Music Memories

The other day, as I was driving to pick Josh up from work, I was listening to a playlist on my iPhone.

The kids were in the back seat chattering away and I was feeling mentally exhausted.

A new song began streaming through my radio, and I recognized the intro to “A Long December” by Counting Crows. Suddenly I was 17-years-old and driving my little, blue Geo Metro. Instead of a backseat full of children, I have a group of my friends with me. We are all laughing and singing along to the radio.

As the song continued to play, I felt memory after memory of high school wash over me. Friends I hadn’t thought about it years, the emotions of being in a new relationship with Josh, and the carefree ability we had to go where we wanted whenever we wanted. Everything seemed young and fresh and fun.

The song changed and this time “Babylon” by David Gray brought me to my first year of marriage.

The coziness of our loft apartment, our first home as a married couple, surrounded me as I remembered listening to the song while I cleaned on my day off. I could picture our cats sitting on the couches and a fire in our little pink fireplace as the rain came down outside. Our marriage was new and sparkly and it felt more like make-believe than reality.

With a third song, “Yellow” by Coldplay, I am engaged and visiting Josh in California. We are driving down the freeway and excited to see each other after a month’s separation; what seemed like an eternity to me at the time. We are in love and excited for what the future holds. We talk about what our wedding will be like and he tells me about how this song, that I’d never heard, always makes him think of me.

And I realize that all of the memories that these songs are calling forth are softened by time; rose-tinted. The worries, fears and stresses that I was dealing with are minimized in the remembrance of the small joys I experienced. Laughing with friends, cleaning my house and planning a wedding replace the broken relationships of high school, the cancer my Grandma was battling during my engagement and the difficulties of the first year of marriage.

It made me think about how I view my life now and how I’ll view it in a few years.

What song will bring me back to this time when my kids are young and I get to spend each day with them? I realize that the joy of hearing them play together, the sweetness of baby arms wrapped around my neck and the excitement of celebrating their small victories will someday minimize the stress of finances, never-ending household chores and being frustratingly overwhelmed.

I silently pray:

“Dear God, please help me to recognize and appreciate the things of today as I’m living it, instead of tomorrow when I’m remembering it. Help me to have a softened, rose-tinted view of my life and acknowledge the joys that surround me.”

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28 thoughts on “Music Memories

  1. “They’re all softened by time, rose-tinted. The worries, fears and stresses that I was dealing with are minimized in the remembrance of the small joys I experienced.”
    That is SO true. I find the exact same thing.

    Also? The Counting Crows–and A Long December specifically–one of my all time favorites.

    Thanks for linking up!!

    • I was so excited when I saw your theme, because I wrote this back in October of last year. Music is such an amazing “rememberer” for me. It was good for me to read it again and remember the lesson God gave me. :)

  2. i love the rose colored glasses. they do soften the past…
    loved riding along with you… but i wondered about fitting friends in the abckseat of the geo metro! i had the geo storm (aqua) and i could only fit 2 1/2 friends back there…

  3. It’s true that music softens the memory. I think becoming older and wiser and looking back with perspective helps too.

    I felt like you…there is a song for every phase of my life. Loved this theme today!

  4. My husband introduced me to Coldplay when we were engaged too! :) It sure takes me back. Although you’re definitely right, I remember the happy, gushy, being in love feelings, and not the crazy ex-roommate who tried to ruin the wedding and the family drama and all the other madness. Thanks for reminding me that I don’t have to wait till some distant point in the future to focus on the not-madness of today. :)

  5. Wow. Now I’m wondering the same thing. What song will bring me back to these days? – Especially since I’m hoping not to hear Do You Know the Muffin Man EVER AGAIN once they reach a certain age. ; )

  6. “I silently pray, “Dear God, please help me to recognize and appreciate the things of today as I’m living it, instead of tomorrow when I’m remembering it. Help me to have a softened, rose-tinted view of my life and acknowledge the joys that surround me.”

    YES — this is exactly the reminder that I needed to hear, today, yesterday, tomorrow. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stresses, and not appreciate all the small wonders of each day. I want to print that prayer out and tape it to my monitor…my bathroom mirror…my car’s dashboard…

  7. so happy i checked out lisa-jo’s blog tonight…i’m avoiding sleep! music evokes so much emotion as it is, but to visualized all that you said here shows how tender the Lord is to lead you down that path of remembrance. we forget all too easily, don’t we? it’s so hard to see the precious moments in the haze and fog that hardships bring. i’m vowing with you to be present in my todays. they are fleeting and truly, i just need to redeem the time! okay…gonna go link up now!

  8. Thanks for sharing that! Music has such the same effect on me. It will be interesting to think of the memories I’ll have when my kids are grown!

  9. I do the same thing whenever I hear Seal’s “Crazy.” It’s like being back in that little Tempo driving home late at night after closing Taco Bell, in high school. Vanessa Williams does the same thing to me. (Omigosh, listen to me dating myself! I didn’t even catch it for a minute LOL.) Whenever I start feeling sentimental and rose-tinted, I always try to remind myself of the adolescent agony I was going through at the time those songs hit me so hard. :)

  10. Even as I’m reading this, I have one child bouncing around in her snowpants (inside), and one in her high chair calling me “Papa” and giggling. Yes, these are the moments I want to remember, not the (seeming) constant disciplining, the exhaustion, the frustration. To hold onto the good and release the bad seems so simple … and can be so difficult in practice! We need these reminders.

  11. Melissa, you paint with words, friend! I am there. I am there in your car, your new apartment, your road trips – I am along for the ride with your words and loving watching you grow and learn and love. What a vivid picture you paint. And what a welcome reminder that the panic of today will well be the beauty remembered tomorrow. Just wonderful!

    I appreciate you so much,
    Lisa-Jo

    • I didn’t want to gush, but my husband said it was ok, so…

      Coming from you, this means a lot. I have always admired your ability to create a scene and transport people with your words. I feel like I’m such a prosey writer and aspired to “paint with words.” Thank you for your encouragement here, and always! I appreciate you so much!! :)

  12. Music evokes some very beautiful memories for me as well. I love how the words and the melody can instantly take me back to a time and place both in emotion and in spirit!

    I’ve been so busy and pulled in too many directions lately; your prayer had me nodding my head in agreement and getting teary at the same time. Sweet Lord, help me remember in the moment your grace and provision and mercy, and help me show it to others every second I breathe!

    Many blessings,
    Lindsey

  13. I’m beyond overwhelmed at how Lisa-Jo put this all together. These posts, just begging to be read. And without fail, minister to some area of my life. I read your words, your prayer and feel so less alone. Oh that I, too, would grab the moments and enjoy each one as they come and just trust Him. Simply trust Him. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your struggles. I’m going to bask in the fact that I scooped my youngest daughter up from her bed and brought her to mine tonight. I’m going to snuggle up close to her and feel her breathing and thank God for the moment.

  14. What a great post!! I am the. same. way. Listening to certain songs always brings up memories of where I was and who I was with. It is my way of counting the passing of time, “this song came out when I was….” This post made my heart smile. Thanks!

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