Chase the blues away

By Joan Clayton

Do you ever feel defeated, depressed or just plain hopeless?  I think we all do at times. That’s when to rise up on the offensive. If I had my life to live over again, one thing I surely would do.. find the good in every circumstance.
Believe it or not, there are good things in every situation. Focusing on the good chases those blue days away. Children have a wonderful way of finding the good and being joyful in daily living.
In my first year of teaching I noticed that when one student went to sharpen his pencil, I smelled a peculiar odor. I then saw the back of his pants was smeared with mustard. When I asked him what happened, he replied, “Me and my brother went to the show last night and we tried to see who could put the most mustard packs in our back pockets, and every time I sit down, one of them things pops. Don’t they smell good? I saved one for my lunch today.”
Another student eagerly ran to meet his mom after school. “Mom,” he shouted, “the picture man isn’t coming until next week so I don’t have to take a bath.” Children see the good.
I read a story about a teacher who had assigned a group of students to list what they thought were the present Seven Wonders of the World. Most of the students wrote down great achievements, including Grand Canyon, Panama Canal, Empire State Building, etc. The teacher noticed one student having trouble with her list. “Tell us what you have and maybe we can help you.” The student read her list: 1. to touch, 2. to taste, 3. to see, 4. to hear, 5. to feel, 6. to laugh, 7. to love. What a gentle reminder that the most precious things in life cannot be made or bought.
We can learn a lot from children. They don’t have time for “blues,” they are too busy living the life. In a sense we can do that too.
My husband says I “play” in the yard. What he means is, I do things he thinks are not essential, like bird houses, wreaths and wind chimes. Working in the yard is a real
blue chaser for me. I love the friendly honks and waves from people passing by. Clean air, blue skies and sunshine remind me of God’s many blessings, every day things I often take for granted. I hear happy shouts from children on a playground and thank God for the time I had to teach and live in that wonderful world of children.
Recognize the blues when they come. Tell them they are not allowed. Know them for what they are. Immediately change the scenery. Go for a walk. Read a book. Eat out. Volunteer your time at a rest home. Make cookies for shut-ins. Visit a lonely person. Take up a hobby. Learn to crochet or knit. Take in all the wonderful opportunities your town offers, such as the County Fair, Speakers at Libraries, Heritage Days, or 4th of July celebrations.
Encourage yourself with positive thoughts. Shut the door to blues. Refuse to permit negative self-talk. Look on the bright side. You’ll find you have turned from yourself to others and it’s so nice to be back in the normal swing of things.
Thinking of the many blessings we have restores a right attitude and an appreciation of God’s wondrous care. Happiness comes to thankful people.
“May my friends sing and shout for joy. May they always say, “Praise the greatness of the LORD, who loves to see his servants do well. I will tell of your goodness and will praise you every day” (Psalm 35:27-28).
Be a “blues chaser” and you will have many happy days coming your way.