Look on the Bright Side

Yesterday was the first day of Autumn. Happy Autumn! Was that too cheerful? You know, I used to watch the show Monty Python’s Flying Circus years ago. I thought it was outrageously funny.

What reminded me of the show was Sena telling me that on Wednesday night, a member of the Flying Circus cast, Eric Idle, was on The Masked Singer, one of her favorite shows. I didn’t watch it. He was Hedgehog and sang the Beatles number, “Love Me Do.” Eric said something about how you should look on the happy side of life. He mentioned there was song with that title.

We looked it up and found “Look on the Bright Side of Life.” It’s a catchy tune and reminded me of Monty Python’s Flying Circus attitude. I guess Eric Idle wrote the song and sang it on The Life of Brian.

While the song seemingly is about looking steadily on the bright side of life, it has that slightly edgy, ironic attitude to it which was typical of the Flying Circus.

While some think that the Covid-19 pandemic is over (not mentioning names), there’s probably a more balanced way of looking at that and other challenges in life. The PennStateExtension published an article on June 12, 2020, “Realistic and Optimistic: Managing Mindset in Challenging Times,” by Suzanna Windon, Ph. D, Assistant Professor, Youth and Adult Leadership, and Mariah Stollar, Former Part-Time Research Assistant, Penn State University.

Their list of ways to look on the bright side while being mindful of potential pitfalls attributable to things like overweening pride and fantasy are good to remember in these trying times (see original article by the authors for full details):

  • Practice mindfulness. 
  • Observe and adjust your patterns of thinking.
  • Believe in yourself, but do not underestimate challenges. 
  • Look forward to the future, but be realistic things may not quickly change. 
  • Keep yourself informed, but limit media intake.
  • Reflect on messages you are sending to employees, volunteers, and loved ones. ” 

    In other words, look on the bright side but don’t kid yourself.

    Author: James Amos

    I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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