Tuesday, 14 April 2015

life's what you make it

By the time you hit your fourth decade I imagine that you have received a magnitude of wisdoms about what you should do, how not to wear something; which box set is unmissable and which bacteria really is good for you. There is a constant stream of how tos and what not to dos.

At some point I guess we have to learn how to filter. Decide what are interesting nuggets and what is fodder. I love a good self-help book or ten-things-that-will-improve-your-life as much as the next person. But I think along the way I have consistently found solace and spirit in music. My iPod boasts a playlist for every mood.

Therefore I offer a suggestion to live your life... through song.  Don’t panic I don’t mean for you to break into The hills are alive during worrying or exciting moments in your day.  I merely propose finding tunes that gets you out of bed when the blues take over or a song that, when belted at top volume in your car, will burn troubles away, for a while at least.  There are also the songs that, for me, remind me to accept the past – warts and all – and move on. Usually these songs involve warbly top notes and a hands on hips.  And the 3G giving their mother looks of despair.

Here goes…

For when you might upset or offend but need to stand by your principles.  You can’t please all of the people all of the time.  And when you have done wrong; forgive yourself, dust yourself down and keep, keep movin’ on:
 Paid my dues – Anastasia
‘cause i’m too proud, i’m too strong
live by the code that you gotta move on
feeling sorry for yourself
ain’t got nobody nowhere

For when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, take a moment before anger or panic or despair kicks in.  GeordieLad has helped me acknowledge that there are somethings we can’t always control, and I have always been an advocate of the contingency plan:
No more drama - Mary J Blige
it feel so good when you let go
of all the drama in your life
now you’re free from all the pain
free from all the game
free from all the stress
so find your happiness

no more pain, no more game…
no more tears, no more fears…
no more drama in my life

For when you look back on the bad and sad and mad times.  These crappy times can sometimes make us stronger, often they leave whacking great metaphorical bruises; but if we are lucky we’re still here to tell the tales.  They are parts of us and contribute to making us who we are:
Soul Survivor – Beverley Knight
 ‘cuz I’m right where i should be
and can’t nobody every hold me back
change the tack, make me slack
you can’t find another “me”

Okay so I’m allowing myself a little bit of a good old fashioned jazz-hands musical interlude.  The next two songs move the focus onto being good to yourself and others. You know, all that pay it forward stuff.  And we all know how much a blue sky and sunshine can make us all feel just that little bit better. So take time out to be smile and be nice.
Give a little love – Bugsy Malone musical
You give a little love
And it all comes back to you
You know you gonna be remembered 
For the things you say and do

Let the sunshine – Hair musical
Somewhere, inside something there is a rush of
Greatness, who knows what stands in front of
Our lives…
Let the sunshine in

Oops,look, I’m slipping another musical tune in. For when you need to step outside of your own life and take care of others who are in need.
I’ll cover you – Rent musical
Just slip me on,
I'll be your blanket
Wherever,whatever, I'll be your coat

And finally the best way to approach everything.  When you have managed to scrape yourself off the floor after dark times and you have called back all the support from the people that you have been nice to, and you have mustered the strength to face the world.
Golden – Jill Scott
I’m taking my own freedom
Putting it in my song
Singing loud and strong
Grooving all day long
I’m taking my freedom
Putting it in my stroll
I’ll be high steppin’ y’all
Letting the joy unfold
Living my life like it’s golden, golden