Thursday, August 27, 2009

Songs for Facing the Music

Black-In-White-Big-11.jpg true face of the bunny image by running_pinstripes

No more hiding for me. 

We knew it was coming but we didn’t know when.

My husband has gotten a job out of state, in Las Vegas.  With the Air Force. 

The job situation in the glorious place where we live is so dire this offer is too good to pass up.  It will be a three-year commitment, at the end of which we’ll have health insurance for life and a secure way to send our daughter to college.   

music.jpg music image by stayR3AL

Why am I sad?  I usually am when things change, even for the better.  I’m also, of course, relieved and a little bit hopeful.  Yet sadness is a default emotion.  Maybe that’s why I wrote a series of posts about depression a few months ago.  Maybe I’m just a sad-sack, a fruit-loop, or a box of instant jello.  I don’t know.   

We will not, at least at first, be living all together in Las Vegas.  More specifically, at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.  SeeSpotRun and I will be staying in Missoula for at least the first of the three years. 

This is probably my biggest worry.  SSR!  What do you need, dear daughter?  How will you tell me what your twelve-year-old self needs?  How will I know?  Is it better to stay, or to go?  

manraycountenance.jpg manray face image by bryanmatluk

Change always brings growth, but it also throws me back into my bad coping habits.  I fear more, argue more.  If I’m not careful, pretty soon I’m reliving every change that’s ever happened to me, my loved ones, endangered species, the oppressed, and the entire effing planet.  This is not good for anyone. 

On a solo drive in the moonlight and mountains tonight, I metaphorically placed SSR and Hubby in the hands of a benevolent Higher Power.  Next I turned on some old and new favorite music on my iPod.  Nothing too serious or dour (Clapton/River of Tears-- definite no).  I needed beats and melodies and words and voices.  Here’s my short list.   

Mix Up, Mix Up…Bob Marley

Near Wild Heaven…REM

Hallelujah…Leonard Cohen

Stay a Little Bit Longer…UB40

Oh to Be in Love…Kate Bush

Seminole Wind…John Anderson

Yo Vengo Aqui…Compay Segundo

Two Princes…Spin Doctors

Paper Gangsta…Lady Gaga

Pocketful of Sunshine…Natasha Bedingfield

Not the Way…Gregory Isaacs

Hardstone—Uhiki (Pinye’s Remix)

Hello Stranger…Emmylou Harris

What about you?  What music comforts and grounds you in times of fear or flux?  

music_thumb.jpg music image by brandiemarion


The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

I hate endings, goodbyes and all that and I found great comfort in reframing endings as a process of transition.
I wish you well - I can hear from your words that you have already accepted this transition.
Music? It depends on what happens.

Zuzana said...

I so recognize and identify with every word in your post. Change is the only constant in life. We have to adapt to it, however hard it feels at times. As eventually, change is good.

The hardest part of your change is without question the splitting of the family. At least initially.

I listen to different music at different times. In times of trouble and when I feel the most anxious, I turn to the romantic classics of the great master such as Vivaldi and Mozart.


angela recada said...

Soothing classical music always helps me in times of stress.

I so understand the range of emotions you're feeling. But the financial benefits of your husband's professional move are incredible, especially these days. Health care for life - wow! And with two children in college, I wish we didn't have the constant worry of how it will be paid for. These are substantial financial benefits you'll be receiving. (But you know that. . .)

Yin and yang. It's everywhere. With everything light, there is darkness, with every darkness, there is light.

You will get through this, but I understand how difficult this will be for you, dear Sallymandy. Sometimes just counting down the days, crossing them off on a calendar, helps me get through a longer stretch of difficulty.

One day at a time.


Veronica Wald said...

If I lived in Montana (as I hope to some day soon) it would kill me to leave it...but when the time comes to leave Chicago and Go West, it won't be easy, either. I think I won't go until Kevin is ready to migrate with me. The only thing that would prevent it would be unsold real estate, and that, God-willing, would be only a transient hold-up.

The great, soaring works of Bach and Hayden are great restorers of sanity!

Stephanie N. said...

Wow, so much to take in here, so much. I cringe at the thought of dealing with the change - leaving a place you love, spending at least a year living apart from your love, starting over in Vegas of all places. But health insurance for life and a way to pay for SSR's college - that alone seems worth it. We'll be right here to help you cope.

