Search This Blog

Sunday, February 24, 2019

They Take Me Back, Alright

Like many people, I consider music to be an important part of my life.  I listen to music to celebrate good times, relieve stress, and process my emotions.  As a result, I associate certain songs with certain times in my life.  This is all well and good when the associations are positive (or at least neutral), but what about the times when songs take us back to things we'd rather leave in the past?

Hold Your Head Up by Argent:  I discovered this song on YouTube after being laid off in the summer of 2017.  And really, what better song to find during a time of discouragement and uncertainty?  I listened to it at least daily for a while to encourage myself to stay hopeful.  The problem was that in effect, this song became my layoff song.  It was months after I started working again before I could listen to it again.  And even now, while I enjoy the song again, it still takes me back to the emotional roller coaster that was that time in my life.

Last Christmas by Wham:  Fortunately, I never liked this song anyway.  It's always been one of those aggravating features of the holiday season.  However, around Christmas time in 2011, I was spending a lot of time in doctor appointments, having spent the previous several months with strange and unsettling symptoms that were growing worse.  My physician at the time was really wonderful in many regards--she never rushed anyone through their appointments and was very thorough.  But this meant that if you were seeing her towards the end of the day, she was likely to be very behind in her schedule, and you were going to spend a lot of the time in the waiting room.  This song was played very frequently in her waiting room during that time, and as a result, this song is not only annoying, it also reminds me of being sick.

Take It To The Limit by the Eagles:  This association isn't as bad as the previous two.  I took AP calculus as a senior in high school, and it was a struggle the entire year.  I eventually decided I needed an official song to pump myself up for the AP calculus exam and decided that since this song
had the word "limit" in the title, it was a natural fit (and if you don't believe me, try to come up with a song with the word "derivative" in the title).  Everything turned out well in the end--I somehow passed the exam and didn't have to take calculus in college.  So while this isn't an unpleasant memory per se, I still think of this song as the calculus song. 

Wishing everybody happy times to celebrate with good songs!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Mice Will Play

I wrote here last month about caring for Laila as her kidney disease progressed.  At first, I hoped--perhaps unrealistically--that I might nurse her back to health during my winter break and that she might be with us for longer.  Then, as time went on, I hoped that I might just be able to buy her a few more weeks or months with a reasonable quality of life.  Sadly, that did not happen, either.  We had Laila put to sleep toward the end of January.  For anyone who hasn't made that sort of decision for a beloved pet, I can say that it's possible to simultaneously feel very confident that you made the right decision and feel terrible about it.

I have not yet adjusted to her being gone.  I still find myself expecting a little cat to greet me when I come home, meow loudly while I try to sleep in on the weekends, and jump up on the table to steal my food and water.  I keep thinking I need to feed her or scoop the cat litter. 

Occasionally, though, her absence feels very clear in my mind.  Yesterday, when I saw a mouse scuttle across my kitchen, it occurred to me that there would be no prolonged hunt to witness and no dead mouse body to find on the floor later.  On top of all the ways in which I feel sad, I'm also concerned that an onslaught of mice in my apartment is imminent.  You know, when the cat's away....