Savage Beast

I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves in the clutches of a really crappy, sucky, frowny-faced bad mood and thought “Well, there’s no way out of this. I’m just gonna be in this terrible, suck-the-life-out-of-me mood for the rest of my life.” That tends to be the case when I’m in the middle of a road rage meltdown. The struggle is just too real, people! Bad traffic and stupid drivers are my triggers. Maybe for you it’s slow grocery store lines or annoying coworkers or internet outages. Whatever the cause, it’s a scientific fact that each of us can plummet into a bad mood if faced with one of our most formidable pet peeves. Hey, it said so in an online article, so it must be true.

But fear not! It’s also a scientific fact that there’s an instant cure: Music. Music is the answer for so many of life’s problems. And yes, we all have that one song that can unclench our teeth, ease the tension out of our shoulders, and literally turn that frown upside down. I’m lucky…I have three songs in particular that do the trick when I’m spiraling down into a road rage tantrum.

  1. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
  2. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
  3. Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon

No matter the funk I’m in, if one of those song comes on the radio, everyone else in the car knows it’s “Me” time and adheres to the strict code of silence while I rock out to my feel good tune. Of course if the situation is really dire, if the perils of the road build up to dangerous “curse words are about to flow” levels, I have the songs ready to go on CD. I pop one of those bad boys in, crank it up to 11, and it’s like instant audio joy, a form of intense meditation if you will. It never fails to cause a passionate bout of head bopping, finger tapping, and sing along-ing. I simply can’t stay mad. It’s amazing really. The road rage just immediately melts away. Good news for the drivers around me…and for me as well. I don’t like being in foul moods any more than the people it’s directed at.

And God bless my sweet daughter. After sitting shotgun for so many years, she knows all my tell-tale signs of impending meltdown. Like a stress-reducing super-heroine she knows exactly when I’m veering (ha! pun!) into dangerous territory and queues up one of those songs before I reach the danger zone…reminiscent of an experienced lion tamer throwing fresh meat to her charges.

We should all be so lucky to not only know what can chill us out in times when a bad mood hits, but also that we have a supporting cast ready to help out whenever possible.

 

Mom & Pop Music

Cats and dogs. Fire and ice. Oil and water. When it comes to music, parents and kids are supposed to stay at opposite ends of the appreciation spectrum. Parents are expected to shake their heads and raise their fists in silent fury, or not so silently, when they hear that “racket” coming from their child’s room. The kids are expected to roll their eyes when a golden oldie or classic rock song comes on the radio that their mom/dad turns up and starts snapping their fingers too, often out of rhythm. At least, this is what we’re conditioned to believe.

I’m supposed to stick to my Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Eagles, Bryan Adams, Tom Petty, among other 70’s & 80’s classics. I have nothing against these musical icons (and let’s be honest here, they are icons), love them in fact, but I have to admit that I also kind of like my daughter’s music. Yes, I like music that is made for teenagers. I admit it…but…I also stand behind it. There’s some good stuff getting made right now and she’s got a pulse on it and I’m happily riding her coat-tails. Imagine Dragons, Mumford and Sons, Phillip Phillips, Fall Out Boy, Passenger…they’re great!

Yes, here I am a…cough…somewhat middle-aged mother of two and I can honestly say that I love the pop music that’s getting massive airplay. My son’s taste in music is another thing, he’s into rave music. I can’t exactly get behind what he listens to, but my daughter and I, much like our taste in movies, books, and TV shows, are predictably simpatico with our musical preferences as well.

Comes and Goes in Waves” by Greg Laswell is an absolutely beautiful song. “All about that Bass” by Meghan Trainor drives me nuts (in a good way) with its crazy upbeat tune. “Timber” by Pitbull and Ke$ha is another one that I can’t help but turn up when it comes on. God help me, I can even sing along to Nicki Minaj’s “Starships.”

No, I’m not trying to be the “cool mom” either (if anything, I’m the geeky, dork mom).  If one of those songs comes on, I blast the radio even if Sarah’s not in the car with me. I truly do enjoy the sugary addictiveness of songs like “Roar” (Katy Perry) and “Brave” (Sara Bareilles). There’s an extensive list of other songs I could go on and on about but it would make this blog far too long for its own good.

I’m just hoping that I’m not the only parent out there that can find the merit in some of these songs. I’ve never wanted to be the kind of mom that tells their kids to “turn that crap down” and thankfully I don’t have to pretend not to be that. I can, in all honesty, say that I often find myself saying the opposite.

Instead I’m the nutjob bobbing her head in the driver’s seat yelling at her daughter to “turn it up!”