Doing the Y.M.C.A. of Life

Step 1 – Go to any wedding in America.

Step 2 – Wait for the DJ to spin The Village People.

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A. It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A. You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal. You can do whatever you feeeeel.

Village People YMCA

I’m certain that you don’t need any further instructions.  In fact, you probably have your arms raised into the letter Y  position above your head already.  I do.

Too bad life can’t be filled with such unabashed, embarrassing fun every day of the week! 

Most of the time when we’re doing the Y.M.C.A. OF LIFE, it’s a little more serious than the song. It also doesn’t involve wearing plastic construction-worker hats while dancing with an intoxicated bride and groom.

Let’s break it down…

Your life is going along just fine until…it’s not.  A relationship ends.  A family member dies.  Your car catches fire at the gas station.  Your wallet is stolen and a stranger spends your life’s savings at Radio Shack. Get the picture?

When these things happen, they are easier to process when you realize that the Y.M.C.A. is about to play.

Stage 1 – WHY

You question what happened.  You are mad….upset….emotional…can’t understand WHY.

Stage 2 – EMMM

You step back and think about it…seek to find answers and gain understanding.  Emotions are calmed as you release an audible breath…EMMM.

Stage 3 – SEE

You begin to SEE the situation differently…realize that some good has come from it…or that you’ve grown stronger as a person…or that  it is beyond your comprehension and in God’s hands.

Stage 4 – AYE


Sometimes the Y.M.C. A. OF LIFE can start and finish in a day.  Other times it takes years, with a person being stuck in the EMMM position for a very long time until they finally point both arms in the same direction and realize that…

Young man, young man, there’s no need to feel down.  Young man,  young man, pick yourself off the ground and….

Have you done this dance in  your life?  Do you ever get stuck at the EMMM?

27 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sheila on August 10, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Clever and Creative analogy Tracy. Sometimes it takes A LOT longer than one anticipates to move from EMMM to SEE to AYE. I believe there are situations where we may not understand or “See” until far into the future.Or perhaps not even in this lifetime…


    • I totally agree Sheila. The hands of the clock seem to just stop sometimes…and at other times they move too fast, like playing an LP on the record player at the speed of a 45.


  2. Hi Tracy .. I’ll look at YMCA slightly differently in future .. thanks – Hilary


  3. We all finally get to acceptance one way or another although I don’t like it one bit. Feel cheated and robbed. It is interesting how I contradict myself. I may be an old Yankee Presbyterian but think the idea of the resurrection of the body or flesh is quite silly as far as I am concerned. On the other hand I wish it may be so. For that game of dominoes, the poetry or politics discussions. a little fishing, helping granddaughter with another school project and to play fetch the shoe with my long ago gone yellow lab.


  4. Tracy, this post is so freakin’ faaaaaaaaaaaabulous!

    What a brilliant analogy you made using YMCA!!! You GO, girl!

    It’s funny, everytime I hear this song now, I think of the final scene in the movie “In and Out” – wonderful film.

    And yes, there use to be time when I did get stuck in the Emmm (and stil do at times), but your stage 3 – SEE is how I’ve begun to see the situation. Which then brings me to your stage 4 – AYE – acceptance…..

    “Young man, young man, there’s no need to feel down. Young man, young man, pick yourself off the ground and….”

    Again, Tracy, faaaaaaaabulous post!



  5. Posted by pattisj on August 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Well, I guess that song is going to be stuck in my head all day. 🙂 I think we’ve all done the YMCA of Life dance at one time or another. Each person probably spends a different amount of time in each stage, depending on what the particular crisis is. Good to see you again!


    • After a wedding, I sing the YMCA and the Hokey Pokey in my head for days – ugh! Just passing on the joy to my readers. Thanks for stopping by Patti – it’s nice to be back – my job was taking all of my attention the past few weeks.


  6. Posted by Bonnie on August 10, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I’ve definitely gotten stuck in the EMMM before, Tracy. What a terrific comparison you have made with the chorus of this song and life’s curve balls! I absolutely LOVE it!! 😀


    • I always get stuck at the EMMM, too, and have been known to totally skip the SEE and go right to the AYE, accepting things without really needing to understand them.


  7. I was definitely stuck for a couple years when my dad died. The last year or so has finally brought me some peace, and I can see that the timing was actually a blessing from God.


    • I can understand to a certain extent, as my mom passed away this year. Sometimes it takes a long, long time to see things from a different perspective. I’m glad it’s getting easier for you. Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting.


  8. Posted by beverlydiehl on August 10, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    So, like doing the YMCA at a party, can you get more into it if you’re a bit loaded?

    Interesting analogy, and good way to approach life. I think I get stuck on the Y as often as the M, but sometimes I make it through to the end of the song. (Even if I can’t remember all the lyrics!)


  9. That’s a fresh perspective on a very fun song – even in SA 🙂 Yes, I’ve been stuck on Emmm once or twice… I’m a little stuck there right now… I hope I get to SEE soon! Hope you’re doing well, Tracy 🙂


  10. When I was younger I often got stuck at the EMMM. Luckily, now that I’m older and wiser, I don’t stay there quite so long. Enjoyed the analogy! Love the song!


    • I’m glad to hear that moving past the EMMM gets easier. I guess either acceptance comes easier with age, or you just don’t give a shizzizle anymore. Either would be fine with me!


  11. Love the clever take on this very popular song.


  12. Weddings will never go wrong with Village People!!!


    • Well, Paul, weddings either don’t go wrong with the Village People, or they go VERY, VERY wrong. When your best man is standing on top of the speaker wearing a fake Indian headdress waving his arms in the air like a laso and your in-laws are on the dance floor wearing a plastic police men hats…I’m not sure WHAT you call that!


  13. Tracy, I love this! What an inspirational post and who would have thought the Village people are the root of it? Thanks.


    • ..and The Village People roots tend to run deep. Even when you dig them out and think the plant is dead, along comes the next wedding and they’ve grown back. Thanks for stopping by!


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