Today’s music lesson comes from the song “New Attitude” by Patti LaBelle
What’s your attitude? Right now?
As a kid, my mother taught me that my attitude affected everything I did, and that everything I did affected my attitude.
Can it really be that simple?
My mother encouraged to get up and get dressed even if I felt sick. But not only that, she insisted that I dress well for school, even after the school district allowed girls to wear jeans and pants, especially on test days. (NOTE: I graduated high school in 1976.) Some days, I envied the girls who wore jeans to school. They looked casual and relaxed.
BUT, it was also the days of mini skirts. Since I made my own clothes and never felt like going against Mom’s “rules,” I knew that I could buck the system by cutting my skirts a little shorter than she found acceptable. Somewhere along the line at high school, she lightened the rules and I got to wear pant suits on the real cold days – NEVER jeans.
On my own at college, I bucked my learning: I wore jeans to class. Much to my surprise, not getting up and dressing for the day affected my energy level, my focus, and my ability to get things done. When I began student teaching observations in my sophomore year, I returned to dresses or skirt and blouse with heels and pantyhose. Even through my three years of teaching, I dressed the part – I dressed for success.
After getting hired as a high school theater teacher, however, I found myself trading my dressier teacher outfits and heals for jeans and tennis shoes after ruining one too many pairs of pantyhose in one week. I did, however, continue to wear the dressier tops, and I made sure the jeans had a dressier appearance to them. It worked for a while.
When I transferred out of the theater department to the English department, I had difficulty returning to the dresses and skirts. On occasion, I changed out the jeans for dress pants.
In 2014, I retired from the teaching field. In reality, I traded my teacher hat for a creative and inspirational hat with the intent to plunge myself into writing.
I didn’t think my attire would matter. Some days, I stayed in my pajamas – especially those dreary winter days where the clouds seemed to be pressing down around me. Other days, I just threw on something shabby because I was going to clean or go through things in my house in an attempt to simplify (then, to move). I found that either type of attire told my brain that I didn’t have anything to do.
MY BODY LANGUAGE
My smile affects my attitude. Even if I am down, I try to smile. It helps.
When I slump my shoulders instead of standing up straight, I have less of a positive attitude. So, I try to “square my shoulders to the world,” as my mother used to insist.
LISTEN TO PATTI LABELLE
“I’m feeling good from my hat to my shoe
Know where I am going and I know what to do
I’ve tidied up my point of view
I’ve got a new attitude
I’m in control
My worries are few”
New Attitude Lyrics
New Attitude by Patti Labelle