Life's soundtrack...

>> Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Does your life has a soundtrack? You might not realise it, but I bet it does. Even if you can't sit there and list it, I have no doubt that you'll be walking past a shop, an open window, or hopping through the stations on your car radio and just a few notes of a particular song will transport you back to a particular moment as easily as the voice of Tracey Chapman takes me back to Swanage beach during my second year at uni.

I've been at this blogging lark for a couple of years and I still don't know how to embed a video in a post. Rubbish, I know, but if you have a moment please indulge me and open up a second screen, click on this link, and listen to the music as you read my post.

I love The Rolling Stones. I didn't get into them until my mid-twenties, but when I did it was as if I had walked out of a stuffy room and into a blue and bracing beach-side day, all white puffs of cloud, bright sunshine, stinging sand kicked up by the wind in the dunes, and spray from the breakers smacking you in the face, making you glad to be alive. This is especially true when I listen to their earlier stuff.

I remember particularly the first time I listened to this song. I had just split up from a long term boyfriend (previously mentioned here as 'Sporty Boy'), and was driving to a friend's wedding, which frankly I was dreading somewhat. You know; all those happy couples, the ultimate affirmation of togetherness etc etc - the last thing you need when there's no-one to slow dance with at the end of the evening.

And then this song came on. I'm not sure if it's the choir, the horn, the beat, or Mick's vocals, but something got my attention, and I started listening to lyrics. A lot of them are just filler, but the chorus; 'You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might just find, you get what you need' stopped me in my tracks.

I started to feel unaccountably optimistic and uplifted (As a convent girl, I was always a sucker for a choir). Far better to be at the wedding on my own and surrounded by my best friends with a lifetime of possibilities in front of me than spending the weekend fretting about a relationship gone sour, I decided, and I went to the celebrations and had a fantastic time. Shortly after that I met Husband. And I can tell you now that he was exactly what I needed.

I know that this sentiment -'You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might just find, you get what you need' - will mean different things to everyone, but to me it means getting out there, grabbing life with both hands, and making the best of it. Stop being reactive, bemoaning the bad hand life has dealt you. Take control - you might find you like it. Things might not work out as you originally planned, but if you've given it a shot in the best way you can, then they have a habit of working out for the best.

And the older I get, the more I realise that this is true. If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I love London. It's my home, and I think it probably always will be. Leaving it would be hard. But life is - or can be - an Adventure. Moscow's calling; and whilst we've not made a final decision, I think it might be time to start looking out the suitcases...

(Gosh, that was therapeutic. I think I might put a soundrack to more of my posts in the future...)


Iota 21 July 2009 at 14:58  

Amen to everything you say.

Good luck re the adventure. It's amazing what you can get through by a bit of nifty re-labelling. Many is the time I've dragged the chldren out for a walk in the Scottish drizzle saying "it's not a walk, it's an adventure". I think they've rumbled me by now, but it worked for ages.

nappy valley girl 21 July 2009 at 16:55  

Lovely post. My life definitely has a soundtrack. Just a few notes of a song will take me back to school, university, Inter-railing round Europe as a student, my wedding day.

I think the adventure will be worth it. Speaking from recent experience, I think getting out of your comfort zone can be a very good thing. For your boys, it will be a fantastic experience - from growing up an expat child I can vouch for that.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

Single Parent Dad 21 July 2009 at 20:13  

A post of wonderment, meaning and thought provoking, I'm in the right place right? ;-)

Potty Mummy 21 July 2009 at 20:29  

Thanks Iota, good tip, I'll definitely be using that one (especially in the snowy freezing darkness of a Moscow winter afternoon!).

NVG, thanks, and I know you're right. Time to screw my courage to the sticking post (or whatever the quote is) and just get on with it!

SPD, thanks, high praise indeed - and don't worry, normal poo and disenchantment return tomorrow!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy 21 July 2009 at 20:31  

What a great post. I LOVE that song, and sing it quite a lot to my boys, although usually in the context of 'no you can't have another chocolate biscuit'.

GK Chesterton has a good take on adventures something along the lines of: An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered - an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.

Adventures are great, life affirming. London will always be there, and it is amazing how much little changes when you are away.

Lovely post, how exciting. Very exciting for me too, the thought that another mummy blogger is venturing into Eastern Europe.

PS - If you ever find out how to put videos onto blogger, do let me know!

SandyCalico 21 July 2009 at 21:43  

Hear hear!
Brilliant idea to put a soundtrack on your blog - love it.
To put a YouTube video on your blog:
See on YT to the right of the video there's some code next to "Embed", just copy and paste that onto your post. When you preview you should see the video.
Type everything else first though, otherwise it messes up your fonts!
Good luck!
Ooh Moscow, now that is an adventure :-)

Expat mum 21 July 2009 at 21:54  

My fave Stones song is Beast of Burden, which also reminds me of being at uni. Can't remember what I was doing in particular tho'.

Potty Mummy 21 July 2009 at 23:37  

Brit, funnily enough I did the same thing with the song re: chocolate ice-cream for pudding today... (And good to hear that you have such excellent taste).

SC, thanks for the tip, I will give it a shot next time round!

EPM, I think the reason I DO remember what I was doing when I first heard this one is because I was so uncool that I didn't start listening to them until my student days were over. As in, I was sober more often once I left uni...

Anonymous,  22 July 2009 at 03:35  

I highly reaffirming post - thank you! It is true that you get out of life what you put in, and no one wants to hang around with a 'my life is aaawwwful' moaner. Here's to grabbing opportunities and seeing where the rollercoaster takes us!

Dancinfairy 22 July 2009 at 13:22  

I love the idea of having a soundtrack to each post. Fleetwood Mac will always transport me to a beach in France. Music can be so full of memories.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Bush Mummy 22 July 2009 at 18:26  

I often recite the lyrics to that song to the kids..

Bizarrely I downloaded it onto my ipod for our recent holiday and Bush Daddy and I had a particularly fine car moment driving back on a boiling hot evening, through a field of sunflowers after a glorious sun baked day by a lake in the Dordogne, both girls asleep in the back and this on full blast (they were tired). It is a truly awesome song and as we both commented, sounds so gritty and untouched.. no digital enhancements in those days.



Motherhood The Final Frontier 25 July 2009 at 06:06  

OMG MOSCOW????!!!!!????!
That WILL be a change. Oh my.

Lovely post, btw. I was a bit distracted by my own memories of visiting red square, aged 10 and being shuffled past Lenin's tomb and being forced to sit through 10 course meals at the Communist Party Hotel (yes, a colourful past, me) but that is not what you will be getting.

I never thought I'd leave London, but of course I did, and have now been in California for 6 years (how did that happen?) and may never go back to live in the UK again now. It will change and stretch you in ways you will not be able to believe, and enrich all of your lives, even when you're not sure you're enjoying every moment of the process. Can't wait to hear about the adventure! xo

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