Have you ever thought about how much of our lives are spent in repetition? We get up, have our morning routine, go to work, school, or whatever- come home to our evening routine and go to bed only to start all over again.

RHYTHM: (American Heritage Dictionary) 1. Movement or variation characterized by the regular recurrence or alternation of different quantities or conditions (the rhythm of the tides). 2. The patterned, recurring alternations of contrasting elements of sound or speech. 3. A regular pattern formed by a series of notes of differing duration and stress.

My morning routine goes something like this: First alarm goes off (the 15 minute warning) usually around 0345. I shut it off. The second and final alarm goes off at 0400 (that is the get your butt out of bed NOW alarm). Now I am not going to say that I have never reached over and shut the second alarm off and gone back to sleep (I might have). Those (may be) the days when speed limit signs are mere suggestions. But when I DO get up on time, I stumble to the kitchen, turn on the coffee pot, try to get my eyes open and focus while trying to find one of the many pairs of reading glasses I have stashed throughout the house. Mostly they just end up in a pile in one room.

How does this happen?
How does this happen?

I then commence to drinking my coffee, checking my email, and thinking through the day. I then tend to tooth scrubbing and beautification, get dressed and head out. It takes me about 40 minutes to get to work where I have a routine there all it’s own. The days I’m off the getting up is a little less structured, but coffee is always the priority in any morning routine!

I Love Coffee!
I Love Coffee!

I’m sure you all have your morning and evening routines as well. It’s just a fact of life. We’re even birthed as the rhythmic contractions of the uterus propel us forward and our mothers’ rhythmic pushes push us out! Our walking has rhythm, our breathing has rhythm, our heartbeat has a rhythm and for runners- we talk about “getting into a rhythm.”  With music and dance, it’s all about the rhythm. We live in constant rhythm-in birth, in living and in dying.

BLUES: (American Heritage Dictionary) 1. A state of depression or melancholy. 2. A style of jazz evolved from southern African American secular songs and usually distinguished by slow tempo and flatted thirds and sevenths.

I love bluesy, jazz music. I am fortunate to live in an area where jazz music is a big deal. One can tell it was born from true heart and soul. The blues are a prominent musical style. Then there are the “blues “-that state of depression or melancholy. Haven’t we ALL experienced that? It kind of goes hand in hand with the rhythms of life doesn’t it? We’ve all heard of the “baby blues” or “post-partum depression” after a woman has given birth when the initial excitement has worn off and the hard core work of taking care of a new life settles in. Some mothers experience the blues when their child goes off to kindergarten. Both parents may experience it when the last child leaves home (better known as the “empty nest” syndrome). In our society today, it’s pretty common for everyone to get the blues from time to time. The gauge is to watch how long you stay there. If it lasts longer than two weeks, you should not be afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to get help. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

I had never really believed there was such a thing as “post-marathon blues” but I have experienced it first hand. I had that particular goal that I was working on for weeks on end commencing with the excitement of race day and the thrill of finishing. Over-just like that! That’s why I have scheduled one race a month through the end of the year to have something special to look forward to and work toward. I also get the blues when I don’t hear from or see my kids for awhile. The most disturbing blues come from misunderstandings with friends and/or family. When people don’t consider what they say, it can be very hurtful and interpreted as insensitive and uncaring. Funny that it doesn’t matter or hurt when it comes from someone that you could give two hoots less about. Am I making any sense here? Friendships/relationships often fall by the wayside when things aren’t talked out while trying to see the other person’s point of view. Communication is broken down and hearts (mind, will & emotions) are left in a smoldering heap. Pride is the reigning victor and lives are bruised. That saddens me.

Miscommunication
Miscommunication

HARMONY: (American Heritage Dictionary) 1. Agreement in feeling or opinion; accord. 2. A pleasing combination of the elements that form a whole. 3. A combination of musical sounds considered to be pleasing.

The harmonies of life-aren’t they a great place to be? Wish I could live there 24/7. Unfortunately that is not reality. People are so different and we all think we’re right! If you’ve ever heard anyone sing harmonies acappella style you know how beautiful that sounds. For some (as with the Lennon sisters) it happened so naturally (like the “zen” moments in life). For most (as in life) it takes work and effort. Everyone should have a voice and have their feelings validated no matter how hard it is to understand them. We all come from different backgrounds, experiences and traditions that mold how we think. It doesn’t make us bad people for interpreting our world through those lenses. If you truly care about someone, you don’t hold that against them. It’s easy to sing the melody, but the harmony takes practice. When a musical instrument or a song is out of tune it is a wretched sound isn’t it?  Much the same way is life-miscommunication is like being out of tune. That is the peril of  social media. It’s easy to type something back and forth, but you can’t see the person’s facial expression or hear the inflection in their voice. MUCH is misinterpreted. Truly the phone isn’t much better. It’s easy to hide behind a keyboard or hang up on someone. And we think that’s okay. Lives left hanging in the balance when there could be beautiful music.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

–Mahatma Gandhi

I am SO thankful for music. I think there is a song for every mood I’m ever in. I like all genres of music for the most part.  As I type this, I am in a heavy metal/Pink/Katy Perry mood-ha! Music can lift your spirits, make you dance, and calm your soul. It is the universal language-the language of the heart. May the rhythm of your life be harmonious! Live, love, laugh!

 

Laughter is harmonious
Laughter is harmonious

Until We Meet Again,

Stephanie

“The words had all been spoken and somehow the feeling still wasn’t right. And still we continued on through the night, tracing our steps from the beginning until they vanished into the air, trying to understand how our lives had led us there.”  –Jackson Browne (Late For the Sky)

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Living a Life of Rhythm and Blues Spattered with Intermittent Harmonies

  1. Even though I don’t agree on your music choices… Pink really? I do agree music is great and there is a song to describe every mood and every situation. Music is very powerful as well, the words can lift you and take you to a different state of mind. I listen to every type of music, and it is usually for the words. Real hip-hop is great for that. Also music can motivate any runner when they need that little push

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