I was carrying slid off, and I could take a deep, spiritual breath. For a brief period, I could see a bit more clearly. For her, I hope that the next time she gets frustrated, she’ll remember how ridiculous I looked, and she’ll take herself a little less seriously.

And that’s my advice to you: take yourself a bit less seriously, be ridiculous, and make someone smile. You’ll smile, too.

Your problems will still be there, but you’ll feel better about yourself and be in a better mindset to face them with a smile.

So take my advice. Or don’t. It’s your choice.

As for me?

Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake.

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