A Lesson From Paramount Theatre's Mary Poppins

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I attended a matinee of Mary Poppins at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, with my daughter, her two step-daughters, her mother-in-law and her sister-in-law. It was a fun “Girls Afternoon Out”. While everyone thoroughly enjoyed the excellent performance, I was surprised to discover that I was seeing Mary Poppins in a totally different light than I ever had before, a more adult light.

I enjoyed all the songs immensely, remembering the words to most of them, and humming along. (I’m very bad at that…I always want to sing with the actors!) The movie from 1964 with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyck is my touchstone. We performed the music in my high school choir a few years later in the annual music review, and I have piano music somewhere that I played over and over for years.

But one song was unfamiliar to me and probably was never as popular as Chim Chim Cheree, A Spoonful of Sugar, Let’s Go Fly a Kite, or Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  Anything Can Happen is performed almost at the end of the show. The words that jumped out at me are “anything can happen if you let it”.

IF YOU LET IT…How many amazing things are not happening because we don’t let them? In this crazy world, we supposed to MAKE things happen, not LET them. No one wants to be the loser that just LETS it happen. Everyone is supposed to be that hard-charging manipulator who makes everything go just your way. If you don’t fight, plan, organize, scheme, contrive, devise, concoct or plot, you will never get ahead, or get what you want…..or what you think you want.

But what about just letting it happen? Take the pressure off. Relax. Just roll with the punches and see where life leads you. You might be surprised that you go in some pretty wonderful directions, meet some amazing people, learn about diverse ideas and subjects, and end up some place much better than where you planned to end up.  It’s such a freeing thought!

I think it’s easier to LET it happen as you get older and you have the time to allow yourself to discover and enjoy the diversity of the world. Or maybe you’re just not sure where you want to go, so you LET yourself follow some unconventional paths, and find you are being led to places, interests, activities and glorious challenges that you never imagined.  Since I retired, I’ve made new friends volunteering, attended odd events that seem out of character for me, and opened my mind to ideas I never previously had time to consider.

So I let myself get sucked into the magic of the afternoon in Aurora, enjoyed the company of two women I barely knew, along with my daughter and her step-daughters, and soared to the highest heights when Mary Poppins came flying up to the balcony in the grand and glorious finale!  My spirit soared right along with her.  I LET my eyes tear up and didn’t try to MAKE them stop. What a great afternoon!

         if you reach for the stars all you get are the stars but….if you reach for the heavens you get the stars thrown in.  –Mary Poppins

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