Yesterday I put music on LOUDLY to get myself motivated to straighten up the house. I usually do so when I know I’m going to be conquering a large task. It puts me in a calm mood and I get in a zone.
The tunes can be whatever comes on the radio (well, Pandora). Sometimes it’ll be pulled from downloaded albums like my 90’s grunge…yes, think Pearl Jam or STP; or from the current century like the awesome and quirky Cold War Kids. And sometimes, I just find something new like the smooth and haunting sounds from Bootstraps. Or, that damn catchy high hat beat from The Nbhd. I love those happenstances of finding something new. Often times, though, I’ll read a quick bio and look at their discography and realize the dang song is from 2011 or some odd year when I must’ve been listening to my Counting Crows again and again, instead. Where was I and what was I doing? Hiding under a rock?! Napping for endless hours?! Eh, no matter. I’ll just add this “something new” to play to death and annoy my teenagers with along with songs about recovering satellites and taking things that withdraw. Ah…Counting Crows, those guys are always my steady.
Anyways, I was jammin’ out to today’s pick of Top 40…something about best days of life (catchy chorus, by the way) and tasking from living room (straightening cushions and folding laundry and hiding toys) to kitchen (wiping the damn counter AGAIN and realizing the dishwasher is officially broken). Then, to dining room – oh yeah, there I just glanced at the table top with its miscellaneous items of laptop equipment, book bags, receipts and Christmas decorations I forgot to pack and kept on walking. My goal was to make it to the bedroom to make up my bed before…or after (I couldn’t make up my mind) I put away all the laundry I folded WAY BACK from my time in the living room. Such a busy bee, I was! All the while I was thinking about a recent conversation I had with my best friend.
She called me about some questions she had about insurance (my previous life) and we discussed for a bit. We then started talking about daily life, running here and there, messy house, no time for husband, missing time spent with her son. Gotta slow down, gotta stop the worrying. Gotta get together soon, miss you, love you, remember when we were young and didn’t have such worries?! “But, Nat! You were the most laid-back person growing up!” I told her. “I KNOW! I don’t know what happened! I need to find my way back to that!” she replied.
It was not so long ago that I remember those feelings of anxiousness, those feelings of never having enough time to get things finished or tended to. Important things. NOT work-related. Things that make you reflect upon and you can smile about. Those things that make your heart warm, that make you feel proud to be you. As a person, a friend, a spouse. As an adult child to your aging parents. As a parent to little heathens, forgive me, I mean angels! One day, I don’t remember the exact time, it was more a period of months, I just decided that I can’t let my life run me over and and regret things that have/haven’t happened. I’ll just have to accept, reflect, enjoy…and I do, most days.
As I thought about my friend, I wondered if I had comforted her enough, if I had made a difference in her day. Would she pull from the conversation and stay strong in a time when she felt like crying if someone mentioned a yoga class she should take or what type of plans did she have for the evening? Would she go home that night, and if it was late, caress her little boy’s head while he slept and be alright about missing dinner with him? Would she change her way of thinking and just be thankful that he had a full belly and family to watch over him until she returned? Would she wait for her husband to return home after his shift ended and give him a big hug and smile and revel in that simple act instead of worrying about WHATEVER?
I looked at all of my to-do’s still pending (picture piles of laundry, a suitcase STILL unopened from last week, mail to sort, dinner) and realized that I may not know all the answers and I may not do everything right, but it’s ok to let go and it’s ok to stop it all. I didn’t think it’d ever have been possible to stop my obsessive thinking and worrying and nagging but I know I’ve come a long way and it does get better.
After all this thinking and cleaning, I decided to change the music. It changed from Top 40 to Reggae. I grooved for a few but it just wasn’t right. I switched to Rock…the alternative heavy kind. I was semi-inspired. I just wasn’t feeling it anymore. So, I decided to turn the music off. SILENCE. It was quite nice. The baby sat down with me and we read a book. He got up and ran away afterwards and I continued to sit, enjoying the moment. Not noticing the dining room or the kitchen pots calling out to be warmed with sauces and veggies. Nor the bathroom, even, with it’s demanding cries for some attention. I was content and done with my piles of shit for the day.
I hope my friend can find her way back to that laid-back chick she once was. She’s definitely still in there. I know it from her demeanor, her gentleness to others, her genuinely happy tone of voice whenever she talks to you. It’s still all there.
Maybe I could tell her to listen to some music (like me with my steady). Or sit in silence or go fold laundry. Or go draw something (she actually used to draw/sketch beautiful things). But, I know better. These types of things you figure out on your own, in time. Fortunately.