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I am so very thankful for music. Music has always been a major part of my life. Whether it was when I was 10 years old and force fed piano lessons, 14 years old blaring Ice Cube, or when I was 18 and listening to the same song over and over during a 3 hour spinal tap. Music to me is the most powerful drug in the world.
My mom used to call it the Finnerty rhythm. You see, apparently my mom's side of the family (the 100% irish clan) was very fond of music and dancing. From a very young age, I absolutely loved to entertain and make people laugh. I did this mostly through my dancing. Sadly, I remember in 1984 that I got a great report card and my parents said I could see any movie I wanted, my choice? Footloose. Crazy and now embarassing, but so true. I have always found solace in music. It is an easy and readily available escape from reality for me.
In high school, I had a friend that took his own life. The song that really helped me reflect on his life was tears in heaven by Eric Clapton. I could really relate to everything going on in my life and found that to be SUCH a powerful song. When I was diagnosed with cancer a few years later, there were a few songs that helped me get through it, but one that sticks to my mind was Nine Inch Nails, Hurt. I now start and end every workout with Johnny Cash's version. I know this is an odd song as it's original intention was about drug use, but I could totally relate to some of the lyrics. For me, the hurt was the chemo and the cancer, the needle was the doctors and nurses drawing blood. And you know what? I felt like I had to feel that pain to be alive. In my mind, if I didn't feel the pain, then I was not alive. I know that may sound crazy, but cancer really plays with your emotions.
Fast forward to 2002 and I had just lost a good friend to cancer and my aunt was battling cancer. I lost myself in the acoustic version of Matchbox 20, 3am. Not sure why, but it really motivated me because I could relate to the lyric, "well, I can't help but be scared of it all sometimes" and "its 3am I must be lonely." Lord knows, I was scared as shit with cancer and every morning between 3 and 5, they took my blood out of my Hickman Catheter. Turns out, this was written about his mom who passed away from breast cancer.
I will wrap it up here, but I will NEVER forget seeing Wideawake live in Chicago. Scott Leger sang their amazing song, "Maybe tonight, Maybe Tomorrow", and I lost it. If you have not heard this song, I encourage you to please check it out. I am a sucker for acoustic songs and this blew me away. The whole song is about a cancer diagnosis and Scott saw me in the front wearing my "I beat cancer" t-shirt and said that this song was for me....he sang his heart out and I swear there was not a dry eye in the room. Scott and I hung out after the show, and he is just an amazing guy with a huge heart. This is another one of the songs that motivates me when I need a kick to get off my ass and work out. I also rely on a steady dose of Metallica, Godsmack, and Eminem, but you get the picture. I pretty much run the gamut when it comes to musical tastes.
My point is that I am so very thankful for music. Music is certainly a mood maker and mood changer, I can be having the shittiest day in the world and a song comes on that riley likes and we will dance. Clearly my shitty day is long gone. Music can bring people together, change attitudes and provide motivation for that workout that you are too tired to do. I listen to music every chance I get. Fortunately, Meg and I have very similar musical tastes. Looks like Riley has some of the Finnerty Rhythm. She loves to shake her booty to Justin Timberlake. I should mention some of my favorite artists:
Jason Mraz, Eminem, Scott Leger, Damien Rice, Dr. Dre, Johnny Cash, Rascall Flatts, George Strait, Carbon Leaf, Pat Mcgee, Kings of Leon, Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Gangstarr, The Game, Kenny Chesney, Mozart, Beethoven, you get the point.
Livestrong, be well, and Keep Climbing!!