The Glory of Music

Over break, I needed to connect. I needed to connect with my children, with my husband, with family, with friends, and with my past. I introduced my children to the charming, music-filled drama, Beaches, which was my go-to movie when I needed a good cry at age thirteen (and it still works even though I’m now in my thirties).

I found myself singing along throughout the auditions, the rehearsals, the shows, and I was reminded how much I adore the soundtrack.

About a week later, kiddos had gone back to school, and no one had said much about the film or soundtrack until my little guy walked into our living room belting out, “That’s the glory of love!”

I did a double-take (especially since he fell asleep during the movie and didn’t even hear Bette Midler’s reprise of the song before the credits ran. I asked my older daughter if she had been singing it, but she hadn’t been. It was simply the power of music.

While looking for photos for another blog post, I happened on this article from Scientific American regarding music and training and the brain, which is a long-time interest of mine. Though I received limited piano, violin, bass, and vocal training, I am grateful for the brain connections I have because of music and for the love of music my parents, friends, and family share with me. There is glory in music and in love.

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Call Me Ishmael

Just kidding.  Actually, please call me Karin. My name isn’t pronounced “care-in.” It is actually Scandinavian (Norwegian) and is pronounced, “car-in.” (Stress is on the first syllable.)

Though it is simply put phonetically, many people struggle with saying it.

I don’t particularly mind when people misspeak, but I do try to help them be more comfortable calling me by name.

My father, when introducing me as a teenager, would often say to others, “Like when you drive your ‘car-in’ the garage.” Thanks, Dad.

As you can imagine, this experience as a youth scarred me somewhat. I recall even saying, “Daaaaaa-aaaaad!” in an exasperated tone.

Now I use his example.

My good friend in junior high school used to address my notes like this:

blog credits: car, letter N

I’ve been thinking, as I continue to work on self-love and self esteem, that maybe I do care. Maybe I do want people to say my name correctly. Maybe I do matter enough for you to make the effort to learn my name.

After all, we’re friends, aren’t we? And friends love and take care of each other, right? And they know each other’s names.

🙂

Letter to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self

Dear Thirteen-year-old Me,

Round out your shoulders. Straighten your back. Go for a run. You life is long ahead of you, and you need all the air you can breathe and all the momentum you can gain.

Stand tall in your shoes. Years from now, a twenty-something musician/salesman in the Apple store will make a tall joke while you are standing in platforms next to your gorgeous husband on your anniversary. You are beautiful. Own it.

You will learn to read faster. Keep trying. The dyslexia you fight with now will be overcome through diligent effort and practice. You can do it. Keep reading.

Study math, too…with a sprinkle of history. When your kiddos are your age, you will need to help them with homework. You may not be willing to study for yourself; still, study for them.

Feed your body with healthy foods–not just Cheez Doodles and chocolate. You really are what you eat.

While you think about feeding your body, remember to feed your spirit. A toddler running around won’t wait for you to find a chapter and verse of scripture to back you up one day. You need to have the word of God written in your heart…always.

Be a good friend. You never know when you might share the only smile a person sees in a day…or a week…or even longer. Whatever friendship you extend will come back to you. I promise.

God loves you for who you are…past, present, and future. Ask for help when you need it. He is there. He will send others who love you to help.

Speak kind words. Anyone can complain. Live higher than that. Look for the good in others–and in yourself, as well.

You are incredible! You will have amazing moments in life filled with joy and pain, laughter and tears, triumph and defeat. Embrace all of it, and you will be better for the living.

Love your body wherever it is on your journey. Your body will take many forms, but love your body through each stage. It houses your spirit and gives you power. Don’t fall prey to the media’s cruel deceptions. Your body is a creation of wonder.

Just keep going. You will be tempted to quit, to give up, to run away from everything. Don’t you dare do it. You have work and writing to do, moments of mothering and friendship to share. You will make it through whatever comes your way, and you will look back years from now and be amazed at what you have accomplished.

Keep dreaming. Your dreams will fuel your passion, goals, and actions. They will bring you energy to continue when life is hard. You really can (& will) do it!!!!

You are stronger than you ever dreamed you could be. Live. Love. Worry less. Feel more. Enjoy being who you are.

With love,

Your much older (and a little bit wiser) You
Karin
🙂

No, I won’t be afraid

So, I put my lovely iPod on Shuffle yesterday, skipped through several songs in hopes of feeling some sort of motivation, and heard the warm voice of Ben E. King and the lovely percussion of a song so familiar to many of us.


When he sang the words, “No, I won’t be afraid,” I knew I had some work to do.

His inspiring words drifted back into my mind at around 2:30 this morning as I lay in bed between a kiddo and a husband, searching for the solace of sleep.

