Monthly Archives: January 2013

Olympic nostalgia and the link between music and memories

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“Home” by Phillip Phillips will always remind me of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. I heard it 5 billion times a day in July and August as NBC used it with footage of various events, especially gymnastics, which has always been one of my favorite sports (I was a gymnast for a year or two when I was little and I loved it! However, the gym I went to was a bit competitive and I was told I would never be a professional because I was too tall. I was like 8 or 9 years old. I digress…). I’m actually not sick of the song (yet), which is incredible to me. I think it’s because of that sense of togetherness that the Olympic Games brings to the world. The song reminds me of the feelings I get when I watch them. It’s like when I hear the Olympic Theme… but we’ll get to that soon. I can’t find the intro/promo that I’m thinking of, but I did find this version from the Olympic Gymnastics Trials in San Jose. It’s a similar idea and feel.

“Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell will always remind me of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The song was used in the opening ceremonies with an aerial acrobatics routine. I cried. Like a baby. It’s a beautiful song to begin with, but now I feel like I have an emotional connection because I think of the Olympics and that few weeks of my life in February 2010 when I was unemployed and I spent my days watching Olympic curling (they seriously play it like 24/7) as I wrote cover letters and submitted applications. It was a really rough time for me, but the Olympics was my escape. I think my connection with Mitchell’s song comes from just hearing the right message at the right time. I’ve looked at many things from both sides, but I still really don’t know anything about anything. If you haven’t seen it, watch it here.

It’s not just the actual games that seem to turn me into an emotional basket case. P&G has been airing their “proud sponsor of moms” commercials for at least the 2010 & 2012 games. I am particularly fond of the commercial featuring “Never Walk Alone” from the musical “Carousel.” First time I saw I – yep you guessed it – cried like a baby.

These types of emotions aren’t only linked to the Olympics, obviously. I just remember hearing “Home” on the radio the other day and I immediately thought of the Olympics and how much I miss them and the feelings they bring that I can’t seem to describe. The emotions seem to range from a sense of hope, to belonging, to peace, to competition, to dreams coming true, to sadness after losses, to so many other things. I’m rambling and I’m not entirely sure what this blog post is even about anymore.

I suppose I started writing this because I was listening to music and I heard “Home”. I’ve also been missing the Olympics desperately lately. I would love to come home in the evening and turn on the coverage. I’d love to hear the Olympic Theme song (“Bugler’s Dream” and “Olympic Fanfare and Theme”), which sounds so regal and glorious and awesome. It’s one of my favorite pieces, though it’s really a medley of part of Leo Anaud’s Charge Suite and Olympic Fanfare and Theme by John Williams. It’s all a little confusing, but feel free to read more about the history here. It reminds me a bit of Aaron Copland. To me, it’s patriotic without being obnoxious and over-the-top American. Someone out there understands me, right? It’s simply a beautiful composition.

I don’t really know what I’m saying anymore. I’m just having fun looking up all of these things on YouTube and watching/listening to them. All I know is that Sochi, Russia 2014 can’t come soon enough!

Also – Anyone want to start planning a trip to the games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016? 🙂

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2013

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I spent quite a few minutes trying to come up with an appropriately awesome title for this blog post and what do I come up with? “2013”. Lame.

I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions. I think they sound too black and white. Either you keep them, or you don’t. I sometimes, but not always, like to make goals for the new year. Turns out, I’ve got a lot in store for 2013. I wanted to publish my goals somewhere for a few reasons: 1) I’ll always be able to find the list, and 2) I do better with accountability, so the fact that this list is public (albeit, not very public, since not many people read my blog, which is ok) will help me work toward these goals. So without further ado, I give you my goals for 2013:

  • Use my passport at least once – I’ve got a shiny new passport with no stamps! I must remedy that this year.
  • Travel somewhere within the U.S. that I’ve never been to before – There are tons of places in the U.S. I’d love to visit. This is a good reason to pick one and go!
  • Learn to bake bread – I want to learn new skills and baking bread is one that is elusive to me (and frankly, is a little scary).
  • Read at least 12 books I’ve never read, but already own – I did this in 2012 and did a good job, but I still have books on my shelves that I own, but have never read. Need to see what they’re about it!
  • Occasional digital cleanses – Every once-in-awhile, take a step back from the technology and social media to slow down, unwind and reconnect with the “real world”

This list can be added to and subtracted from throughout the year. That’s what I like about it. Very few of these things are the type of things where you can’t recover if you fall off the horse (like weight loss and resolutions to work out more). I can bake bread once in January and if it’s not right – hell, even if it’s downright wrong – I can still learn to bake bread sometime in the next 11 months.

I decided to do a digital cleanse 3 years ago when John Mayer tweeted that he was doing one. He explained it all and at the time, I was unemployed and on my computer a LOT. Some of the time, I was applying for jobs (a lot of the time, actually), but a good deal of time was also just randomly surfing the internet out of boredom. I saw John’s idea and thought it was a good one. I stepped back from my computer and cell phone for 7 days. No Twitter, no Facebook, no other “entertainment” websites (BuzzFeed, Redit, Tumblr…). I also used my cell phone for making and receiving phone calls. That’s it! No email on my phone, no texting, no internet.

I found that I had SO much time on my hands! I started to go to the fitness center at our apartment complex. I ran and biked and lifted weights for 45 minutes every morning. I cooked myself breakfast. I read books. I was able to really focus on my job search because I wasn’t constantly (read: obsessively) checking Facebook and Twitter. I reconnected with music. I used to just have it on in the background of whatever I was doing, but I began to play music and just lie on the floor and listen to it.

I’ve decided to do another digital cleanse to start the new year, and to sprinkle them in throughout the year as well, especially when I find myself getting too attached. So starting today, January 1, 2013, and lasting one week, I will abstain from Facebook and Twitter (except where they are required for my job). I will not be on Pinterest, which will be the really hard one for me, as I’m obsessed with it. I will use my phone for phone calls only. It’s really hard, but I’m hoping to find myself with more time on my hands and I’m hoping to enjoy that time more as I won’t be worried about missing out on something on social media. Feel free to join me! I can’t promise you anything, but I know I’ve benefited a great deal in the past.

I hope the coming year brings you all everything you hope for and more. I know I’m looking forward to what she has in store for me!