Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sing like you don't need the money...

As you know, Saturday was our Chapter meeting. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the meeting from my house. Sometimes I’ll ride with one of the other Playfriends, but most times, I go alone. I don’t mind; in fact, I look forward to it. I can use that time to plot my book—since I have to “talk” my way through things, the privacy of the car gives me the chance to do that without embarrassment. Sometimes, I just need the chance to think or the time to be alone with my thoughts.

But most of the time, I SING.

I sing loud. I sing proud. I sing with feeling and pizzazz. I turn the stereo up to levels that threaten my hearing and sing my soul out to the back rows of sold-out arenas. Given a long enough trip, I can sing myself hoarse. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but give me the open road and I’m Aretha, Madonna, Reba, Billy Joel, and the Beatles all rolled in to one.

Admit it—you have a CD or tape hidden away that you’re embarrassed to mention you own. But, in the privacy of your car at 70 mph, that CD is the music of choice because you can really sing along (not sing; I mean SING, baby). I have a couple that go all the way back to my college days when I made the trip between Knoxville and Birmingham every other weekend. No, I won’t tell you which ones. It’s my driving music. It’s personal. And embarrassing.

Singing at the top of my lungs energizes me. It’s something small I can do for myself to recharge. Since I’m in the car already, it’s like I’m multi-tasking. (And since I love to multi-task, I get the extra boost from that.) It costs nothing but gas, and I’m paying for that anyway—song or no song. I might as will do something that makes me happy.

(Tangent alert: Why are small things that make us happy called “guilty pleasures?” Should I really feel guilty about the Hershey kiss stash in my desk drawer that my child doesn’t know about? If I want to take the afternoon off and watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding or Emma for the 500th time, should I feel guilty? I have a piece of lingerie that makes me feel beautiful when I wear it. I paid far too much money for it and no one but DG ever even sees it. Is wearing it a guilty pleasure? Why do we have to feel guilty about making ourselves happy?)

So what do you do to make you happy? And how long has it been since you’ve done it?

Problem Child


Playground Monitor said...

It's been so long since I did it that I've forgotten what it is. Actually, going to the beach makes me happy and I haven't seen the ocean since May 2003 when the DH and I went to Cancun for our 30th anniversary. My mom lives on the Georgia coast and I'm way overdue to visit her.

I have some of those CDs too. There's one in particular that I call my "stay awake while driving" CD. It's all honky tonk music and when you're belting out "Redneck Woman" or "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox" or "Sin Wagon" at full volume, it's really hard to fall asleep at the wheel.

Re: your tangent alert. Are you referring to a collective "we" or a collective female "we." I think many women are conditioned to be nurturers and do for others. Doing for yourself means you AREN'T doing for someone else. Hence the guilt.

I stopped feeling guilty about my Hershey kiss stash when I began buying the dark chocolate kisses and read about dark chocolate's antioxidant properties.

Verification word: ovevsli. Sounds like a town in Romania.

Maven Linda Winstead Jones said...

Oh, I LOVE to SING in the car. That's how I make my way to the meeting every month. Last month it was Tina Turner and Big and Rich. Not at the same time, of course, but I was Tina going to the meeting, and Big and Rich coming home. Ahhh.

It's a good thing I go alone. My 5 yr old granbddaughter tells me, "Granny, you are NOT going to Hollywood." :-)


Anonymous said...

I have a coke for lunch everyday and sometimes...if I'm feeling really naughty I'll have two. LOL.

Road trips are the best times to listen to the music of the heart. My chosen vice...the Phantom of the Opera-2 disc version. Together, Gerard Butler and I, as Christine, harmonize with astounding vocals and unending passion. Heaven!

Change of pace...Creed, Black Eyed Peas (My humps! Try exercising your buns while you drive to this one), 50 Cent (exotic Middle Eastern beats), Aerosmith, Billy Idol and the list goes on. But none of these compare to the Phantom.

Hint. If you see me driving in town with my mouth open wide, I'm Christine not Kathy.

Instigator said...

LOL PC. Great minds think alike. I was contemplating this exact thing on the way home Saturday. My music of choice at the moment is Tim McGraw. Yummy! Although Big and Rich were just recently replaced by him so I agree with you Maven LJ.

But for me there's more to it than just SINGING (and trust me my stereo is turned up to 40 and my lungs are working overtime on my trip to meetings). It never fails that a song will spark some idea - another book, characters, plot, the solution to a problem I'm having. This weekend I fleshed out a character for my next book and brainstormed the plot idea for another book to one of Tim's songs. Music energizes me. It gets the juices flowing, the brain firing and my imagination whizzing on overdrive - who could fight imagination with Tim as inspiration? :-)


verification - mxsver sounds like a bad singles event.

Rhonda said...

Oh, my kids hate it when I sing, but like PC, I belt it out when I'm moved. Anna Nalick's "Breathe", Billy Currington's "Must Be Doin' Something Right." (Alternately biting fist and fanning myself here. I *heart* Billy Currington.)

I can't sing--definitely wouldn't make it to Hollywood--but I have always admired songwriters. Lyrics that don't necessarily make sense alone suddenly breathe when set to music. Furthermore, any writer who can squeeze a story into three stanzas and a refrain is a hero in my book. I need at least 70,000 words to make my point. :-)

Smarty Pants said...

What makes me happy? Hmmm...I don't even know anymore. Wait...Although I'm anti-sunlight, I love to go to the ocean. I can sit for hours and watch for a pod of dolphins or try to catch sandcrabs (as long as I have adequate sunblock or shade). I can spend days alone at Sea World watching the most boring of exhibits. That's where I've found peace and joy since I was maybe 10 ys old.

I HAVE to sing in the car. When I carpool with playfriends I keep it to myself, but I'll belt out any tune that comes across my path. I won't tell you the embarassing ones I own, but give me some Evanescence, Depeche Mode, Aerosmith, Bryan Adams or Sarah McLaughlin and I'll serenade you for hours. I enjoy songs with powerful music behind it and strong harmonies. Simon & Garfunkel are one of my favorites. I can plot while I sing too, so that feeds the multitasker in me as well...driving, plotting, singing...how efficient!


Anonymous said...

I love Bryan Adams' music. I have that, too. I also love to listen to the bagpipes play. When I do, I feel as though I've been transported to Scotland and I'm on a hill overlooking breathtaking scenery. How romantic is that? I guess that's what I like most about music, being transported to another time and place. Whether that's a distant memory or my imagination, it's all good.

With music, it's what stirs the soul that matters. And I find I like just about every kind of music there is. Choosing what to listen to just depends on the mood I'm in.

Right now, I'm listening to my grandson sing to the Backyardagans! It's wonderful!