I had a spectacularly AWFUL day at work yesterday. It was one of those days where relief only came from curling up in a ball under the doona with the heating on, chocolate, the dog and several bottles of wine.
It didn’t help that I’d run out of my anxiety meds and so was ill-equipped to deal with Kurt, who was already drawing on all my inner strength not to lose the fucking parenting plot well before 7.30am. And as the day progressed, so the problems compounded until my blood pressure began to seriously escalate.
Sometimes I think I’m too old to deal with this shit.
Around 3pm, about the same time I decided I was on the verge of a stress-induced heart attack and had seriously considered turning my car towards the airport, Smooth FM pulled out its magic and played some Barbra.
And for three life-saving minutes, all was suddenly forgotten and forgiven.
I realize that it ages me horribly to admit to being a Barbra Streisand fan – but if it helps my cause, I’m also quite partial to a bit of Greenday when I’ve had a drink or two.
I’ve loved Barbra Streisand since I was a teenager. While all my mates were going through their eighties Brit Pop phase and pretending to be super-cool, I was slow-dancing with my hairbrush to “Memories” and “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, surreptitiously in my bedroom.
‘Guilty’, the album that Babs made with the Bee Gees, holds so many mixed memories for me of the period just after my mum passed when I was a crazy, mixed-up and seriously emotionally retarded teenager, in search of the answers to life and love.
As soon as my dad went out in the evening, I’d crank Barb up on the stereo and swan around the sitting room using the tv remote as my microphone and pretend I could identify with the emotions Barbra crooned about so beautifully, even though I hadn’t experienced anything yet.
When Barbra came on in my car yesterday, my body relaxed instinctively, and I was transported back to a better place, when I didn’t have to work and help pay for bills and nothing mattered because I was young, naïve, immortal and still desperate to fall in love.
Music has the power to heal. To this day I have a very eclectic taste in music and different tunes transport me to different places in my life, but bizarrely sad songs resonate and uplift me.
On a truly shit day like yesterday, those tunes remind me that things aren’t really that bad, that life is short, tomorrow is another day and all those other inspirational cliches, but most importantly, that it won’t be my work colleagues around my death bed.