Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

SpongeBob SquarePants!!

That's how the theme song for the Nickelodeon cartoon by the same name begins. If you aren't familiar with this cartoon - is there anyone out there who has not seen at least one episode? - it's about a plucky, fun-loving fry cook that resembles a yellow kitchen sponge. He lives in the ocean in a town called Bikini Bottom among his fellow sea creature friends:
Patrick Star - best friend/starfish
Squidward Tentacles - best frenemy/squid
Eugene Krabs - boss/crab
Sandy Cheeks - best friend/squirrel (?!)
Gary - best friend/pet/snail (that meows like a cat)
etc, etc

I've watched SpongeBob off and on for years and I've just recently started watching it again - A LOT! Probably because Nick runs it constantly and maybe, just maybe because I need him right now.

It's a visually stimulating cartoon, cleverly drawn, full of life and fun. (Even super-hip designer extraordinaire Marc Jacobs has him tattooed on his arm!) It's humor and story lines appeal to a variety of ages. And honestly, as much as SpongeBob can drive you crazy with his endless optimism and energy that borders on crazy, you begin to realize how fun life could be if you didn't take things so darn seriously.

I particularly love the episodes that contrast SpongeBob's optimism and joie de vivre with his neighbor Squidward's pessimism and endless striving for being something more than just a cashier at the Krusty Krab. I tend to relate to Squidward more, but I want to be like SpongeBob. I want to bounce out of bed and be peppy and ready for the day, SpongeBob would love if he could work 24 hours a day - his passion is making the best darn Krabby Patty ever. He finds joy in the mundane. SpongeBob is a childlike in his approach to living life, Squidward is a jaded and bitter adult who can't get outside the box. SpongeBob is present and living in the moment, with an undying optimism for the fun that will be in every day.

With all the craziness going on in the world, I know I certainly need that lesson right now and watching this cartoon has made me very aware of this. I need to be optimistic towards the future, but more importantly I need to be joyful everyday. Even if I have to make my own version of Krabby Patties, I shall do so with zest! I've read countless numbers of books on being present, finding your purpose, etc. and all it took was this little yellow sea sponge to make me "get it". Maybe we all need to watch a little less news and a little more SpongeBob. If nautical nonsense be something you wish...

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