I have issues.
When I turned 32, I had a little-kid birthday party for my birthday, and I tried, I really did, to enjoy the day. It didn't take.
Next week is not only my birthday, but I'm turning 40. I know this sounds silly and dumb, but, well, sometimes I'm silly and dumb. And neurotic.
Turning 30 didn't phase me. I didn't feel like anything had changed, and I couldn't figure out why some people hate that number. For me, it's 40. I didn't think it would bother me, but it does. It's this looming number that will be part of me forever. Every number thus far has added up to it, and every number after this will just add to it. All the gray hair on my head attest to the fact that forty does, indeed, belong to me.
First thing on the to-do list: dye my hair. It may not change the texture of the gray, but it may as well be FUN, right?
Second thing: It's not like I'm dying. It's just a day. And I'm not about to set up a lawn chair and start yelling at kids to get off my lawn. At this point, it would be my kids I'm yelling at, and I don't want to be THAT kind of mom.
Anyway. I have decided to make a list. Because I like lists, that's why.
I have compiled the Top-40 Songs of my life. (ha ha) The background music to the screenplay of my life, if you will. Or, put another way, a selection of music that makes me happy.
1973 - 1982- Bad Bad Leroy Brown - Jim Croce Jim Croce tells the best stories. I love all of his songs.
- You're So Vain - Carly Simon we had a Carly Simon 8-track, and my brothers and I would sing this song over and over
- Me and My Arrow - Harry Nilsson - Speaking of 8-tracks... my little brother Jon LOVED the show "The Point" and would listen to this soundtrack constantly. To this day I still hear this song whenever I think about my brother.
- Superstition - Stevie Wonder I remember learning about Stevie Wonder in grade school. I always wished I could play the piano like him, not to mention make music that made my feet move in all kinds of funky ways.
- Sing - The Carpenters - my parents were huge fans of The Carpenters, and more often than not, if it wasn't one of dad's metal albums being played, it was a Carpenters album. Dad talked all the time about how they went to a Carpenters concert for their honeymoon. Sesame Street included, any song by the Carpenters reminds me of fuzzy warm moments of childhood.
- Dancing Queen - ABBA - Because it wouldn't really be a 70's list without ABBA, now would it?
- Cold As Ice - Foreigner I remember this being on the radio during a drive home from Idaho to Wyoming. And it was cold outside, the wind was blowing (because the wind ALWAYS blows in southwestern Wyoming) and the song stuck in my head forever.
- Dream On - Aerosmith My dad loved metal, my mom loved classical music. Tchaicovsky on one end of the house, Aerosmith on the other. Stand in the middle and it was this intense orchestra of clashing sounds.
- China Grove - The Doobie Brothers Because China Grove, people!
- I Wanna Rock And Roll All Night - Kiss This is only on my list because I have a memory, faded and blurry with age, of a hotel room. My mom tucking me in and telling me to be good, and dad being so excited he could hardly stand it because they were going to see KISS in concert. I vaguely remember mom saying she was sure it damaged her ears, whereas my dad was grinning and excited forever. Very different personalities, my parents. Not a song I particularly love, at all, but it triggers a memory.
1983 - 1992This is hard. I can point you here and honestly say I have memories for every single song on that list (and every year thereafter.) Whittling things down to include ten years is hard work, peeps.
- I Just Called To Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder Yes, yes, I know, not up to Stevie's normal par and seriously lacking some bass. And a band. But 11 year old me loved this song. My parents were getting divorced, and this song was my happy. I was constantly calling the radio station to request it.
- Venus - Bananarama Ah, Junior High and our lip-sync assemblies. This was 7th grade at its finest, and this song had me pretending to be on drums up on stage with my friends. We got to perform at night for parents because the girls who had won first place got disqualified because they'd started a food fight during lunch. (which was awesome)
- Little Fifteen - Depeche Mode The very first official cassette tape I ever owned was this album. This song was the one that stuck with me because I was fifteen when I got it for Christmas. Yep, it's depressing, but it fit my moods back then.
- Boom There She Was - Scritti Politti First album I bought for myself. LOVED the lead singer's hat, and I wanted to be just like him. I had every song memorized.
- Open Your Heart - Madonna oh, the memories. Watching the video on Friday Night Videos with my friends... ah, that was the life. And then, to make it even better, my step-mom's friend's son Jason gave me this album. Not only was he hot, hot, hot! but I loved the album, and that made it even better. Plus it made me feel all cultured because La Isla Bonita was all in Spanish.
- Stand - R.E.M. I have very clear memories of the boys in P.E. singing this before dodgeball would start.
