Finding Your Music
When you live with RA, life can be, well, let’s call it challenging. Every day you encounter simple things of no consequence to others that become the bane of your existence. For example, pill bottle safety tops, obviously invented by SATAN. As you can see this results in a buildup of stress and you need to find a way to relieve it. You have to find your music.
Finding your music
Finding your music – this isn’t just a whimsical metaphor. I really mean find your music. For me, music is THE thing. I look forward to writing and driving more than anything else because that’s when I get to crank the music up and no one bothers me. Music for me is like a delicious bowl of pudding and I just want to shove as much of it into my ears as I possibly can – and by that I mean I play it loud. I have spent a considerable sum of money on audio gear so I can hear all the instruments – from the bass guitar to the bongos to that one toot on the kazoo that you didn’t even realize was there. It’s my thing, and I love it more than anything else and it’s mine. I don’t barf it all over social media or brag about how ultra cool I am because I listen to bands that you’ve never heard of, I just do it because I love it and want to cram those notes into my brain as fast and as hard as I can. Sometimes I even sing, but thankfully I can carry a bit of a tune so my neighbors don’t call animal control. It can be anything – country, pop, funk, showtunes, trance, reggae, rock, metal, easy listening, classic rock, ska, big band, rockabilly, vocal standards – seriously, I listen to it all and love it all. I tried once to count all the artists on my playlists, vinyl, and hard drives and after around 1500 I lost count. Or maybe I just lost interest in knowing. If I had to pick only one form of entertainment for the rest of my life, it would be music without a moment of hesitation. When I walk down the street and have my earbuds in, whatever music is playing creates a soundtrack for the real life I’m watching, and I imagine the credits scrolling underneath like some 1980s sitcom. Music gives me an instant confidence boost and self-esteem shot in the arm. The point I’m trying to make, in case you missed it, is I love music. It’s the thing that I go to when I need to tune out the world and get that mojo going again.
Recharge your batteries
I know, it was a bit long winded, but I think you get the point. Without all of that above the thirty plus years of living with my RA would have been unbearable. I can’t tell you how many times I have just put on my good earphones, closed my eyes, and sat for hours on days when I’m overwhelmed by pain or stiffness or just feeling like I can’t possibly ever amount to anything with this stupid illness. It recharges my batteries. You need to find the thing that recharges yours. Maybe it’s music also, maybe it’s gardening, or maybe it’s playing the harpsichord while wearing a ballet tutu and eating a watermelon. Granted that last one is a little complicated to pull together on short notice, but if it’s what you turn to then it’s what you turn to. Rheumatoid Arthritis and other autoimmune illnesses burn through our patience and stamina double time, and every break we take has to be thoroughly invigorating or we risk not being able to carry on with our day. Some days it’s unavoidable, but other days a bit of recharging and alone time with whatever your thing is can get you through.
Do what you love to do
I know that it’s difficult to find time with kids and work and school and life. Me – I absolutely hate having to sleep, do you know what I could do with all that extra time? I’d rule the world. Or at least finish the three half-novels I have sitting on my hard drive. When you have an illness that runs on fatigue and exhausts tiredness you must find time for yourself or else you run out of gas before the finish line and when people count on you that’s not an option. Even if it’s just you, losing all your get-up-and-go before you are finished doing something always makes you feel like your illness will be interfering with your life forever. It’s frustrating and drains hope – that’s why you have to find your music, your thing that you love to do just because you love to do it. Not because you have to do it or because it’s something everyone else is doing, but because you really love doing it.
Not the usual post, huh? I know, but I felt like it was important to convey what “your thing” should feel like. What if you don’t have anything like my music? Well, it’s never too late to start. Take up needlepoint, start a blog, learn about cooking, play hopscotch in a kilt – whatever you think you might like, do it. Even if you don’t find a thing, finding your thing can be your thing. Get it? Talk soon.