Happy Birthday!

No, not to me, or Hubs, or anyone we know, until next week when it is my darling Mums’.  But the car.  I took it in to be valeted on Thursday night.  Poor thing, it probably fell over with shock, or else relished the fact it was scrubbed behind its’ ears, metaphorically speaking.

I used to get dropped off in it to work, Hubs would then take the car, drive to his work, leaving it in the boys-bedroom-cess-pit that men can leave cars in.  He’d drink a can of ‘V’, drop it on the floor behind his seat.  He spilt coffee on the back seat (don’t ask), left crumbs all over the place and despite my ‘Clean it up!’ naggings, managed to find things better to do.  Eventually I got fed up with all the ‘I will do it’ and paid for it to be cleaned properly.  I requested it steam cleaned, which was just as well, as the coffee stain came out.  Driving to work on Friday was a sheer pleasure, the windscreens were clean, the dash was clean, it smelt lovely and I had a grin on my face the whole journey.

It never ceases to amaze me how little care people take of their cars.  Next to your house, they are probably one of the biggest expenses of your lives, yet they aren’t taken care of properly, or given the respect they deserve.  They take up a fair amount of our wage packets each year, so should be acknowledged as such.  I know I don’t always wash the outside of my cars, (we are in a drought stricken continent here), but the inside of the car is something I am always fussy over, it wrankles me when it is messy and dirty.

The moral of the story here: your car, your desk, your bedroom are all reflections on you, your personality, your life.  If you have chaos in these areas, your life is out of whack.  Tidy it up, clean it up and watch the changes that happen around you.  If you are hanging on to belongings that weigh you down, you compensate for it in other areas.  If you have clothes in your wardrobe that no longer fit, you’ve not worn in years, then donate them to someone who will wear them.  If you’re waiting to lose weight to get into them again, you will never do it.  Because you have to lose weight for you, not for anyone else, and certainly not to wear clothes that used to fit you, but will be out of style by eons again, if you ever manage to get into them.  Instead they hang in your wardrobe reminding you of what you were, berating you because something you love, you can’t fit into.

If you have bookcases of books that you no longer read, no longer enhance your life, donate them to people who will cherish, use and gain from the knowledge and words held within them.  I am not saying you need to live in a clinical hospital ward, I am saying that the items you have in your home should enhance your life, not inhibit it.  The nick-nacks that are on display shouldn’t overwhelm the room so you can’t see them at all, but show off who you are, mean something to you and every time you look at them, raise a smile.

I am also revising my iTunes playlists, I am fed up of skipping songs I don’t want to listen to that were ‘my favourites’, but no longer mean the same to me.  To give you an example, Wet Wet Wet.  When I was a teenager, I lived for and by their music, each album that came out was waited for excitedly, I brought special editions of LPs, EPs, asked for the window display in PowerPlay music and my bedroom was covered in posters of them too.  If I was down, I could play a song, then I was up, if I was ‘studying’, WWW would play in the background, on loop. 

Then, I learned that when Tommy Cunningham, the drummer, found that their manager had been fleecing the band out of royalties, he showed his evidence to the other band members.  They called a meeting, and Tommy arrived to find them and Elliott, the manager, sitting behind a table, telling him that he needed to tak a pay cut as his share of songwriting didn’t warrant the share of royalties he had been paid.  He left.  The band split up and it was reported that Tommy left because he refused to take the pay cut.

This was in 1997, it shook me to the core when I found out, because it was like they betrayed me.  I can’t articulate it easily, but when music means something to you; you invest your heart and soul in it.  The songs when they were written, recorded and sent out into the ether,  are sent with the respective artists hope they will resonate with people enough that they will enjoy them.  But when a piece of music moves you, it forever links you to a time in your life, usually the first time you heard it.  Properly heard it, not it passed you by on the radio, there is a big difference.  When I listen to ‘Your Gorgeous’ by Babybird, I am trying to get out of a junction in Lincoln when I was visiting Glenn.  When I listen to ‘Tripping’ by Robbie Williams, I am reminded of the summer my first marriage failed, this song held me up through a hard time, but when I hear it now, it brings me nothing but joy.

When my iPod shuffles a Wet Wet Wet song through, I skip it, because instead of hearing my teenage years, I hear pain.  So I can’t listen to them.  I am leaving them behind me now.   So look around you, listen to music with a new ear, and ask yourself – do the things in your life lift you up, or bring you down.  If you feel in your gut something isn’t right, let it go.  Tidy it up, set yourself free, give yourself a birthday treat.  Whether it is your birthday or not.

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