How Spotify Woke Up My Soul

by Rebecca A. Watson on September 25, 2014

in music, perception

When Sante and I moved to Germany, we opted not to sell our stereo and buy a new one. The reason we’d have to do this, you see, is that not all electronics are capable of handling Europe’s voltage/wattage combo.

This is why my sister’s hairdryer turned a bright red and started smoking when she decided not to worry about if the electric current would convert.

blowdryer

Weirdly, here we are many years after that happened. And we’re buying a hairdryer in Europe.

Instead of selling our stereo, we decided to buy an inverter. This was partly because Sante also has a sweet amp that needed the same current. And we’d lose a ton of cash selling a perfectly good receiver and buying a new one.

The stereo/receiver is so complicated that you practically need a master’s degree to run it. I kid you not. That’s why Sante always figures it out, even if I’m the resident I.T. gal. I’ve only got a bachelor’s, my friends. But it sounds gooooood.

In order for us to listen to music, we’ve got to turn on the inverter. This will often (read: almost every time) trip the breaker. Which means we’ve then got to walk to the breaker and flip it. Walk back to the inverter and try again.

If you’re alone, well, it can be frustrating to say the least. I realize how first world this problem is. But it’s my problem, nonetheless. So, our house has been eerily quiet here in Deutschland.

george peabody library

Like this. Only not quite as grand.

When we lived in Santa Cruz, one of the first things we did when we woke up in the morning was turn on the iPod, which was connected to the receiver. It was one of the last things we turned off at night. Music was a central part of our lives, like the rug that tied the room together.

But it was also something that kind of went unnoticed. That’s what happens when you’ve got a million other things to think about, like building closets and hanging light bulbs so you can see after dark.

Months later, we were working on getting the hang of the financial system. (Wait, so there are no minimum payments on credit cards? You pay it all every month?) Still now, a year later, we’re working on getting drivers licenses. (So, no turn on right?)

Music was just one of those things that got pushed into the background.

Until I found the auxiliary cable we got when we rented a car in the U.S. And connected one side to my cell phone and the other end to the little stereo we have in our kitchen. It’s nothing special but, oh. My. Lord. Music, my friends, is back and in a big way in our house.

dance

I just, I just gotta dance!

I’ve been celebrating Ani Difranco’s entire catalog every morning while I put the coffee on. No wonder I’ve been feeling my feminist limbs stretch lately. I feel Alice in Chains Dirt coursing through my veins as I cook dinner. Layne Staley had something figured out.

There’s something different in all of this. Different than the music in my life in Santa Cruz, or at any time for that matter. Yes, maybe it’s the acoustics (I’m a bit of an audiophile), but I think it has more to do with Spotify. From the artists’ perspective, I don’t know how I feel about it, but as a listener I am frickin’ in love.

When I was younger, there came a moment where I realized I would never be able to read all of the books that were and will be in the world. Last weekend I told Sante that the same feeling came over me about music: sadness. How will I ever be able to listen to all the great (and not so great but still completely lovable) tunes that are out there? And will be out there? I need to live many lives.

start young

And I’ve got to start young.

Sante said that he understands the perspective, but it just makes him feel awe. And so I decided to adopt that mentality. No weepy eyes here. Just head-splitting wonderment.

Maybe I needed that year-long break to appreciate how much music moves me. Fuels me. And I know the pause helped with my respect for the technology that’s allowing me to listen to essentially everything I want to. And listen to what my friends like. And hear the album I (finally) read about in Rolling Stone.

I guess I’m honored to have this moment in my life where I can step back and see how special something is that has so long been just, well, in the background.

And not only do I get how important it is to my soul, but I have a staggeringly different view of it. As Edward Norton’s character puts it to Brad Pitt’s: My eyes … are open.

I sincerely hope that’s happening for everyone on some level right now. And if you wanna send me some love, comment below with one of your favorite bands or songs and I’ll check it out. That would totally make my day. Oh and if you’re on Spotify, follow me here.

P.S. I’m headed on proper vacation, so I’m gonna take a break from our regularly scheduled Monday Morning Pages for a few weeks. I’ll post randomly and haphazardly. It’ll be fun. Oh, and I have a new post over at Jordana Paige’s blog.

Don’t forget to tell me what I need to listen to :)

(Photo Credit: Matthew Petrof, Eric Peacock)

{ 6 comments }

MMP: Making Our Own Harmonies

by Rebecca A. Watson on September 22, 2014

in Monday Morning Pages, Values

When I was in Minnesota, a friend and I had several conversations about how words are one thing, but actions are another. There were a few people I ran into who were still spouting the same stuff, five years later, but hadn’t made much of an effort in their actions.

It made me sad. There was just a lot of what I called “The Same.”

minneapolis river boat

I’ve been there. I had the same haircut for years.

