Category Archives: Music

Music makes my heart happy

Okay. So it seems I’m not on my computer as frequently as I would like to blog (I keep it upstairs in my bedroom) so I’m gonna try blogging from my phone when the mood strikes. Which is surprisingly and nerdly (making up words here) often.

What I want to share about today is music. Music has always been very important to me. I have a sort of eclectic mix of what I like, mainly because I don’t care to just listen to something because other people say it’s good. If it makes me feel something good inside, it’s a winner in my book. When I lost my hearing I lost what I had with music, and that was devastating, but they tell me my brain can learn to appreciate music again, with time and practice. Right now it all just sounds weird and mechanical, but they said if I listen to familiar music, stuff my brain would remember, it would get better over time. Problem is, I have trouble remembering what I used to listen to.

Enter The Office. I’ve been rewatching the show on Netflix cuz I loved it when it originally aired. Still makes me laugh out loud. One character on the show, Andy Bernard, will occasionally start singing songs that were semi-popular at the time. In one episode he was singing a song by the Indigo Girls and I recognized it immediately. Yes!! I had forgotten them but I remember I had a cassette tape I used to listen to on long road trips to see friends, or my drives to work at the Pizza Hut two towns over.

This didn’t bring back a flood of music memories, but it was at least a key to the particular time period that I knew held lots of my formerly favorite music. So, I started a Pandora station with the Indigo Girls and over the last few days I have been spending a little bit of time each day building the perfect station for retraining my brain with my very own personalized “oldies”.

So far it seems to be working, and I’m having fun singing along to all these songs I forgot I knew.

In other news, the kids had a show day today so they are hanging out with me at home. And it’s sunny outside, so the sun just dances off the blanket of snow outside. I love this season!

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Cherishing the silence

I’m finding that I do my best thinking when my “ears” are off (my cochlear implant processors). Even at night, when the house is quiet. It’s just a whole different kind of quiet, because all I hear is the low ringing tones of tinnitus and absolutely nothing else. You probably don’t realize there is noise to be heard, but just try plugging your ears for a few seconds and you’ll see what I mean. There’s a word for that noise but I can’t think of it at the moment. Ambient maybe?

What’s funny about me enjoying this silent existence is that it used to terrify me. So much so, that I needed medication just to sleep at night. But 4 years of deafness and now I welcome the silence. It’s helpful to retreat into myself, to focus my thoughts, but mostly I embrace it because it’s now my favorite time to talk to Jesus. He meets me here in the silence. He was here with me every day while I wrestled with hearing loss and vision loss back in 2013, and he’s never left me since. I don’t share this info often, but there was a song I used to sing during that time, over and over and over mostly in my head, and it brought me peace and comfort when not much else did. I’ll post the lyrics below because you might see how unbelievably appropriate it was for what I was going through. The interesting thing about it, no – miraculous – is that prior to losing my hearing, I had only heard that song one time that I can recall. It was in a movie that I watched once years ago. How on earth could I have remembered that song? Only God knows. But boy, did that song ever save me from a really ugly and scary time in my life, and I believe it will now forever be my theme song.

Losing my hearing and vision was an enormous life changer for me, for obvious reasons, but God has used it all to bring about incredibly wonderful changes. The biggest change, and the one I am most grateful for, is that it solidified my faith in Jesus. He showed me through that song, through the support we received from family and friends, through Scripture, through the fact that we survived it all, that He will never leave me.

So. When I’m settling in for the night and am taking off my ears and entering the silence, I am delighted to talk to Him. He is my peace, forever and always, amen.

Jesus, Lover of my Soul

Jesus, lover of my soul

Jesus, I will never let you go

You’ve taken me from the miry clay

Set my feet upon the rock, and now I know

I love you, I need you

Though my world may fall, I’ll never let you go

My Savior, my closest friend

I will worship you until the very end

Oh, the days

There are some days that I feel the need to  emotionally crawl back into my safe little cave. I kind of know why this happens ever so often, and I know it always passes eventually, so I’m not worried about it. I am thankful on days like these that I’m not responsible for anything urgent or super-important. Not exactly. My responsibilities involve feeding the people and keeping things clean-ish and supplies stocked. I generally give those responsibilities my 100% effort, but I’m sure we would all survive even if I gave half that.  So on days like these when I can only muster 70%, we’re doing just fine. I’m not sure anyone will even notice. In fact, when it means processed, frozen burritos for dinner instead of my homemade beef stew, the kids are actually thankful for my slacker status. They love those burritos.

