I’ve been feeling slightly frustrated lately. As a result I’ve been doing what I often do when I’m challenged by this type of mood — withdrawing and eating entirely too much comfort food. Not, in other words, concentrating on the things that give me purpose. Almost worse is that I feel like I’m sleepwalking through the few things that I am managing to accomplish.
I’ve not been doing much writing. Actually, that’s not entirely true. There has been a great deal of writing done, but nothing much I’ve deemed worthy of sharing. For this I’ll blame the meatloaf, the mashed potatoes, and, of course, the ice cream. While I’m casting about for something to blame, I’ll throw in the general sense of ennui with which I’ve been greeting my days to the mix. Why not?
I have managed to read a few disappointing books. Whether their failure to revive my sagging spirits was the fault of the books themselves — talented writers and interesting subject matters aside, I wasn’t entirely captivated by them. They were, to a one, critically acclaimed and well-reviewed. I’m willing to bet that my lukewarm response was nobody’s fault but my own. Although, I could blame The Olympics. They’re a distraction.
Music, which is often the “magic pill”, the thing that can be relied upon to lift me out of the doldrums, has also been conspicuously absent from my daily life. For this, I blame the weather.
We have, alternately, been buried under snow and ice or holed up in the house to avoid the frigid temperatures. If I had access to a witch’s tit, you can bet I’d have acquired such — for warmth.
The weather has forced school closings and office closings, which has foisted upon us a great deal of togetherness. Initially it was nice, cozy, and kind of fun. We watched lots of movies, caught up on some episodic television, and ate entirely too much junk food. After almost six weeks, though, the bloom is beginning to come off this rose. I’ve grown a little sick of my family. I’m sure the feeling is mutual.
I want my days off back — the pure, unadulterated solitude of them. I long to return to my routine, such that it is. I want to listen to my music — not my husband’s, not my daughter’s, mine — while I write or cook or clean or, most importantly, think.
Tomorrow, if there is a higher power and if she listens, as I hope she does, things should return to the familiar abnormal around here. The first thing I’m going to do, after I throw in some laundry and pop that cake in the oven, that is, will be to shut down the pity party and listen to the following five songs — loudly. They all demand and deserve it. Usually they inspire me. We shall see.
BRAVE (Sara Bareilles) From the album The Blessed Unrest, 2013. Words and music by Sara Bareilles and Jack Antonoff.
HUMAN (The Killers) From the album Day & Age, 2008. Words and music by The Killers.
Dance music from The Killers? You betcha!
AND I’M TELLING YOU I’M NOT GOING (Jennifer Holliday) From the Original Broadway cast recording of the musical Dreamgirls, 1982. Words and music by Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger.
Yes, there is another version. From the movie. By Jennifer Hudson. It’s great. This is phenomenal.
TIMES LIKE THESE (Foo Fighters) From the album, One By One, 2003 Words and music by Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, and Chris Shiflett
There is really no more enthusiastic musican than Dave Grohl — even here in a quiet, acoustic moment that enthusiasm shines through. This is song about turning points. I can relate.
SHE WILL BE LOVED (Maroon 5) From the album Songs About Jane, 2002. Words and music by Adam Levine and James Valentine.
A younger, less tattooed Adam Levine. This is where the world first met him. I, for one, am grateful that we did.
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