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Music Sets the Mood


It’s really quite amazing how much of an effect music can have on your mood. I made dinner for Kayla and I tonight, spaghetti at her request, and we sat down together at the kitchen table to eat. I put some music on quietly in the background for a bit of nice ambiance and we had a great dinner together. It was like a little Daddy Daughter date night. We used to do that every other Friday night when I’d pick her up from Pre-school.

Our little tradition is called “Flower Fridays” and I’d stop on my way to pick her up and get a bouquet of a dozen inexpensive flowers. I’d walk in to her school and bring her the flowers and she would proceed to hand them out to her friends, teachers, and friends moms. We’d usually stop and pick up a pizza on the way home and then we’d hang out on the couch and pick a movie and have pizza together.

Since she started Kindergarten, I don’t go into her new school and instead just pick her up out front so it’s changed our flower Friday’s just a bit. Tonight was really nice though, to sit down together, no TV, just the two of us, dinner, and some soft music. She called it night-night music, but it certainly set a nice tone for the meal. We laughed and joked a bit and it was about as enjoyable as could be.

As our meal was concluding, a song came on that totally changed the dynamic instantaneously. It was Knife Party – Internet Friends. Now, if you’ve never met my daughter before, one thing you need to understand about her is that if there is music on, and it’s got a bangin’ beat, she is totally incapable of not shaking her little 5 year old booty and dancing like mad. Internet friends has just such a beat.

Within maybe 30 seconds, her dishes were in the sink and she was bouncing about in the living room waving her arms in the air and generally having the time of her life. She, of course was heading straight for the at-home-dance floor and made it about half way there before she heard my request to tend to her dishes. With that little chore taken care of, I put my own dishes in the sink as well and walked into the living room. It was at this point it occurred to me that I had serious concerns that I might soon be cleaning up regurgitated spaghetti from the carpet. Fortunately, my fears did not come to pass.

Fast forward an hour or so. We’ve gotten her PJ’s on and read a few books together in her bed, music is still softly playing out in the living room (more like what we listened to for all but the last moments of dinner). I got her all tucked in and rubbed her back until she fell asleep. Then I told her I loved her, gave her a kiss and made my way back out to the living room closing her door behind me. I turned the music up just a little bit and sat down with my computer to start thinking of what I felt like writing about tonight.

As I was sitting here, legs up on the coffee table with my computer on my lap, another song came on that instantly changed my entire thought process and mood. It was Melody Gardot – Our Love Is Easy. As I listened to the melody (no pun intended) and the soft, sweet lyrics, writing was the last thing on my mind. I found myself imagining having the woman that occasionally graces my dreams in my arms, our bodies pressed gently together, swaying slowly to the music. I let my eyes close and just sat there soaking it in.

It left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside and smiling on the outside. That’s the kind of love I want to experience, that and only that kind! One that comes without effort and just feels undeniably perfect in so many unexpected ways. That love you never saw coming and would never have imagined could possibly feel so right, the one you don’t need but also can’t imagine living without once you’ve experienced it. It’s simple, pure, and without demands or expectations. It’s that kind that no matter how many times you try to describe it, it remains utterly ineffable. Hmmmm. I just can’t help but smile thinking about it and listening to that song again (as I am right now).

Whew… I drifted away there for a couple minutes… Where was I? Ah yes, music and it’s effect on mood. I don’t know about you, but I’ve often selected music based on its suitability to what mood I’m in at the time. Something I’ve been doing more and more often though, is selecting music based on the mood I WANT to be in, not necessarily the mood I happen to be in at the given moment.

In the past, if I was upset and feeling angry about something, I’d put on some heavy metal and sing along in attempt to vent my frustrations. It’s not a bad idea in theory but what I’ve found is that rather than venting my feelings, it pretty much helped fuel my feelings to continue. Now I’ll pop in my headphones and pull up something like Shpongle - How the Jellyfish Jumped Up the Mountain (the song that’s currently vibrating in my ear canals) or Kalya Scintilla - Listen with Your Heart and let them ease me back to a place of calm collected clear thinking. Well, maybe calm isn’t the best description as they’re fairly upbeat, but certainly a place of significantly less hostility.

Just something to consider next time you find yourself feeling angry, or sad and depressed. Picking a song to suit the mood you want vs. the mood you’re in might work for you, it might not. It works for me. Maybe it’s something you do already and I’m just kinda late to the party on this one but either way, this is what I find myself thinking about and so this is what I’ve written. Thank you for taking the time to read it!