Playlist 16: Perfectly Content

℗ © 2000 LaFace Records LLC


“So Fresh, So Clean”

As I was prepping for my shower, I started jamming to this song in my head. Call me cliché if you want but I’m sure you’ve done the same thing while scrubbing up at least once in the past. I actually stepped into the tub with a little extra attitude because of it, and was looking forward to a shower more than I usually am.

After trying to figure out where the heck all of this came from, I realized that this song really gives off an air of confidence- a sense of “swagger,” if you will- which related to my day. Today was the first day in about six weeks that I had “free time.” 

Yes, I was on vacation in Ireland for three weeks, but I wasn’t in my own space and therefore wasn’t able to get anything done as I would have on a regular day at home. I finally had a chance to accomplish some things around the house, and projects that I’ve been putting off while finishing school, preparing for weddings and starting a new job. It felt great!

Some days I’m totally not in the mood to be productive, but when I am, I’m like a machine. I only dipped my toes into the water today, but I noticed the progress that I made and felt good about getting my environment organized. This was my “I totally have a handle on this” song.

Music video by Shawn Mullins performing Lullaby. © 1998 Sony BMG Music Entertainment


Shawn Mullins

I spent the whole day with my brother, which is one of my favorite pastimes on a lazy, do-nothing day. We had a project to work on so it wasn’t totally lazy, but sweatpants and hanging on the couch made it feel pretty relaxed.

For the last seven years, he and I have put together a big music trivia game. Putting the game together is like a giant puzzle, and we embrace the challenge every year. We invite our friends and our parents’ friends over for a barbecue, where we divide everyone into teams and host the game. They’re only playing for pride and bragging rights, but people keep coming back for more. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time to put together and host the game, but we (and everyone else) get such enjoyment out of it that we’ve made it an annual tradition.

This afternoon got a little tough as we got stuck in a few places while trying to put the rounds together. Even amidst the frustration, spending the day with my brother always makes me feel good. We’re always bouncing ideas off one another; we make a fantastic team and have this awesome dynamic that really works for us, both with our game and in life in general.

I listened to “Lullaby” on my drive home and it matched my sleepy mental exhaustion, but also reminded me of my brother and memories of hearing this song when it first came out. It brought me back to the experiences we had together growing up, most of which were extremely positive. We have always gotten along really well, and to be reminded of happy memories of the two of us from years ago put me in a really good mood. And, to have had a really awesome day with him and know how strong our bond is now so comforting.

The line “everything is gonna be alright” really stood out to me here. Yes, I feel that way about the trivia game, but I also feel that way when I’m around my big bro. He’s always there for me and makes me feel that everything is okay, whether it be with personal challenges or challenges we’re tackling together.

℗ 2013 Mercury Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.


“Follow Your Arrow”
Kacey Musgraves

I was planning on heading back to my brother’s apartment for more music trivia game-making today and was waiting to hear from him before I left my house. So naturally, I spent my morning getting a few things done while watching mindless TV. On today’s line-up: Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry.

I’m not a big “reality TV” person; most of what I watch are competition shows, like The Voice or Face Off, but when it comes to drama-filled, day-in-the-life-of-random-people types of shows, I’m not really a fan. However, I’ve recently been having an inner debate about my opinions on mediums and psychics. Because of that, I sometimes give Hollywood Medium a chance.

Kacey Musgraves was featured on the episode this morning. I know a few of her songs, and think they’re all pretty adorable, including “Follow Your Arrow.” She mentioned the song on the show, which naturally caused it to get stuck in my head. 

To me, the notable line from this song is, “follow your arrow wherever it points.” I later realized that I was wearing a shirt with an arrow that said “Let your faith be bigger than your fear.” The coincidence was uncanny and enough of a reason for me to pick this song today.

The messages of both the song and my shirt each give a nod to trusting your gut and doing what you want to do. She sings that no matter what you do or don’t do, there may always be someone who has a comment to make about it. Instead of doing what you think other people want you to do, or what seems “acceptable” or “appropriate,” just do what feels right for you. This perfectly piggy-backs my last few articles about living in the moment and seizing opportunities. The strength behind this mindset is growing for me as time goes on, so I’m going to keep on rolling with it!

℗ 2016 Record Company TEN under exclusive license to Kemosabe Records


“Love Me Badder”

I’ve been shuffling through a lot of reggae artists during our music trivia mania this week. It’s not a genre that I’m typically fond of, or at least not one that I generally gravitate towards. I do have a few songs by a few artists that fall into that category, and I have to say I’m slowly growing to like it.

This song has a strong island vibe, but with an edge which I really like. Although sometimes I find reggae to be a little too “airy,” there are some days where that’s all I want from a song: light, breezy and carefree. This song ticks all of those boxes. The tempo of this song is one that I can sink into, and it’s captivating without being heavy or dramatic. It is what it is, and I’m totally satisfied with the simplicity of it: simple rhymes, simple melody, and simple concept.

There’s something to be said for simplicity in everyday life, too. For many years I had the tendency to get worked up about little things, or exaggerate situations before anything actually happens (thank you, anxiety). In my head, it was a way to prepare myself for the worst so that things wouldn’t hit me like freight train when I was least expecting it. But, if you’ve been following this blog, you’ve read that there has been a shift happening for me lately.

The more I’m learning to trust that I’m capable of handling what comes my way, the more I’m trying to keep things simple (both in my head and in my actions) and take things for what they are. Maybe that’s spilling over into my taste in music, too. A little reggae to remind myself that simple can be really enjoyable. 

Billie Holiday’s Greatest Hits ® Columbia


“A Sailboat In The Moonlight”
Billie Holiday

Any time I listen to a jazz song, particularly an older one, I get a really special feeling. The best way I can describe it is that I feel like I’m in my own world, having a moment all to myself that is for me and me alone. My love of jazz is pretty unique; only one or two of my friends are well versed on the genre so for me, it’s something special that I don’t really share with many people in my life.

I have always felt like I was born in the wrong time, believing from a young age that that I should’ve been a young adult in the 1950s. I’m reminded of this hunch every time I hear a song from that era, and tonight was no exception. The brassy horns played in the intro to “A Sailboat In The Moonlight” and immediately stepped back in time, imagining a smoky night club with a band crooning away on stage.

The feeling I get when listening to this type of music is one of contentment- being so happy where I am during the few minutes that the song plays through and almost untouchable. Because truly, it feels like I step into a world that belongs only to me. I love this unique part of me, and love having special moments with this type of music.

Weekly Wrap-Up

An overwhelming sense of stability was blanketed over me this week. There were no worries, and dare I say no stress at all, just pure contentment.

Stand-Out Song: “A Sailboat In The Moonlight”

A unique little moment just for me was the perfect way to end a fantastic week.

What songs do you find comforting?
What type of music takes you into your own little world?
Share your comments at the bottom of the page.

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