This past week has been especially difficult on an emotional level for me (and millions of others), with the political turmoil and our extremely divided nation. Plus, the ongoing pandemic. I live in southern California, where positive Covid numbers and hospitalizations continue to increase. There’s no date in sight for the end of the shutdown.
A few days ago, I was at my computer paying bills. I did something I’ve rarely done the past few months while working. I put on my favorite Spotify playlist. I love music, so I have no idea why I haven’t listened to it much lately in my office. Maybe it’s because I’ve been so overloaded with information, I’ve just wanted it quiet.
Anyway, the first song to play was “Sittin’ Pretty” by Florida Georgia Line. It took me back to the long, lazy days of summer.
Pretty as a peach
As a postcard picture of a West Coast beach
So pretty if I had to bet
This is pretty much as good as it gets
Ah, summer… Backyard barbecues with loads of family and friends chatting and laughing together. Fourth of July fireworks lighting up the black velvet sky. Lounging by the pool reading a book. Gardening and picking tomatoes, with my pup Duke by my side. Walking hand-in-hand along the beach with my husband. Licking a melting ice cream cone and munching on my favorite summer fruits — peaches, watermelon, cherries, and plums. Carefree hot days. Summer nights glittering with twinkle lights and tiki torches.
While listening to “Sittin’ Pretty,” something happened that I totally didn’t expect. I felt enveloped by warm sunshine, like a weighted blanket comforting me. I took some deep breaths and let my mind drift. I basked in the memories of summers before 2020, feeling completely and utterly refreshed.
I allowed myself to take a mental break and forget about life for a while.
Which reminds me of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”:
It’s a pretty good crowd for a Saturday
And the manager gives me a smile
‘Cause he knows that it’s me they’ve been comin’ to see
To forget about life for a while
This experience has made me realize how much I’m craving peace and tranquility. Normalcy. Who knows when that’ll come. But despite these days of unrest, worry, and uncertainty, I need to make positive changes for my mental health.
Music can help me do that. Not that it’ll cure the problems in our world, but it offers a much-needed respite from it all. Music reminds me that this period of time won’t last forever. We will get through this. It WILL get better.
In the meantime, I’m going to make a point of turning on my Spotify playlist much more often.