The Right To Play Dress Up

For a couple of years, my best friend was a floppy, red-haired figure named Raggedy Ann. She loved me no matter what. I knew that because her heart told me so. One day, with the help of some fabric, yarn and a creative mom, I became her. I made those around me giggle and smile. I was “cute” instead of buck toothed and awkward. That was the very first Halloween I remember.

As years changed, so did the fads and costume changes. I have stayed true to my appreciation of the day that society says it’s OK to be something other than yourself. Though my children now have memories of embarrassment and questioning my sanity, I selfishly have no regrets. It felt good to step away from the roles of maid, chef, homework checker and nag.

The right to responsibly have fun and escape from routine once in a while has no age limit. I strongly suggest you exercise this right as another Halloween draws near.

To the princess: Let that sparkle make you feel like the beautiful person you are every day, but forget as chores and deadlines wear you down.

To the villain:  Here’s your chance to be the bad ass you sometimes wish you were. Be proud that respect and professionalism lead you to the right choices when things get tough.

To the superhero: Enjoy the cape and shield, but remember you don’t need them to fight sadness, worry, disrespect or any other emotional intruder.

And to you, no matter who you are or choose to be. Every day. Remember.

YOU are a treasure!

Nature’s Orchestra: A comparison to the Rolling Stone interview “The Salvation of Brian Wilson”

In a recent story published by Rolling Stone Magazine titled “The Salvation of Brian Wilson,” the singer/songwriter discusses how music helped him through episodes of depression. I could not agree more with his choice of therapy:

Most of us have experienced what I’ll call “random red light entertainment.” In other words, you’ve chuckled at the headbanger, the steering wheel pounder, and the “like no one is watching” singer.  My friends, I am all three. And whether you’ve seen my performances in person or just smirked at the visual, you’re welcome….that second of distraction was a treasure.

One day, the consequences of playing my music too loud may surface.  But, I am not going to ignore my need for a screaming guitar anytime soon. That sound dissolves sadness, worry, and stress. From the twelve minute drive to work to the all day cleaning spree, music is my drug.

When I am alone and in control, I avoid silence at all costs. Peaceful environments are not appealing. They are open doors that welcome stupid thoughts. I work non stop and clean things that already shine because of an illness I hate, not because I strive to be better than anyone.

I am slowly working on my ability to hide it. In doing so, I often find myself secretly scared when those around me are not. Please remember I am not a bragger or a hypocrite. In fact, I still fail more than I succeed when it comes to remembering my mission. However, when I do stop, look and appreciate, the world becomes somewhere I want to be.

A recent mini-vacation brought me to one of the most peaceful places that I am willing to travel by car. Because I packed my mental ammo, I was able to turn crickets into cymbals, a crackling fire into slaps of a bass, and a friends laughter into some of the most beautiful lyrics I have ever heard.

To my fellow professional depression hiders, you are right. This trip was far from tear-drop free. But,  guess what? I did not let it control the memories of those that deserved to be there, most importantly, me! Indeed, there is proof to my grandpa’s words “practice makes perfect.”

Please remember that whether your enemy is silence, chaos or something else, you are not alone. Close your eyes. Bring the band back together.

YOU are a treasure!