Yesterday on the way home from work, I turned off NPR - I just couldn't take the news anymore. It's generally the only thing I ever listen to, but with the longer commute while we've been housesitting, I'm on overload. I plugged in my itunes. I haven't listened to any of that music in what seems like years. My go-to music selection at home is provided care of Pandora. So it's always playing a mix of songs that I know and songs that I don't.
But the itunes - it was all my old favorites, playing randomly, and I started to sing along. At first, kind of lightly and then belting it out in my most unfit for human consumption car-singing voice. And before I knew it, I could hardly form the words anymore and I was having trouble driving with the tears streaming down my cheeks.
I needed this.
Music used to be a big part of my life - in fact it always was until it wasn't. I sang in choirs, I played the piano and the flute. I went to concerts. I sang in the car. I memorized every lyric of entire albums. And then slowly I drifted into more television, more talk radio, more podcasts, less music. I didn't have a choir at the ready to join. I didn't own a piano. And I just kind of quit. It's not like I've never made a peep, but music's place in my life got taken up by other things.
I didn't realize how much I missed it.
When I was involved in it, I was always so goal-oriented. Get more solos, progress to the next level, be the best. And I never was. I think I drifted away from it to some extent because I got tired of the stress and frustrated with never being as good as I wanted to be.
My therapist ( I have a new one now since I moved to Burlington - so hard to start that new relationship!) asked me the other day how much time I spend playing. I told her about my penchant for taking fun things and making them into "should" things, "productive" things, "get better" things.
And that's the thing about singing alone in your car at the top of your lungs - you can't "should" that.
It's just you, playing.
And I really needed it.
Do you play? How?