Why do I fear, anyway? What do I fear? Sometimes I make a mental list…but even with that mental list, my mind discounts many of them. But they seem so real sometimes…almost tangible.

So, what do you fear? And does it paralyze you? Or can you let go of the fear and use newfound energy to propel you to action? I am working on the latter…and I know I need to get back to my book. At 2:30 this morning, editing sounded like a good idea…but when daylight returns, so does the fear, apparently.

Like I said, I’ve got some work to do. The yoga I did this morning helped clear my head a little, thankfully.

Maybe I will pick up my book again. What can I possibly be afraid of, with the calmness of Ben E. King’s voice over my computer speakers, and all of you standing (figuratively, of course) by me?

🙂

Celebrating Friendship and Birthdays

from here

So, I made a Spotify playlist for a friend in celebration of her upcoming birthday…and I was wondering if I could post it here…so I’ve been experimenting.  And I don’t know how to do that yet.  I guess you’ll have to enjoy the songs on my Favs playlist on the sidebar….

Do you have traditions that you do for friends on their birthdays?  Do you wish them well via email, text, FB message or wall post?  Do you blog or create a slide show of your memorable times together?  How do you show them that you love them on the commemoration of the day they entered this world?

I don’t have a set way to gift my friends…and the miles that separate me from some of the dearest friends in my life prohibit me from actively doing more (like a visit, balloons, etc.)…but I do like to do something to show I care.

Like make a playlist.  Because sometimes music says “thanks for all the memories” in ways that I cannot with words…and I am a writer.

🙂

When the going gets tough…

So, last night I was at a loss…or lost…or something…completely not myself.  Without going into detail, let’s just say my world was not rocking along smoothly.  Sure, I had 47,455 words toward my NaNoWriMo goal, and everyone was clothed…well, pretty much everyone since the preschooler removes his shirt often lately in the name of being the Hulk…and we fed everyone…but the clutter of the house and the weight of two weeks of an unhealthy household and people being reinfected (plus little to no sleep the night before) was hurting my heart…not to mention my head.  When I’m tired, I find that my will to be positive is depleted to almost nothing…you?

Anyway, right before I went to bed, I sent a post out to my dear Facebook friends asking for some prayers (since we were doing pretty much all we could of ourselves and needed strength we didn’t possess).  Several people commented and liked the post…even within moments…and the positive energy sent in our behalf brought a lighter feeling to our home and healthier feelings here.

I wonder why I didn’t ask sooner.

Sometimes I wait until I am at the end of my rope to ask for help.  Why is that?  I’m not sure, but I’m thinking about it today….  I know that I don’t like to bother people.  I also know that I feel like what happens is my responsibility and that I should take care of whatever it is.  And, I’m sure other reasons exist.  I will keep pondering….

This song has been running through my head today, though, as I have thought of how awesome I feel when I ask for help from others and they come running.

Just seeing the positive comments from friends has helped me feel that I am not alone in the universe…that people love me…and that together we can get through this life (and enjoy our time here, as well)!

Asking for help empowered others to offer positive energy that I desperately needed.  And, I imagine their burdens were made a little lighter, as well.  🙂

And now, I’m off to more writing and word counting…2 days left of November…and NaNoWriMo…(which I will miss)!

You Are BEAUTIFUL!

So, I have a friend (actually, I like to think that I have a few), and I have sisters…and daughters…and many of them feel (as I do) that we are anything but beautiful on any given day.  We get overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy about our accomplishments, our figures, our blemishes (that oft-times only we see), our shortcomings…the list could go on and on and on…but what I want to say (and literally yell from my little window in cyberspace) is that

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!

(And, guys, you are not off the hook.  If you have women in your life–you know, mothers, sisters, friends, wives, daughters–they need to hear that from you.  Your words have POWER.  Please tell someone they are beautiful today!)

So, back to my friend (who is completely beautiful and wise and amazing and fantastic and talented and gorgeous inside and out)…she and I try to build each other, and I’m so grateful that she will send a text or email at just the right moment to help me feel like the beautiful person that I am (yet rarely acknowledge).

So–here are my “I Feel Pretty” songs for your enjoyment (and some are on the Spotify playlist on the sidebar, too, if you’d rather listen than watch):

I got this one from my sister when I was having a terrible time recently…and it’s still my go-to happy/pretty song:

Keri Hilson – Pretty Girl Rock

And, of course, I love this one:

Bruno Mars – Just the Way You Are

This list wouldn’t be complete without a little 1D:

One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful

And for just a little overall empowerment/you are amazingly powerful songs, I love:

Defying Gravity (from Wicked) (this performance is from the Tony Awards)

And the lovely Natasha Bedingfield has two I adore:

Unwritten

&

Strip Me

I hope you feel a little bit more of who you are today–amazing, beloved, dear, wonderful, powerful…& BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

🙂