Music Monday ~ Welcome, November!

Page and Print November Playlist 2018

How the heck is it already November!? I feel like time is not just marching on but it somehow got a hold of a fast Italian sports car and is steadily trying to run me over. This month is absolute madness around here and the holidays are just around the corner which means the list of things to do has multiplied a thousand-fold and is begging me to gift-wrap, bedazzle and hand-deliver every item while singing carols…and probably dancing too. Sheesh! I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

In an effort to tame just a bit of that madness I made a goal last year to get Christmas cards and neighbor gifts and the bulk of the shopping done by Thanksgiving so that we could spend the month of December in a state of relative relaxation just enjoying each other’s company and all the events and hoopla that will inevitably crop up. Little did I know that we would book a spontaneous trip to Ireland, that I’d take it into my head to plan a surprise party for my husband’s 50th birthday, have tickets to several concerts and performances, and start the month out with an awesome cold. Add to that the preparations for Thanksgiving and everything I need to do to help contribute to this amazing event at the end of the month, and well, there’s a lot on my plate. Needless to say it won’t all get done in the time or way I’d hoped but I’ve decided to just go with it rather than stressing. (We’ll see how well that works, but that’s the plan!)

So, my Christmas cards have become Thanksgiving cards which will give me a chance to shower my loved ones with gratitude for their influences in my life. And hopefully will be a bit more personal and standout rather than becoming lost in the deluge at Christmas time. It also gives me a great opportunity to share this Thanksgiving playlist with everyone. One of the things that has saved my sanity over and over again throughout my life is music. I firmly believe heaven will be one continual musical with people spontaneously breaking into song and dance at every opportunity (and I firmly believe that I will thus be blessed with the ability to dance!) So, as I will wish to everyone on my Christmas card list a few moments carved out of the craziness to be able to listen with those they love, so I wish to you.

And here are a few other things I’ve learned that have helped me make it through some of the busier moments:

  • Make a list! While it’s sometimes overwhelming to see the pages and pages of things that need to get done it makes it so much easier for me to group tasks together, prioritize and work out a plan of attack. Can you make phone calls while waiting in the carpool line? Can you group errands to save you some trips?
  • Make a list part 2. Take a really good look at that list. Can you outsource anything? Or drop it altogether? While we sometimes think that we need to do it all, honestly some things just aren’t important. If it’s not going to feed your soul (or your family) then maybe it doesn’t really need to be on the list. Be honest and brutal…it’s okay to say no, to buy cookies for the bake sale instead of making them, or let the kids skip out on soccer this season. The world won’t end. I promise.
  • Take time to take care of yourself. This one can be tough. It’s easy to justify skipping the workout to squeeze in another load of laundry or eating the cookies instead of an actual lunch but resist! The old adage ‘if mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy’ applies in spades here. If you’re well-rested and healthy you can take better care of everyone and everything. So find a few minutes to do some yoga or meditation, stock the fridge with some quick, healthy snacks, stick to your sleep routine; your immune system will thank you.
  • Take care of yourself part 2. Schedule in a few minutes daily to unplug, unwind, and really relax. This works especially well if it’s something out of the ordinary so that it truly feels like a splurge and gives your mind a chance to reboot. Grab an adult coloring book, savor a piece of fancy chocolate, take a walk and observe what’s around you, immerse yourself in a song or piece of music; whatever it is that makes you happy make sure you find a little time to do it fully and mindfully.

What are your favorite tips for preparing for a stressful event or time? (or keeping your sanity on a normal day?!) Any favorite songs you listen to around the holidays? I’d love to hear about them!

And good luck to all of you and whatever holiday madness may come your way. You’ve got this!

Music Monday (er, Thursday?) ~ Willie Nelson

With election day breathing down our necks and the country in all sorts of upheaval I just couldn’t not share this. Hopefully you are registered to vote, so do your part and make your voice heard. Study up on the issues and where the candidates stand on them and vote accordingly. Let’s bring about some mighty changes this November. Spread the word!

Music Monday ~ Aretha Franklin

The world lost an amazing lady recently. I’ve been revisiting some of her music and venturing beyond some of the more well-known (to me) songs and wanted to spotlight a couple of my favorites today.