- Opposites Attract - Paula Abdul I once had a friend call a radio station and request this song. Over the air he dedicated it to his real life Paula Abdul, which was me. People used to tell me I looked like her, but I never saw it.
- Ringfinger - Nine Inch Nails It's not the 90's without some Trent. This song played at every dance club and sponsored dance that I went to. And something about his anger resonated with me.
- Right Here Right Now - Jesus Jones The first Gulf War was on the tv all the time, history was in the making, and people were capitalizing on the war. Even I bought a sweatshirt.
- Winds of Change - Scorpions The Berlin Wall came down. I watched it happen on tv. It was crazy; the whole world was in flux. The USSR had a coup and "dethroned" Gorbachev, Tieneman Square and tank-guy happened in China, Germany united, and the whole of Europe changed. Maps haven't been the same since.
- Recipe for Making Love - Harry Connick Jr. Back when he was just my fiance, my husband and I would listen to this tape and sing out loud to the big-band songs. Have been a fan ever since.
1993 - 2002- You Think You Know Her - Cause & Effect I listened to this album while giving birth to my first daughter. TMI? Perhaps, but it's a song that is woven into life-changing experiences, and having a baby was definitely one of those.
- Cohesion - Matthew Ship I started listening to NPR and the Garrison Kieller show. In the evenings, the jazz music was all that would put my daughter to sleep. Although this particular song feels more 'new-ageish' to me than jazzy, but I'm rolling with it. Enjoy the dissonance.
- Somewhere Other Than The Night - Garth Brooks Yep, I got on the Garth train and rode it all the way. Loved his voice and his songs.
- Should've Been A Cowboy - Toby Keith Yeah, I can't explain it, but I fell in love with country when I started having kids. Not gonna apologize for that, there's some awesome music there.
- December - Collective Soul Baby number two came along, and for some reason this was the song I loved when she was born.
- All Apologies - Nirvana Wouldn't be a 90's list without Nirvana on it. They changed music, people went back to having real bands instead of just synthesizing everything.
- Flood - Jars of Clay I heard this song on the radio and thought America had released a new album. Had to buy the album because I liked the sound so much.
- Bitch - Meredith Brooks Money was tight, husband was in and out of the hospital, and I was trying to figure out how motherhood fit in with working two jobs while trying to make ends meet. This song epitomized me. I was everything on the list and loved Meredith Brooks for singing it.
- Spice Up Your Life - Spice Girls When my husband was home, he was either listening to the Hackers soundtrack, or this. I knew how long I could nap between jobs, and which song meant it was time to get up and go.
- Amazed - Lonestar Baby number three came along, and I remember this playing on the radio when I drove home from the hospital.
2003 - 2013- When I'm Gone - 3 Doors Down Husband was in the hospital again, this time we weren't sure if he was going to live or not. 2003 he got his kidney transplant and this song fit the emotions that I was feeling that year.
- Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy - Big & Rich This song was on every. single. morning. in Grace, Idaho during the year that the hubster and I were separated. It just wouldn't be a complete list without it.
- Moves like Jagger- Maroon 5 I love this band. Probably because Adam Levine sounds like Stevie Wonder. But I love most of their songs. Except that stupid payphone one. (blargh)
- My Immortal - Evanescence Daughter number four came along and with her a love for this band.
- Trouble Maker - Olly Murs Speaking of sounding like Stevie Wonder or Maroon 5... And while it's a much more recent release, it sums up the personality of daughter number five.
- Do You Want To Date My Avatar - The Guild After my son was born, I was uninsured and had no way to deal with severe post-partum depression, except to play WoW. It got me out of bed. I made a lot of great friends that way. I was not the greatest mom, but it was better than suicide.
- Dance, Dance - Fall Out Boy And thus started the "if it makes me move and dance, I love it" phase of music. I'm not all that picky. If it's got a good beat, I'll add it to my you-tube playlist and let it go while I'm cleaning, writing, gardening (ha) or anything else.
- Paralyzer - Finger Eleven As I was finishing my illustration degree, music fed my homework assignments. I can't even explain how or why. Even the lyrics mattered, whether they had anything to do with the actual work. This is one of those songs.
- Victoria - Eve 6 And then I started writing. The sci-fi romance I'm working on right now, well, this is my theme song for it. Some day I'll explain why.
- Breath of Life - Florence + the Machine This is one of those songs that reverberates in my bones and through my soul. I can't explain it, I'm not sure I want to. But I love this song.
- Into the Night - Santana & Chad Kroeger Doing dishes? Cleaning the bathroom? This song at full blast makes everything brighter, funner, and worth doing.
- Better Now - Collective Soul Speaking of making everything better and brighter and funner... yeah :) This song puts a huge smile on my face every time.