Just a guy trying to have some fun.
I recently heard yet another reason why it would be awesome to be Mick Jagger. I mean, seriously, there are already a bazillion reasons to envy the life of the world’s greatest frontman for the world’s greatest rock band for like 50+ years now, but a new one was added to the list just the other day. Someone was talking on the radio about how Mick steadfastly lives his life in the here and now and looking forward to the new and the next. Never looking backward. Never wallowing in or re-examining his past. How cool would it be to really be able to do that?
Because if you’re anything like me, having reached a certain age, you seem to find yourself getting caught up thinking about past failures, mistakes, embarrassments and so on – way, way, waaaaay too much of the time. Very rarely do the victories and great accomplishments pop into my head – those are just taken for granted I guess. No, it’s those minor idiotic moments from as far back as grade school – GRADE SCHOOL FER CRYING OUT LOUD – that seem to worm their way into my consciousness just as I’m drifting off to sleep. Or out walking about. Or while running daily errands or whatever. With the accumulated life experience, it seems, there are just so many damn things that can set off an unpleasant memory at any time. Or it might just be that I’m insanely narcissistic and egotistic and so can’t stand accepting my short-comings. But man, there’s so many of them!
Well, so, I was watching this YouTube clip the other day of the hilarious comedian Louis CK doing a bit on Conan about why kids shouldn’t have cell phones. He was dead on correct about the whole thing, in my opinion, but within the bit he got off on a tangent about the need to feel sadness from time to time. To feel alone and sad and experience that emotion – rather than immediately shifting your attention to Tweeting or texting or Facebooking to fill the void in your psyche. He mentioned how he was driving along recently and Bruce Springsteen’s epic song “Jungleland” came on the radio and how at the part where Bruce unleashes his plaintive lonely wail in the distance – Louis was overcome with sadness. And how instead of pushing the feeling down, he pulled off the road and let the feeling wash over him and he cried.
Yes, I think he was embellishing the story a bit, but the thing is I’ve been noticing lately how often an old song I like comes on the radio while I’m driving around and my brain immediately orders up the negative, embarrassing memory my mind has decided to associate with the song – and I start feeling depressed. Music has such a powerful impact on us in so many ways – but why oh why can’t I ever seem to focus on the POSITIVE memories that should be attached to these songs of my youth? Its maddening.
Being in self-improvement mode though, as I clearly currently am, what with getting back to writing with this here blog and with my diet having started as of Monday, I’ve been determined to fight back. My current solution? Turning off all the classic rock and music of the 80s and 90s radio stations I always listen to – and instead tuning into the new rock station. And the current pop station that my daughter loves. My theory is – that since I have no memories associated with any of these new songs – my good mood can’t be high-jacked out of nowhere by the memory of… oh say, the disastrous night I had at my first semi-formal dance back in high school – just because some damn Psychedelic Furs song came on the radio.
And honestly, it’s really been working. I’ve maintained my good mood inspired by my morning exercise throughout the day and surprise, surprise I’ve been discovering some great new music. Not that I’ll ever give up listening to Mick and The Stones, of course, and sure some of it is utter rubbish – yes, I mean you Justin Bieber – but Mumford and Sons and Katy Perry and Imagine Dragons are putting out some quality tunes. Anyhow, like Mick (ha-ha, I’m about to compare myself to Mick Jagger – hilarious) I’m starting to think that getting immersed in what’s current and up-coming, rather than being determined to sit in my supposedly comfortable rut loaded down with the past, might be a much better way to ensure a positive future.