Of the many dangers and downsides of modern technology, one simple plus is being able to listen to your favorite music while you exercise. Whether you’re jogging, working a treadmill, in a Zumba class, or doing push-ups, with a tiny wire to your ear and the push of a button you can listen on demand to the best artists in the world sing or perform the best tunes ever composed all in high-fidelity reproduction, with less static interruption than if you were watching live in concert.
Because of technology, we get to choose our electronic soundtrack for whatever activity we’re engaged in; they couldn’t do this in the old days. A soundtrack gives meaning and significance to our workout. It inspires us and spurs us on to push harder. It reminds us that working out is more than just pain and sweat but affords health and well-being; exercise has a greater purpose than just the grunts and groans. Soundtracks lend higher meaning to otherwise ordinary, routine activities.
The holiday season is a soundtrack. Throughout December, work goes on, we’re still putting food on the table, paying bills, navigating our way through this pandemic, synthesizing news bites ,etc. but holiday activities – decorating the house, putting up Christmas lights, turning on holiday tunes – give a spin to these mundane goings-on. Celebrating the holidays – however you do it – is a way of saying: there’s more to life than just going through the motions. Life matters. How we see life matters. Finding meaning in life matters. Depending on your soundtrack, you are giving a message to yourself and those around you of your perspective on life.
Here are a selection of soundtracks I’ve heard around this time of year:
• Life is too hard – make the most of any breaks from it you can get.
• Eat, drink, and be merry because we don’t know what tomorrow brings.
• Life is worth living – live it up!
• If I work hard enough [think: buy enough gifts], maybe I can keep up with my friends and family.
• Life is about survival – I’m doing my best.
• The real joy of life is what you can give away.
• Love has entered the world and we can all partake of it.
• Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
So what’s your soundtrack? What do your holiday celebrations say about life? What’s your spin? It’s worth considering. Whether you are aware of it or not, what you do, how you celebrate, the holiday activities you engage in all speak volumes about your soundtrack.
So choose your soundtrack carefully. And if you’re not sure which soundtrack is yours, think about what you do and how you do it this time of year. And listen carefully.