My 5k race is coming up in three whole days! I don’t think I’m nervous. It’s my first race ever, so I don’t have many expectations. If I finish on my feet I’ll be happy. I heard a song awhile back come up on my Pandora station and while it’s not the best tempo for running, the lyrics gave me some motivation. Don’t judge; it was a song by Eminem. I’m trying to hit “like” on songs that sound good to my new ears, and my musical tastes have changed quite drastically. Everything just sounds so different to me now. So I guess New Mindy enjoys some Eminem and can tolerate the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anyhoo, the song that caught my ears is called “Till I Collapse”, and after reading the lyrics online, I can honestly apply a lot of the sentiment to my philosophy on this running thing. Of course Mr. Mathers was surely rapping about something else entirely, but the nice thing about music is you can make it what you want. What it means to you is just that – what it means to you. Here is the chorus to the song:

“‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak
And when you feel weak you feel like you want to just give up
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that **** out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you want to just fall flat on your face and collapse”

What’s kind of funny to me is that the fear that kept me from running at first was the fear of falling flat on my face. And if I do, I do. Whatever. In the song he talks about inner strength, but my strength does not come from within. My strength comes from God. He gives me the strength I need, when I need it. So when I feel like quitting, that is where I turn.  I will look to my Savior to keep me going. He has never failed me, never left my side, and together we will run this race!

Getting back to it

I’m back! The illness is gone. We have recovered. We all came through unscathed; my husband and the dog both managed to avoid it altogether (I do hope I’m not jinxing my husband by saying this).

I got back to working on the book I’m writing. I gave myself a deadline of 12/31/15, which is quite aggressive I know, but I also know I have to do such things to keep me from giving up altogether. Deadlines motivate, y’all. The book is a memoir of sorts, so it’s not a cut and dried process. I understand this, and know full well that I may not have a rough draft by my deadline, but progress is progress. Phleh.

I had a thought today (while in the shower… all my favorite ideas come to me while I’m washing my hair) that maybe I will start blogging every day. That sounds like another aggressive goal, doesn’t it? Well, I’m not talking about writing good stuff every day. Just every day, I will plan to share my favorite thought or event from that day. I use the term “event” loosely, as it could be as lame as “the dog didn’t piss me off today, and here’s why…” To make this daily occurrence even more exciting for you loyal readers, I would give it a snarky name, like The Daily Snippet. Or to be more true to how it will likely end up, The Sometimes Daily Snippet. What do you think? Wanna play along? Some days you may be totally bored with it, and others I may just get lucky and strike a funny bone. You just never know, you know? Sounds exciting, right? Let’s start here…

Today’s Daily Snippet:
I love Pandora. It plays the old stuff, the stuff I remember, pre-hearing loss. The songs and rhythms that are familiar to me are the only types of music I can enjoy at this point, with my cochlear implants. I’m told it will get better with time, and to just be patient. Listening to familiar songs is supposed to help. Thank you Pandora, for helping my brain re-learn how to hear and enjoy music. And thank you Beck, for being your funky cool self 🙂

Also notable today, I did some rearranging around the house and that always makes me feel happy. Helps me forget all the evil going on the world right now, if only for a moment.

Hug your loved ones today, and every day. Peace out!

Bilateral hearing rocks!

This is exciting news. I didn’t know what to expect with the second cochlear implant, but I was told it’s different for everyone, and that quite a lot is possible. I had zero hope of ever hearing pitches normally again.
But guess what happened tonight? I was talking with my husband, telling him good night, and when I got to the bathroom to brush my teeth I looked at my reflection in the mirror and it occurred to me that I had just been hearing my own voice. MY VOICE. Which I hadn’t heard in almost two years. And you know what? I think I’ve been hearing real voices all day! It’s as if some thing in my brain just clicked. I’m so excited to hear more tomorrow, when I will actually be paying attention. To my son’s voice. To my daughter’s voice. And I’ll be hearing what they hear. Right?
I’m just in shock, I can’t find the words. I’m listening to my old ipod, with my favorite songs from before when I was a hearing person. Tool, Cibo Matto, Rusted Root, Over the Rhine, while still quite tinny, the notes are all there. The notes I remember. In my ears. And I’m not sleeping. This isn’t just in my dreams. It’s as good as real.
No words here. Just tears of joy. Indescribable joy.

CIs and pitch differences

My son has been humming a song by Fall Out Boy for the last week or so (called ‘Centuries’ I believe), and to my ears it sounds just like a song I used to hear on the radio when I was in high school. I couldn’t remember what it was called, but I kept humming it for Luke to ask him if it was the same as his song. Well, he couldn’t really tell me one way or the other, so we decided to look it up online. A quick internet search of “do do do do dododo 90’s” brought us to Tom’s Diner by Suzanne Vega, and I knew as soon as saw the title that it was the one. I let Luke listen to it (as I sat nearby, reminiscing), and he confirmed that the beat was the same, but the melody was not. So it’s mainly the pitches that are entirely different. Luke and I both agreed it was rather interesting, somewhat amusing, that to my CI ears, his song sounded just like my song. Interesting, indeed.