The Soundtrack to My Life

I just happened to notice Ramble Ginger's writing prompts for this week, and I could not stop thinking of the songs that have got me through this new era of life. I am a BIG music person. When I was young-ish, I would listen to my cassette tape/CD/MP3 player in bed for a good hour after lights out. Mostly I would make music videos in my mind for each song. I did this very secretly, it was my safe place to imagine and make-believe in the dark confines of my room- a perfect canvas. Music has long been my refuge, and I've lost a lot of the alone/personal moments with music as I've grown up. Having a husband in my room, I try not to bother him. In the car? Kids in the back don't want to hear my version of whatever song is on the radio. I have limited moments to flip on some headphones and have an all out arm-flailing dance party, due to the complete lack of privacy. I'm hoping to enjoy long periods of alone time during my retirement. (fingers crossed!)

I cannot stand absolute quiet. It makes me inexplicably nervous. I've always had this romantic notion of having music playing in the background of just about every moment. I would absolutely love that. With kids, I've gravitated to having the TV on in the background- mostly on news or the weather channel, something benign. With our satellite service, I can play some Sirius channels straight from the TV, which I like. However, my kids' taste in music is not always compatible with my own. Those kids love them some pop girl rock. (I'm not always in the mood for bubblegum tunes. I tend to err a bit on the darker side, certainly not very child appropriate at times) Most of the time it's just TV, old episodes of The Cosby Show, or Arthur, stuff like that are always on in the wings of our home. Unless it's homework time; That is a firm television turn off. Anyway, I am rambling.

These are my right-now soundtrack picks. Some are recent, but that's only because my memory these days is a total trainwreck disaster. (I blame the kids for that too) I could also not just choose ten. That was too Sophie's Choice for me.

- Fantasy by MSMR
I relate to the words of this song, hard core. "My reality could never live up to my fantasy." That's how I feel about a lot of things. I love how the big picture of my life came together, but it was certainly confusing getting there.

- This Isn't Control  by MSMR
Come "that time of the month" I am always screaming to myself along with the song "THIS ISN'T CONTROL!" Welcome to my sanity, people.

- Jump on my Shoulders, by Awolnation
I mop to this song. Every. Time. I actually listen to the whole album, Megalithic Symphony, when I buckle down and decide to mop the house (there are a lot of hardwood & tile in this house, makes for a looooong hour or so of strict mopping, the shortest reward of chores; As I know either Scotty is going to pee on something the moment I put the mop down, or the children will drop food on the floor, thus voiding all the work I put into the project)

- Bravado by Lorde
Pump me up, self esteem boost. Usually while I'm putting on a whole face of makeup for looking pretty and less tired.

- Be Calm by Fun.
Self explanatory with twins?

- Carry On by Fun.
Another one to remind me to just keep going forward. Life is hard- head nod.

- Shake it Out by Florence + the Machine
I do more than the average amounts of arm-flailing, embarrassing freakout dancing. My personality flaws are aptly encompassed in the words "I could never leave the past behind/I'm always dragging that horse around"

- She's Crafty by Beastie Boys
Everyone should know this. When I was contemplating my new email, all I could hear was this song running through my mind. That is how craftyashley came to be. I AM IN NO WAY CRAFTY. Just a PSA.
(I assure you I have never stolen anything. Just a really catchy tune; Love the Beastie Boys)

- Slow Me Down by Emily Rossum
This is just a beautiful song. I self identify with it to my very core.

- Have You Got It In You? by Imogen Heap
I've imagined my own music video for this one. It involves me feeding two kids in highchairs, pureed spinach in my hair, while the ghost of my old self asks if I really do have it in me to do this. Most days I answer myself no. And yet somehow we make it to fight another day. Curious!

- Right Before My Eyes by Cage the Elephant
"The whole world lost control/right before my eyes" Seriously, guys. Some days I honestly forgot how we all got here. I thought I was going to make a difference in the world? I thought I was going to do something splashy and ARTSY! Instead I am just a regular stay at home mom. I doubt anyone would notice me in the aisles of Target in my yoga pants, grey hoodie, and hair tied back in a bun. I dress to blend in, which is what I have become so good at, quite unknowingly, blending into the background. The kids are the feature film here, I'm just the guy behind the curtain. Making sure everyone has clean clothes and a full tummy.

Oooooh, I went quite deep into my iTunes folder, and found some songs that stand out from back in the day. I'm sorry if I'm boring you.

- Paradise by Vanessa Carlton
I listened to this a lot in college. It's a pretty messed up, depressing song. I may have had a touch of the D's in college. Whew, am I glad to be out of that.

- Le Disko by Shiny Toy Guns
Every late night feeding with the wee baby twins? I blasted this into my earbuds to keep myself awake at the breast pump. I can still hear that distinct breast pump sound in the background whenever I re-listen to that song.

- Hello Seattle by Owl City
My ultimate chill out song. My talk-me-off-a-ledge song. Along with Alligator Sky. Check it out. Good music to relax to even with children around. (the best albums are All Things Bright & Beautiful and Ocean Eyes)

- The entire album of REM's Automatic For the People
I learned to draw to this album. It was exhilarating realizing a lifelong goal (for my 20 yr old self) of being able to create my own art with a pencil and some paper.

- Goodbye by Avril Lavigne
This strikes a little chord in my heart every time I hear it. I packed up our old house to this song. I would cry as I gingerly wrapped dishes in newspaper. Leaving our first real house was hard, in the storm of a short sale, knowing we could not stay for a whole host of reasons. But I got entirely too sentimentally attached to that house. It still hurts, less and less, but I am getting a little pang writing this. Which is totally weird. Time heals all wounds, I hope? I also start thinking about the loss of my grandfather especially around the "goodbye, know that I will always love you so" range.

Ack, tears. I should pack this all in. I am also going to avoid re-reading and editing this. Because I am 100% sure I would delete the whole thing and it would never see the light of... the internet? But I have invested an hour of prime naptime with this post.  IT IS HAPPENING NOW.

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