Monday, August 12, 2013

Burning Daylight & Searching For Soul

I've been feeling a little blue lately, a little down, a little not myself.  Even before I left for the longest road trip evah, I was off track.  But didn't somebody say you have to get off track to know just how right the right one feels?  Didn't someone say that in some sort of way? I need to get back on track, I need to remember who I am...

"We're burning daylight here, let's just play!," yelled JT to the other boys when they couldn't decide who was on whose baseball team.  

The kids know what's up.

They know that it's almost over.

It's the calm before the storm really, the last few weeks of sweet summertime.  The time when you try to squeeze in everything left undone on your summer list.  The time when you try to make the most of every bit of daylight.
Tim made the game winning grab, so of course that means a dog pile.
And of course, JT had to jump on too.
Knowing there isn't much time before long school days, homework, practice and more homework we try to make the most of every summer-y minute.  That might be why no one was thrilled when Tim and I announced this past Sunday was "Organize Your Room and Clean Out Your Closet Day."  There were no screams of approval or applause after we spoke.  Just groans and "do we have tos?"  It wasn't just the kids, Tim and I were whining too.  
Lucy renamed the day and made a sign.  She didn't really clean, but I appreciated that she made an attempt at enthusiasm.

All that back-to-school busyness means there will be no time to organize and clean.  The piles on the counter will get bigger right along with my anxiety.  Chaos does nothing but get me further off track.  So it was now or never.

Not sure if I've mentioned that I am organizationally challenged and that housework isn't really my thing.  I blame it on my mother.  Because I blame everything on her and it really is her fault.

When I was little we used to have random Clean Up This Place Saturdays.  In the early days my mother would blast Supertramp 8-tracks or ALABAMA records (when she was homesick for her home state) or the soundtrack to Fame (my personal favorite) and we would dance and sing and clean and dance some more.  We danced more than we cleaned.  

In later years, she would blast music, but we danced less.  The music was a little sadder (think Tracy Chapman), but it had soul and it was always loud.  

Those Saturdays were more about the music than the cleaning, more about the getting back on track with your soul than your closet.

So there, I never learned to keep a house properly and I blame her.  Even though my mother's story isn't a very happily ever after kind of story and her house was never clean, she did pass on a few important lessons--  Turn the music up loud, dance through the mess and always remember that you have soul.

Yesterday I cranked up my goddesses of soul, the women I have always turned to in times of off-trackness...Aretha, Patsy, Bonnie, Dusty, Etta, Tina.  

We vacuumed a little, filled a bag or two of clothes that the kids have outgrown to give away and cleared one pile off the counter.  I felt my heart lighten even though my house was only slightly cleaner.

The kids danced, we all danced.

Tim got a chance to play DJ and that led to soul searching/dancing to Beastie Boys, Jane's Addiction, ACDC.

"Juicebox hewoooo," sang Wade.  You know the classic song Jukebox Hero from Foreigner?  It's Wade's very favorite song, which he has made all his own.

It's not a cure all, I'm still a little off, but it helped.  My kids may be blaming me for their messy houses when they grow up and I can live with that.  Honestly if that's the only thing I get the blame for I will be quite proud. 

I hope they always turn up their music and dance to their own beat and remember they have soul.

Here are a few songs to get you feeling a little more soulful and hopefully dancing/singing on this Monday morning.

One of my favorite songs of all time, Bonnie Raitt's cover of Bluebird:

My favorite all time Aretha Franklin song, Spirit in the Dark:

One of Tim's favorite songs of all time (and legend has it, the cd he listened to on repeat on his first time visiting me in when we were dating and living in two different states), Jane's Addiction's Jane Says:

Here's Tracy Chapman's Fast Car:

One of my favorites from the original Fame soundtrack and how I so wished my lunchroom looked like, Hot Lunch Jam:

What's on your soul searching/get your groove back/dance in the kitchen playlist?  What music helps you get back on track and remember who you are?

1 comment:

  1. Regarding being off track, a wise man once said... "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going because you might not get there."

    Yes, that man was Yogi Berra. :)