So recently I was in Disney World, my husband saved up to take our belated honeymoon. And whilst there, I got the pleasure of “meeting” Mary Poppins. And clever as always I walked up to her and said, “You know I’ve been trying that snapping the fingers thing for years now it just isn’t working.” To which she simply reminded me that the trick is not in the snapping but making it feel like a snap by making all activities fun. (Which she is right… and deep down I knew this… I mean, the original Mary Poppins film that I was referencing pretty much says this in the first line of the song in that particular scene. The song begins with, “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun, then snap, the job’s a game.”)
Now I cannot speak for the new movie, but Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews one) is so right… and all these years despite my first sentence being “Put Mary Poppins on TV” I consciously ignored this fact, but subconsciously I knew that the movie wasn’t about fantastical magic, but that magic feeling that I posted about in October 2018 of this very blog. The magic of turning the drudgery of life into fun, and childlike whimsy… Instead letting my conscious anxiety of all that must be done, I overlooked this fact and spent too much time recalling only the ease and fantastical nature of the film.
When I talked to Mary Poppins, she woke me up from slumber… that what I had been missing was in fact that magic feeling, that I so freely applied in so many other areas of my life, just not this particular area (organizing my home/cleaning/cooking/work tasks etc.) Mary Poppins is all about that every day magic. It’s instilling laughter and saving Mr. Banks from the everyday hum-drum of his life. The antagonist of that film is not the bank, not the kids, not even the father, it is having a “that magic feeling”- free existence!
(BRIEF SEMI-ANGSTY SIDE NOTE ABOUT THE NEW MARY POPPINS….. Honestly, despite the fantastic acting job done by Emily Blunt, and the gorgeous costuming and set design… this is why the new film greatly disappointed me. That movie missed the point, the antagonist should have been that the kids were taking care of their father and not being allowed to grieve, that Michael Banks now was just as lost as his father Mr. Banks… not that they were losing the house or some other evil trickery. Now I do not know how close this is to the actual book(s), but it took a far leap away from the message of the original film, which they had a great opportunity to help children find “real” magic again after tragic loss. Instead, it was just a little too fantastical, and the songs were somehow wordier than “Supercalifragilisticexpilaidocious”. Which to me says something, and it’s not good. But I can see the merit in the film, especially the actors and atmosphere but for me, a longtime fan of 1964 classic, it missed the mark. )
So even though it seems impossible sometimes, we can all take little steps to make a game out of troubling or tiresome tasks. This is not the only time Disney has plugged this message through their films. The dwarfs in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” sang about whistling while they work and Cinderella allowed herself to sing and dream her troubles away while she worked. (Just to name a few.) Honestly, a lot of Disney message seems to be about manifesting a better life via positive attitude and not complaining about what life has given you, just doing your best to enjoy it and improve it.
This is by no means the only Disney magic message, and sure it’s a company with a goal of making money, but you got admit, if you jam out to some awesome tunes or make a game out of your work, then it surely makes things more fun and A LOT easier to accomplish.
So I leave you with the lyrics of a cheery possibly familiar tune, sung so beautifully by Julie Andrews, and composed by the Sherman brothers for the film Mary Poppins, “A Spoonful of Sugar”. Do yourself a favor, and really give them a look over, because once I did, I began applying that attitude towards my tasks, and it’s helped even in the tiniest bit….
Note: I put the song in paragraph form excluding the repeating chorus of “a spoonful of sugar” because I want you to be able to really absorb the words not just sing along. (I know I know it’s hard!) Any place that has “[…]” I have left out either the entire or part of the chorus.
In every job that must be done there is an element of fun; you find the fun and SNAP, the job’s a game!
And every task you undertake becomes a piece of cake. A lark! A spree! It’s very clear to see, that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down […] in the most delightful way.
A robin feathering his nest has very little time to rest while gathering his bits of twine and twig; though quite intent in his pursuit he has a merry tune to toot. He knows a song will move the job along. […]
The honey bee that fetch the nectar from the flowers to the comb never tire of ever buzzing to and fro because they take a little nip from every flower that they sip. And hence , they find, their task is not a grind. […]
So remember to add a spoonful of sugar… be it actual sugar, a game of sorts, or even a merry tune to break up the dreary monotony of the day or any bothersome task.
YOU GOT THIS!
Robert B. & Richard M. Sherman. (1964). A Spoonful of Sugar. [Performed by Julie Andrews] On Mary Poppins Soundtrack. California: Disney Productions.