I’ve been noticing lately that my feelings swing like a pendulum. The feelings I have when I’m in my Happy Place (my deep, content, peaceful state) can seem like a distant memory when some of my life circumstances swing me in the equal and opposite direction. I feel unsure of myself: sadness, grief, anger, resentment, despair…you name it.
My remedy these days? I grab my Sony Walkman and go for a walk. Yes, I’m old school. It’s one of the relics I found while cleaning out the house. It’s FM stereo only and takes one AA battery. I had to trash the headphones, but pleased that my old iPhone earbuds do the trick. So now I’m off and running.
Sure, I could easily use my iPhone. There are tons of apps and playlists, and I could go nuts! But there’s something about this little gadget. I scan through stations back and forth, looking for a song that resonates. I love hearing new artists and it helps me stay current with popular music. It also helps me remember all the hits from days gone by, songs I would never think to play. Sometimes I catch a song I haven’t heard in years, then struggle to tune it in. I overlook a lot of static just to hear it. But hey, that’s probably how I first heard it years ago…on my boombox.
But regardless, I always find a song that I need to hear. They can take me back to a time…even if it was bittersweet. I remember playing a Sinead O’Connor tape, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got”, over and over again after a really bad breakup. And when I listen to Sarah McLachlan, it reminds me of when I cared for my Mom as she struggled through early onset Alzheimer’s; “I Will Remember You” always brings a tear to my eye. Music gives me a safe space to feel.
There are too many good, fun songs to even name. They are all like my best friends. I hear a song and it reminds me of a time and place in my life, and so many great memories…oh, so many!!! The beauty of music is that it connects me to something, it transports me, it informs me, it shows me that there is sooo much more to life. And that whatever I’m going through now…this too shall pass.
I think of Aretha Franklin. I had some really great times listening to her! And just a testament to the power of music, the Queen of Soul was recently laid to rest with a procession of more than 100 pink Cadillacs escorting her casket, and thousands of people paying their R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Her influence in the music world will have an impact for generations to come.
And as I’m taking my walk, another oldie but goodie comes on the radio that sums it up perfectly for me. I hear Dobie Gray belt out Drift Away:
Oh, give me the beat boys and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock n roll
And drift away…
Music touches my soul, warms my heart and puts a spring in my step. I am so very grateful for all the music and musicians in the world…(Grateful Dead, she says with a wink!).
Challenge for the week: Listen to music!!!
That’s it, plain and simple!
Make a playlist of your favorite songs, dust off your records, pull out your CDs, download from iTunes…or just go old school like me and turn on the FM stereo!