Times change. Habits change.
For instance, it wasn’t long ago that you all about hitting the bottle (of milk) when you woke up in the morning and before you collapsed into the crib at night. Now, I can’t even get you to take a swig from your sip cup on either end of the day.
C’est la vie; such is life.
The wild thing about habits is that it’s difficult to even imagine what life was like before you found the ones you’re currently attached to. In reality, we have the power to break out of our routines and/or ruts at any time … we just need a little push.
Case in point for your Dad: Listening habits. It’s easier than ever to pop in some earbuds and go into your own little world. There’s literally never been more to listen to, from music to podcasts. (That includes the Do-Goodery Podcast Featuring Rocco DeMaro!)
But somehow, despite all this choice, I fall into the rut of listening to the same handful of podcasts all … the … time. I don’t know if it’s the comfort of familiarity, or if I just really enjoy the content, but not only have I lost my curiosity for other shows, I’ve also completely ignored music for several months.
As I hopped on the treadmill earlier this week on a particularly sluggish afternoon, I finally snapped out of it. I needed something to give me a lift.
Hey, music exists! Let’s try that. Oh yeah, that really works.
The boost in energy and mood I felt from just playing a random selection from my iPhone should be illegal. How have I been mindlessly shunning the almost magical benefits of music? Chalk it up to mindless habits.
My lyrical week picked up steam last night, when I stumbled upon my old fifth generation iPod — straight outta 2006! — in a bedside drawer and immediately charged it back up. Talk about a dopamine rush. (That means it felt good, Tyke.)
Being the curious boy I am, I immediately went searching for the proof that music just makes life better.
Turns out there’s plenty of evidence. Not only does music make exercise easier, it also has been shown to improve brain function, too, on top of making most of us feel better about ourselves … even when we’re drowning in sad songs! And that’s without even mentioning that music can supercharge memory in Alzheimer’s sufferers, so just imagine the transporting, time-machine qualities that hearing a familiar song can have.
Tune and tone are miracles, as I can vouch for right now as the words effortlessly flow off my fingertips while I dig through my musical library of yesteryear. A little selection from Stefani Germanotta’s coming-out years just carried me through the last several paragraphs.
I want your love and /
I want your revenge /
You and me could write a bad romance
(We’re onto Skrillex, Anberlin and Eminem next. Shuffle mode is a wonderful, mysterious thing when your tastes are obnoxiously eclectic.)
I’m not done with listening to podcasts or talk radio, mind you. I’ve learned so much from simply listening to others talk, and I get a simply joy from imagining my responses if I were part of the conversation. Yeah, sometimes I even talk back, like a complete nerd.
I hope I don’t fall off the music wagon again, though. It’s almost always been a positive in my life and there’s nothing that makes a day pass more pleasantly than having a catchy melody playing between my ears.
Luckily, you keep reminding me how important music is to the human experience, like when you dance and spin on the living room rug to the opening theme from Jeopardy! — v. cute — or insist we put your Praise Babies DVDs in the player for the 79th consecutive day. Not that I’ve been counting.
As Trent Reznor and the boys play me off the stage, I’ll leave you with this: Your left brain might run the show, but your right brain provides the fuel.
Calories burned: 940
Minutes exercised: 47
Hours stood: 13
Steps taken: 11,229
Activity: Three-mile outdoor run — it was 51 degrees!
(Semicolon Count: 1)