I’m so grateful for people who are blessed with talents (I’m a little lacking in that department) and for all of those that share them with the rest of us. My greatest talent may be appreciating other people’s talents…so keep sharing and making the world a better place for us, even long after you’ve left us!

God bless, Miss Franklin. Thank you for the music. <3

 

 

Music for the Weekend ~ Nat King Cole

I tend to go through waves in my music listening.  Sometimes I just put the ipod (yes, I still use my ipod!) on random and see what happens but often I’ll get in genre moods and inundate my ears with everything I have stuck in a particular grouping (my definitions and qualifications are fuzzy at best and no musicologist would be able to find much of a scientific basis for what counts as what in my world…but hey, it’s my world!) Lately I’ve been on a ‘jazzy’ kick. This means anything from Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong to Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble and even some Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson. Today’s artist of choice though is a pure classic and this song just seems to sum up how I feel right now.

What are you listening to? And what have you got on tap for the weekend? I hope the music and the plans are both fabulous!  Happy Friday 🙂

Music Monday ~ Jason Mraz

I love when people do what they do in a way that makes a difference to those they do it for. Basically, there are a ton of people out there who are finding ways to spread love and positivity through their everyday passions. They’re not out starting foundations or rallying for anything (though those paths are definitely important and needed and often happen naturally after a person has gained a certain notoriety), just doing what they love in a way that builds and inspires instead of condemns or breeds hate.

Jason Mraz is one of those people. His music is brimming with hope and positive messages and he seems to be always on a mission to lift and make a difference. He’s got a new movie coming out in conjunction with his new album “Have It All” that he describes as “a family film about joy, success, and artistic collaboration.” He’s also an advocate for mental health, constantly speaks out about being ecologically responsible (he’s vegan and runs an avocado farm in his spare time), childhood slavery and trafficking, and human rights. But it all started with the music.

Take a listen to the title track from the album:

Who is out in the world inspiring you to make a difference? I’d love to hear about them! Share your idols and their causes in the comments section below.  🙂

Music Monday ~ Postmodern Jukebox

Radiohead is one of those bands I’ve tried and tried to like. I can appreciate what they do as long as I don’t have to listen to more than one song in a row. I’m not sure what it is but I just don’t love them. However, I absolutely love this version of their song, Creep. I’m a fan of what Postmodern Jukebox does, taking modern songs and rearranging them in a 20s/30s/big band style version. Great fun!

Music Monday ~ The Greatest Showman

You guys, I dragged my feet for so long before breaking down and going to see this movie. I’m always skeptical when everyone tells you how wonderful something is. I automatically assume the worst (mob mentality can make you think ridiculous things are much better than they are.) But this movie was the exception. I loved it!

If you haven’t seen it yet, go. Right now! I know there are a lot of historical inaccuracies in it and Barnum wasn’t the hero he was made out to be in the film but the story on the screen is uplifting and positive and the messages portrayed are so poignant and needed. And the music is darn catchy! I laughed and cried and tapped my feet and wanted to clap along and shout throughout the whole thing.

Give this song a listen (it was so hard to choose just one to share!) and then go see the movie for yourself and tell me what you think!

Music Monday ~ The Champion

The Olympics are in full swing and I love the feelings of optimism and camaraderie and community that they bring. Heaven knows we could use a few more of those things in our world today. But I’m not going to focus on the sports, the athletes and their amazing abilities, the showmanship of the ceremonies or any of the other fabulous things that are going on right now. I’m going to share with you the song that has been stuck in my head for days!

If you’ve watched any of the live coverage you’ve likely heard the song as well. But I’m sharing it anyway so you can hear it in it’s entirety and listen to the words. It’s a message that embodies the Olympic spirit and the perseverance of the athletes but I think it’s a great one for anyone struggling with a trial, anyone who needs that little bit of push to keep going. Let this song be your push.

Music Monday ~ Garth Brooks

I’m not sure how I missed this one last year but I’m listening to it on repeat this year. I absolutely love the message (and I love watching Garth Brooks get all emotional in the video.) Such a wonderful reminder of what’s really important. And it’s always fun to add a new favorite to my holiday playlist!