Trying to find a balance — keeping an even keel

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “On the Edge.”

My life, like most lives out there, is pretty hectic and crazy.  Adulting is hard y’all, and it certainly can take a toll on how I interact with those around me (and how I interact with myself, to be honest).  Staying centered is hugely important to me, especially because i am expected to set the example and be the voice of reason for my children and the junior people at work.

So how do I do it?  Music and alone time.  Seriously…it’s that simple.  I have certain bands that I know will always help loosen the tension I feel, regardless of what the cause of it is.  Mostly, if it’s been a helluva day at work, it’s Stevie Ray Vaughan.  I’ll turn on his slow blues, played on his signature ’62 Fender Strat with heavy gauge strings and just let my mind float away.  Any troubles I had are instantly lost in the smooth, sweet guitar played by such a virtuoso.  I can feel the stress melting away as Little Wing flows through my speakers.  When I finally get to Lenny it’s like I am floating through nothingness…and it’s a great feeling.  Trust me.

If it’s people, sometimes I’ll turn to a different kind of music.  Sometimes, it’s John Mayer’s more introspective songs, from Whiskey Whiskey Whiskey to Quiet, and others I turn to things like Eric Church’s Darkside and A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young.  Whichever way I turn, the songs are always mellow and (often times) deal with a man finding his way to a better place.  I crank the music, close my eyes, and am transported to a different place or a different time.

The best part?  It’s nearly free.  And at the end of listening to good music, there’s no headache, heartache, or hangover to deal with.  It’s only as expensive as the time I take to listen.  For me, it’s better than a trained psychologist or a friendly bartender.  It’s a gift, recorded some time ago by some who are still with us and by others who have long left this world.  The message in their music, however, is as relevant today as it was when it was written.  And I hear it…I feel it…and it soothes my soul.

Music to me is magic.  It makes me feel things my conscious mind had long forgotten; it can bring me back from the brink when nothing in my world is going right.  It just moves me…in ways that little else in this world can.

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