Life Lessons From The Great Pumpkin

On Friday, we had a friend over to watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". Besides being struck by how many lines we quote from this little film, I also realized how much Charlie Brown influenced me from childhood on. For example, I can't tell you the number of times I have thought about the advice that Linus gives on what you can and cannot discuss with people. There are times in life when you simply have to let something go because nothing productive is coming from the conversation, which Linus points out clearly and succinctly.

A bit later, we were watching the scene where Charlie Brown announces that he has (finally) been invited to a Halloween party, and then he begins to dance in happiness. Peter looked at me and said, "Is that where your {happy dance} came from?" Why yes, I think it is! That's exactly how I look and feel when I'm doing a {happy dance} about something, and why not? Celebrate the little things in life!

Sorry about the looped version, it was the only one I could find

And finally, I was really struck with empathy for Charlie Brown after he goes from house to house and all he gets are rocks. How many times in life do you feel like there must be a bit of Charlie Brown in you while the world, your friends and family, seem to be getting everything? You know what I'm talking about. There's the person you know who apparently has the Midas touch (everything they do is successful), or the blogger who is a mega-hit within a month of starting when you've been writing for five years and wonder if anyone reads it. While you schlump into work each day, you grow more annoyed by the family member who just loves his job, the friend who just purchased her dream home (while the landlord raised the rent on you AGAIN), or the co-worker who parks his brand new BMW next to your busted clunker with the broken A/C.

It's so easy to begin comparing - five pieces of candy, a package of gum, a rock - but in the end, Charlie Brown still has a good time at the Halloween party. Don't look at what others have, rather, appreciate what you have been given. In each of those situations that I mentioned, there is something for which you can be thankful. Instead of envy, be happy for the successful friend or the blogger, and use them as motivation to improve your blog or step out and try something new. It may not succeed, but that doesn't mean you stop trying. You don't like your job, but you have one (and in this economy, that's something for which you - and I - should be thankful). You'd rather own a house, but at least you have a roof over your head and indoor plumbing. You're not driving a BMW, but you have transportation that gets you there and back. It's all in how you look at it.

Who knew that there was so much to be gleaned from Charlie Brown and his gang of friends, right? Happy Monday - and remember to leave a comment on this weeks giveaway post for a chance to win a copy of my favorite cookbook!


A reminder: there are more than 400,000 words in the English language, please use them wisely.


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