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Gone With The Wind…

12/07/2011

Today’s post is by a friend of mine. I’ve know Connie for a while. She is a librarian, and I met her when I worked in a library starting at the age of 14. Connie provides some great insight on what having a positive attitude means to her! I am so grateful for her post today! 🙂

 

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As a librarian, I draw on my literary roots to find methods of remaining positive. My absolute favorite novel that focuses on this theme, the novel that refreshes my spirit, the novel that I most relate to is none other than Gone with the Wind.

 

Gone with the Wind was more than just a glorious movie starring the dashing Clark Gable and the beautiful Vivien Leigh. It is Margaret Mitchell’s masterpiece—a lyrical story that not only reflects on the passing of an era, but chronicles the hardships and ultimately the resilience of the heroine Scarlett O’Hara.

 

While most folks view Scarlett as the quintessential spoiled Southern Belle, her life was filled with adversity. If you haven’t read the book, you need to do so. You will see Scarlett in a completely different light. Her world is ripped apart by a war that is literally on her doorstep, her mother dies, her father goes mad, and she is shouldered with the responsibility of caring for her younger sisters, her sister-in-law and her child and a house full of servants with no money or anyone to guide her. On top of all of this, she is widowed several times and suffers the loss of a precious daughter. Could anyone blame her for developing a hard shell to cover her vulnerability?

 

This is a lot of heavy stuff, but then life is full of trials and tribulations. While Scarlett is a fictional character, many people can relate to her situations. Loved ones die through sickness, accidents and war. Many adults, the sandwich generation, are primary caregivers for older, sick relatives. And as our nation’s economy continues to spiral downhill, many, many people struggle with financial difficulties. Like Scarlett, we have no choice but to move forward. Life is too short to waste time on despair.

 

Below are three of my favorite quotes from the novel that help me stay positive when the road gets rocky.

 

  1. “The world can’t lick us but we can lick ourselves by longing too hard for things we haven’t got any more.”

Accepting a new reality can be extremely hard. About a year ago, I quit a job that I absolutely loved for personal reasons. While I was fortunate enough to find another position immediately, I was in mourning for what I had given up. I missed the closeness to my home, the independence of the position and the people I worked with. For the first few months, my new job felt temporary. I didn’t bring in any personal items to my new office and paid little attention to company-wide activities. I found myself becoming increasingly depressed over my new situation because in my heart, I wanted what was no longer there.

 

What helped? Like Scarlett, I slapped on my blinders, focused on the future and relegated my former job to a “box” in my memory. My old job will always be a part of who I am, but it is not here and now. There are a lot of good things about my new job that I was free to discover once I wrapped my old job up as a memory.

 

  1. “I won’t think about that today. I’ll think about it tomorrow.” This is probably some of the sanest advice out there. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by something, I consciously decide to defer it until the next day. Don’t confuse this with procrastination. You’re making an appointment with yourself to address the situation after your mind has had time to digest it.  I find that if I approach a problem rationally, I make fewer mistakes and feel more firmly about my decisions than if I dealt with it on the spot. You’d be surprised at the number of issues that don’t require immediate action..

 

  1. “Tomorrow is another day.” I try to remember that each day is a clean slate. So today wasn’t perfect—no day ever is. But I can learn from it and work on making tomorrow a better day. It is truly a blessing that we have tomorrows.

 

  1. “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn.”  This sounds a bit harsh, but for a person who spent the better part of her life stressing over anything and everything, this quote offers a powerful lesson: don’t sweat the small stuff. I have interpreted this (out of context) to mean that it is perfectly okay not worry about every little thing. Does it really matter if we have hamburgers or grilled cheese for dinner? Do I really care if the background color of my webpage is blue or green? Is this something that will matter five years from now? If the answer is no, I let it go and save the stressing for things that DO matter.

 

 

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