A local artist named Liz Longley did a cover of The Circle Game. It was playing when I found out a year ago that my uncle was near the end, having received a terminal pancreatic cancer diagnosis a few months earlier. It was playing when I was at work, during the hour when his funeral was taking place at the other end of the country, without me there. And it was playing when my husband called to tell my his granddad had just had another heart attack. It's been one of my coping songs lately. Not really sure why. It seems to be about watching someone you love grow up, not about watching them grow old and die. It's not a perky, pick-me-up song for me. It's a have-a-good-cry-and-then-feel-better kind of song. You probably shouldn't put it on your list. It doesn't really fit in with anything by Lady "No-Pants" Gaga, anyhow!

aims said...

Having visited both places I can understand you not wanting to leave Missoula. There is no comparison to the desert of Las Vegas.

However - that being said - there is beauty there too and you will eventually find it and it will inspire you as does the green and the river of Missoula.

Everyone else has already said so many deep thoughts. I too mourn changes. I hold them close to my heart and go over them again and again - almost like I want to hurt with them.

Perhaps it is us - perhaps we think too much - care too much - love too much - love our 'safe' surroundings too much. I don't know.

But I think it is okay to feel this way. When you eventually make the move and after you have gotten used to being alone - you will remember with clarity the things you love in Missoula. Someday you may return. You might not. But it will always be a place you cherish.

Getting used to being together again will almost be like falling in love again. A stranger in your midst. That will/might be something to look forward to.

Even though I never do it myself I am going to say - look for the good things you will find in LV. There are many. Not everyone lives there just to gamble! :)

Rosaria Williams said...

Change is inevitable. Look at the bright side-nothing stays the same- so accept what can't be changed.

p.s. your youngster will enjoy the change of pace.

Good luck. I hear Vegas has great schools.

Awesome Sara said...

i hate it when ppl say change is for the better bc they know its not! lol since my breakups i have been listening to billie holiday non stop and other sad love songs. and u have every right ot be upset as u are. i would be too. but look at all the lovely things that can happen. that is something to look forward to. so be upset as long as u need and then deal with it.

Jennifer said...

I am impressed by how you still embrace the change, even through the disruption and tumult of emotion. I do NOT hear you saying "no way," or "I can't." That's strength itself.

Tiffany said...

Wow, that's tough. I'm sure you will find your way through it. And change is one of those things that can feel really difficult when it's in motion, but then you find yourself in another place that's different to what you had before, but no less good for being different ... If that makes any sense!

I don't listen to music when I'm sad/scared because it tends to make me worse! I meditate (or run) in silence ...

sallymandy said...

Small Fabric: Yes, I have accepted it...because the financial benefit is so obvious. Resistance is so often futile!

Protege: You're right, and insightful as always. The family splitting is the big deal at the moment. Thank you for your kind words.

You're a dear, Angela. Thank you for the wise balance of emotional and practical in your words. I like your idea about crossing off days.

Thanks, Veronica. I guess I didn't make it too clear that we do not plan on being away from Montana forever. At the end of this three year period we will be in a better position to live on the kind of jobs people have to settle for here. (Maybe you and I will meet each other at The Double Arrow in Seeley Lake someday!)

Thank you, Stephanie--such kind words. I appreciate your support. I don't think I could handle a song about watching a loved one grow up--you're right--but I'm glad it has helped you through times of grief.

aims: you had so many good thoughts and emotions here; thank you. I feel lucky that you took the time to share them.

lakeviewer: thanks, I didn't know that about the schools. We might not actually do much schooling there...more about that later.

Well said, Awesome Sara: "be upset as long as u need and then deal with it." ! thank you...

Oh, Jennifer. Thank you. I don't feel very strong, but I can see what you mean here. There's no point in saying I can't or won't. I'm old enough to know how self-fulfilling that attitude is.

Thank you, Tiffany. I know you're right. Maybe the hardest time is right before the change happens, which is where we are now.


Jennifer Campaniolo said...

Wow, Las Vegas! That will be an adventure! It's normal to feel melancholy or even blue when a major change is about to happen. None of us like change (we like the IDEA of change but not the change itself) because we don't want to let go of what we know, what feels familiar and safe.

I like listening to music my dad used to spin on the turntable at home when guests were coming over--Lou Rawls, Chicago, George Benson. I liked the music he played in the car, me dozing in the backseat, listening to the sounds of Oldies. Elvis, The Drifters, The Temptations, etc. I know most of the words to all those songs from the 50's.

Keep listening to music that makes you happy. Good luck to you.


Gal Friday said...

I missed this news of the transition you'll be going though very soon.
It WILL be hard, but with your attitude and yes, some music(I just made a mix CD for a friend with REM's "Near Wild Heaven" on it!)you will come through it okay.

Gal Friday said...

I noticed the change in your blog design--very rich, warm and autumnal, in a way.