What do you do when you are down? When things are bad? Long ago I heard the advice to “smile, things could be worse.” And someone said, “So, I smiled and sure enough, they were.”

There are all kinds of advice about what to do when things are not the way you want them to be. You can pray. Find a distraction. Realistically assess the situation. Help someone who needs you. Scream. All of these options, and many more, can be helpful at times.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound of Music, opened on Broadway in 1959 and was adapted to film in 1965 starring Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews as Maria.

One of the most popular songs from the play is sung as the young nun Maria, played by Julie Andrews,  is about to leave the convent to go serve as governess of the seven children of the von Trapp family. In the movie it is moved to a scene where the children are frightened by a terrible thunderstorm and Maria sings to comfort them.

Maria sings of things she chooses to fill her mind when things are not good. She says, “I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.”

Some of my favorite things:

• The taste of ice cream (any flavor)
• A webcam visit with my grandchildren (and their parents)
• A runner being thrown out at 2nd base
• A nap in my recliner
• Lena’s laughter
• The smell of freshly cut grass
• Anything sung by B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, or Etta James
• Sunsets (I like sunrises too but they come too early in the day)
• My morning coffee and newspaper
• The feeling of accomplishment for a job well done
• The births of my children
• Methodists singing the hymns of the church
• Daffodils in the spring
• The Yoshikawa’s visit to Atlanta
• Dec. 28, 1968
• A “treasure” found at an estate sale
• The fresh smell of an orange being peeled
• Seeing Pope John Paul II at St. Peter’s basilica in Rome
• A friend’s embrace
• My first and only World Series game- Mets vs. Orioles in 1969
• Bishop L. Scott Allen laying hands on me and ordaining me
• Songs of birds in the morning
• Sound of summer rain storms
• Honesty of children
• Smell of meat cooking on a grill
• Fragrance of tea olives
• A shower after a hot summer day
• The voices of my family
• Visits to Caesarea on the shores of the Mediterranean in Israel
• Family time and my daughter’s wedding in Mexico

These are a few of my favorite things I remember to lift my spirit when I am “feeling sad.” What are some of yours?

Jamie Jenkins

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