The Tao of Dolly

I have to preface this post with an embarrassing admission: I tend to take song lyrics to heart. I'm one of those people that spent my teen years scribbling Motley Crue and TPOH lyrics in my notebooks at school and listening to tortured love songs by candlelight in my bedroom. And while I have a soft spot for a well-written turn of phrase, I am an equally huge sucker for a change-your-life, pump-your-fist anthem to live by. So when I read over this post and realized how cheesy and uncool it is to admit what I'm about to admit, I decided you might just need some history.

There’s something irrepressible about Dolly Parton: The sparkly fashions, the tiny waist and that sweet, southern charm that makes each spicy one-liner go down like poetry. Dolly is one of a kind and I adore her.

I’ve only had the chance to meet her once, but I think I’ve loved Dolly since she first sashayed across my T.V. screen as a child. She’s a larger than life Barbie doll with a heart far bigger than one would suspect could fit into that tiny little frame. Her Imagination Library literacy program has allowed the world to see just how dedicated she is to making a difference for children around the world – and for the adults they will become. I can only hope to make one tenth of that kind of impact in my lifetime.

And it’s with this big heartedness in mind that I’ve decided to try a little harder to live by the Tao of Dolly. I was listening to her song “Better Get to Livin,” on the Backwoods Barbie CD and it struck me that Ms. Dolly could have been talking right to me.

“A girlfriend came to my house
Started cryin' on my shoulder Sunday evening
She was spinnin' such a sad tale
I could not believe the yarn that she was weavin'
So negative the words she had to say
I said if I had a violin I'd play.

I said you'd better get to livin', givin'
Be willing and forgivin'
Cause all healing has to start with you
You better stop whining, pining
Get your dreams in line
And then just shine, design, refine
Until they come true
And you better get to livin'.

Sure, it’s not a new sentiment by any stretch but it made me realize how important it is to just live. Especially during a month like March when all I wanted to do is curl up in bed with the covers over my head until someone shook me awake in April. As Dolly so eloquently puts it, “The day we’re born we start to die. Don’t waste one minute of this life.”

I’ve got books to write and work to do. March may have shaken my confidence, but it’s no excuse not to build a bridge and get over it, as a good friend’s brother always says.