Actions do indeed speak louder than words. It’s a cliché for a reason, my friends.

A few years ago I was given a book by Suze Orman about managing money for women. It named harmony as one of the values a wealthy woman has. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, that’s how foreign and new the concept was for me.

From my morning pages earlier this week:

Harmony — when your thoughts match your words and your words match your actions. Either I’d never been introduced to it OR if I had I certainly hadn’t internalized it. Difficult at first, and still working on it really. That would be where being impeccable with my word and changing my vocabulary come in right now, as well as speaking up for myself.

All of those people I met in Minnesota had the same energy: The Same. Exhausted from spinning their wheels. Their words sounded emptier than I remember before.

Maybe it’s because I’ve changed that I noticed or maybe it’s because five years have gone by and those words, which at one point had so much passion and enthusiasm behind them, had become as routine for them as their commute to work.

Not matching their actions to them was slowly draining them, aging them. I left each exchange a bit sad for them, wishing I could help them somehow. But I think the only thing I can do is write about harmony and how valuable it is to our souls.

It keeps us vital, acting in a way that matches what our hearts are saying. It conserves our energy, when we stop confusing our bodies and minds by saying one thing and doing another.

Me: I want you to respect me.

And then I go drink to blackout and wake up god knows where.

That’s a recipe for exhaustion, for depleting our life force. So the more you can combine forces — magic of words, actions of body and spirit of the heart — the more quickly life’ll move in a direction you want.

I know this to be true: Stop drinking (something I’d been thinking about for, to understate it, a long time) and two months later a dream I’ve been chasing for five years shows up.

Make amends to a few folks I said I would, and the Universe gives me the opportunity to clean up years of karmic sludge in an afternoon. This way of life, this value becomes more valuable every time I consider it.

What do you think about harmony? Do you match your actions to your words?

Wondering what this Monday Morning Pages thing is all about? Read how it started. Or check out all the archives.

This is an ongoing series about values. You can read the archives here or check outmy entire list of  those that are important to me.

{ 2 comments }

It’s Time to Do Nothing

by Rebecca A. Watson on September 19, 2014

in health

This past month has been, well, intense to say the least. This weekend is gonna be a lot of nothing. I encourage you to do nothing.

Except maybe watch this :)

But seriously, mellow out this weekend. It’s in the stars (or more aptly, the moon) to be chill.

Yoga. Tea. Movies. Knit. Avoid addictive activities. Give yourself permission to do nothing. You deserve it.

{ 1 comment }

On a Whim

September 12, 2014

We rented a car yesterday, drove a few hours, ate pork chops, checked into an apartment and woke up to this. I’m proud to say that I actually got a little work done today. But those mountains are calling my name. I’m hitting a ski lift with my hiking boots and Camelbak tomorrow to walk […]

Read the full article →

MMP: Unpacking My Bags

September 8, 2014

Today I woke up late, partially I think because I couldn’t sleep until 3 a.m. and partially I think because I’m still feeling a little out of sorts from my trip. Don’t get me wrong, every single thing that happened felt serendipitous, right and inspired. But that doesn’t mean it was easy or didn’t evoke […]

Read the full article →

Ten Quotes About Home

September 5, 2014

In the past I’ve struggled with jet lag. In order to combat it this time, I’m planning on easing slowly back into my normal routine. I have a TON of new insights to share after my trip and loads of good stories, but seriously folks, you don’t want me writing it now. Or maybe you […]

Read the full article →

MMP: The Twisted Path to Forgiveness

September 1, 2014

As you know, I’m in my beautiful home state (pictures to come — I’m trying to stay offline as much as possible). This of course means I’m close to the folks that abused me. While I’m not planning on connecting with them, I am trying to see some others who know them. We have a […]

Read the full article →

Discovering Your Soul’s Purpose

August 28, 2014

I remember driving one of my friends home years ago after a particularly wild night of partying. Both of us were a little blurry eyed — we’d finished a greasy breakfast, doing our part to avoid the inevitable hangover brewing. “I just feel like I’m meant for so much more than this,” she sighed. “Like, […]

Read the full article →

MMP: Letting Go & Seeing Home for What It Is

August 25, 2014

The people that know me well know I’ve had some pretty intense dreams. From falling in love with a devil named Marty to lucidly dreaming I was a zombie, my sleeps are filled with adventure. Because of this, I’m a bit of dream analyst. I keep a notepad near my bed and record dreams, which I […]

Read the full article →

4 Ways to Cultivate Acceptance

August 21, 2014

So awhile back I started writing down what values are important to me. I came up with a list of like 50. I decided to go in alphabetical order, which led to to write about abundance first, a loaded topic for many of us. Next up on my giant list (you can see the whole […]

Read the full article →