Tuesday Tunes: Optimistic Defiance

My good friend, Rhonda and I are going to see Tom Petty in concert this weekend.  So, I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite Tom Petty tunes as well as the answer to a question that was part of an award from a fellow blogger.  A while ago, the joyful and effervescent Ritu of the blog, But I Smile Anyway, nominated me for the STARLIGHT Blogger Award.  She asked, “Which song would you use as the soundtrack to your life?”  Here’s my answer.

I don’t know if I could narrow it down to just one song.  I’d probably choose a couple from the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers album called, Anthology: Through the Years, namely:  “Runnin’ Down a Dream” and “Learning to Fly.” I chose these songs, because they speak to me about the journey of life.  I like how the metaphors of driving down a road, weather, and flying are used regarding life’s ups and downs as well as encompassing the lessons of faith and perseverance.  I also really LOVE the note of optimistic defiance in the lyrics.

I think most of us can identify with the metaphor of life as a road in the song, “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” We start out on a sunny day, believing in our goals and dreams and that “anything is possible.”  And, as we’re heading down the road of life, we run into those people or circumstances that are stumbling blocks rather than stepping stones.  Then the “sky grows dark, the rain is unstoppable, and there’s no sunshine.” Things are difficult.  What are you going to do?  Pull over and give up or “put the pedal down,” having faith that “there’s something good waitin’ down this road.”  To me, this song epitomizes perseverance:  believing in yourself and your dreams and NEVER GIVING UP or GIVING IN to obstacles.

I also chose “Learning to Fly,” because I’ve always been a sensitive person.  In the past, I’ve allowed negative people and circumstances to really bother and beat me down at times.  I remember truly feeling despair regarding these situations.

Years ago, I remember Dad telling me, “You’re going to have to get some grit, girl!  Pull yourself up by your boot straps.  What are you going to do?  Are you going to let this drag you down, or are you going to rise above it?  It’s your decision.”  Well, when you put it like that, I reckon I’m going to rise above it!  All I have to say is there’s nothing like getting a little, no-nonsense pep talk from your Southern dad, whose hero was John Wayne, to set you to rights. 😉  All kidding aside, he was right.  And, it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.

So, to me, “Learning to Fly” is about letting go of negative people and/or circumstances–-navigating those clouds, rising above it, and most importantly, persevering.  It’s been an ongoing process, but I’m finally learning to fly.


 “Never let anyone or anything break your spirit.”



“Falling down is part of life.—–Getting back up is living.”







  1. Awesome! I love Tom Petty. There’s a 2007 rockumentary / biography called “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” It goes into his roots, musical beginnings and the evolution of his music / band. He’s originally from FL but started his career in CA. Really cool film. According to him, Stevie Nicks wanted to join the band at some point. Have fun!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonderful post about determination leading to forward movement. I’m glad you’re getting to the concert. I saw him ages ago. Like, whenever Last Dance with Mary Jane was a bit hit. Have a great time! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am new to your blog… and it was the Tom Petty post that caught my attention… You will have a blast! He’s a wonderful person. I went to college with his oldest daughter and long story short… he allowed me to have his seat (10th row i sat behind Destiny’s child) at the Grammys that year for the Wild Flowers album. He’s a humble soul and a hard working sincere musician and his daughters are fierce, creative and brilliant. I liked him before i met his daughter and she saw i had a picture on my dorm room wall of her dad… and he was so glad a “young person” liked his tunes. That was soooo long ago now. But all the same… he’s a true blue good man and his music is stellar. Have fun!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes! Tom Petty and persevering.
    I like many of his songs and gave at least two of his albums to my artist brother years ago, he still listens to a CD player while he paints. hugs xo 🌻

    “Keep on keeping on. . .” I like the way my country cousins used to say this line.

    Liked by 1 person

      • How was the concert, Tonya? 🎼🎤
        Oh my goodness! I did enjoy the weekend but am all tuckered out.
        The past days since my oldest daughter got married for her first time on 7/7/17 have been so exciting. She had placed a bid with her (at the time) fiance on a house. Their offer was accepted, we had yard sales at her apt. packed up their stuff and today, we finished taking everything over to their new home!
        It is gray with white shutters and a bright yellow door. 🌞

        Liked by 1 person

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