Music, songs have marked stages in my life. Now my iPod playlist helps reduce my stress. Yesterday was stressful:
- my husband awoke with a painful symptom related to his chronic illness
- it took an hour to discover why I couldn’t print out both boarding passes for his flight to the clinical trial today
- I found the UPS note that required my signature for an important package IN THE BUSHES
- I talked to 3 people at the post office about a mailing issue only to realize later that I was still wearing my bright orange earplug band (because my vacuum is deafening) like a necklace — oh well they couldn’t possibly remember my name!
But as the day waned, an email from the clinical trial doctor related that my husband could safely fly today. Wiping gratitude tears away, I looked around at clean floors and carpets; when I am stressed, housework feels just right. Creative work is more difficult.
It was then I looked out the window, remembering that it was close to 60 degrees. Time for a walk with my iPod and Playlist. Time to enjoy nature and revive myself, look for all the positives in my life.
I headed up the first hill listening to a funky song my daughter gave me, Regina Spektor’s “Fidelity” and that got my heart pumping. Cresting the hill, my body warming up, a song my brother Bill wrote for me, “Long Ago,” underlined our close bond and amazing childhood. Yes, my feet said taking me down a broad avenue, life is good.
When stress builds–everyone needs an escape, or at least a way to deal with it, mollify it. Stress can cause muscles to cramp and brains to cramp too. Some people do their best work under stress, but the letdown is always necessary and watching a flock of dark birds soaring carefree above me was just what I needed–that and Oren Lavie’s “Her Morning Elegance” which I translated to: everything you did today had its own basic importance –“And she fights for her life, As she puts on her coat…”
I love walking at twilight, the lawns still glowing, able to blaze green chlorophyll from copious autumn sunlight. That’s when Tom Waits started to tell me about his “Martha,” amazing lyrics and his unmistakable raspy voice filling my earbuds and touching me–
And those were the days of roses,
Poetry and prose and Martha
All I had was you and all you had was me.
There were no tomorrows,
We packed away our sorrows
And we saved them for a rainy day.
I heard “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys and thought of my husband and then as I came up to the last hill that would lead me down to my grey house nestled in its enclave of tress, there was the shell-colored sky, streaked with pink and Jeff Buckley singing “Hallelujah.”
My playlist is always on shuffle, so as these songs play they often reveal things about my life. They accentuate the gratitude I feel when relaxed and reenergized I am home again. Then it’s time to pick up the threads of love and once more find a comforting balance.
All lives have their ups and downs. For me, songs and music have marked high and low points. For me, health is grateful tears when a song reminds me of my mother who no longer remembers the words to “You’ll Never Walk Alone”–but she certainly lived that song despite losses in her life.
Thanks for reading about my Playlist. I hope you have one or some other means of lessening your stress and getting exercise.
My husband just texted that he arrived safely in Ohio for his clinical trial. Now what song on my Playlist shouts that out?? I’ll go again with Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah.”
All three of my children have contributed significantly to my Playlist.