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Frank Sinatra had it right: Thats life & you cant deny it
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That’s life, that’s what all the people say

The woe-is-me movement is reaching obscene levels in this country.

Everyone has a story to tell of their “hard” life. You know the drill. Abusive childhood. Issues with their parents or children. Not enough money. Car troubles. Taxes. Problems at work. Aches and pains. Pick one or add to the list.

You’re riding high in April, shot down in May

But in reality, very few people qualify as genuine down-on-the-luck stories. Everyone has bright moments, dull moments and sad moments. Tragedy strikes us all.

But so do the little miracles of life. Birth. Love. Morning. A rose blooming. Laughing with friends. A grandchild. Feeling good helping someone whether it is at work or elsewhere. Life isn’t one big high and it definitely isn’t one deep low unless, of course, you convince yourself it is.

But I know I’m going to change that tune, when I’m back, back on top in June

Life isn’t one great big downer. Go spend some time with a young cancer patient. The optimism in many kids as young as 8 who won’t live to see their 10th birthday is awe-inspiring. It makes you wonder how others who have the chance to go through the up and down cycles of life over and over again can look at life as one great big loss.

I said that’s life, and as funny as it may seem, some people get their kicks stomping on a dream

What’s really funny is how we allow others to poison our attitudes and outlooks. If we let something that happened two years ago or 10 years ago eat away at us, the person responsible for the original transgression has claimed total victory and you total defeat. Or if we allow others’ unrelenting criticism to steer our path and extinguish the lights of faith and optimism we have, the joke is on us.

But I don’t let it, let it get me down, because this fine old world, it keeps me around

And why should we view life as a great burden? It is life, after all. That 8-year-old cancer patient understands that but most of us as adults don’t. We have the most precious gift of all that’s worth all the wealth in the world - life itself.

I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king

Most of us forget that we are who we are. We get used. We have hard times. There are swashbuckling moments where we have the world at our feet. There are moments of complete bliss. Sometimes we are in the rank and file. Sometimes we call the shots. We are not simply shapeless globs of clay. We have the ability to mold who we are and how we respond to various opportunities and circumstances.

I’ve been up and down and over and out, and I know one thing. Each time I find myself flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race

Run the race. That’s how you get the most out of life. You gain nothing by lying face first in a puddle of self-pity. You can’t succeed without failing. You can’t experience love without suffering heartbreak. You can’t soar like an eagle without having been bound to the earth.

That’s life, I tell you, I can’t deny it

Life has been that way since the beginning of time. But consider how much better off you are to be alive in 2006 than 1056. Hollywood may sugarcoat the Middle Ages but it wasn’t anywhere near as much fun as it looks unless you were on top of the chain that treated the masses as mere chattel. Disease, poverty, starvation, misery and short lives were the standard. That was even the case 200 years ago in this country and is still what a newborn can expect in many parts of the world today.

I thought of quitting baby, but my heart just ain’t going to buy it

The appeal of rolling over into a permanent state of self-pity, self-hate or bitter hatred toward everything and all others isn’t something one does if you bother to listen to your heart.

That’s what that 8 year-old cancer patient is listening to: His or her heart. They’re not trying to rationalize the ways of the world. They’re simply trying to enjoy life. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Not an 8 year-old cancer patient. Not a 28-year-old healthy and athletic young man and not a 45-year-old vibrant grandmother of three. So why walk into the quicksand of the past with weights strapped to your ankles?

Frank Sinatra had it right. That’s life, and you can’t deny it.