Living on a Prayer Monday

Nostalgic Music Month Day 16

Monday- by Jon Hilton

It is a Monday morning and I feel like most people do on this day. The angst of another week of responsibility and the end of any free time for five more days.  This is the day most people move from doing what you want to do into doing what you have to do.  All of my life, this day has a bittersweet feeling to it. I am grateful to have things to do, but I am a free bird that likes the ability to do whatever I want.  In honor of this strange day that makes people love coffee and long for a vacation, today I am choosing Monday Songs as my musical choice today. Remember that you always have a choice, regardless of your current circumstances, to make the day what you want.

Taking Action Counts

Taking Action

Taking Action
Take Action, there is no telling what will happen, but you definitely know what will happen if you do nothing.

Many things have stopped people from taking action life.  There are dreams that people have wanted to chase that they thought about but left untested because taking action appeared just a little bit too scary or difficult.  The lesson learned was clearly that no matter what a person is dreaming of accomplishing or experiencing, it can only be realized through the implementation of action, to do the thing and see what happens.

Learning from Mistakes In Life

Learning From Mistakes Of Life

everyone makes mistakes
Mistakes help you learn.

Life is continually teaching each of us lessons, and we merely need to pay attention to the daily events we experience, our reactions to them and even the experience of others in our lives to learn something on any given day.  One of the things that I have noticed about myself and everyone I know is that we really don’t like to make mistakes. When we do, we beat ourselves up for them for days, years and in some cases for the rest of our lives.  It makes you start to wonder, why we are so afraid to make mistakes?  Are we born perfect knowing everything? Aren’t mistakes an inevitable part of growing and developing as a human being?  If you show me someone who has never made a mistake then I will show you someone who has never tried.  It makes me start to wonder why we are as a society so afraid to make mistakes.  When you look at our educational system, it is designed to celebrate the achievements of a select few, while the majority of students who may be the most creative thinkers and eventually the people who would change the world are held up and discouraged by this unrealistic expectation of our society to conform.  Be perfect or you are a failure.  Why are we so afraid to fail?

Wildfire on the Bayou

Day 15 Nostalgic Music Month

Creedence Clearwater Revival by Jon Hilton

Nostalgia is looking back at your life with fondness. Pulling out the memories you have and remembering the people, events, and things that mattered on your journey. Creedence Clearwater Revival and their music take me on a long visit to my past. Like most bands of significance, it is difficult to pick just a few songs because so many had an impact. From my childhood to my current life as a “middle-aged” person.  I go on a trip in every song, to the backwoods of Maine. To the college campus of the University of Maine at Farmington. To the memories of a young man doing his best to learn about life. The conclusion is still the same now as it was then, I still have a lot to learn.

Remember How to Play

Remember How To Play In Life

Playing Catch
Remembering the fun of play

Many years ago, I can remember being a kid and just wondering who was going to be available to play after school.  There were not many things that were more important to my elementary school self than what I would play, where I would play and who would be available to play with.  Growing up in the town of Greenville, Maine, Tuesdays were always a difficult day because the bulk of my colleagues were Catholic and they had to go to Catechism, which significantly cut into my options.  I often urged some of my friends to skip their religious instruction for a rousing game of kickball or football or anything outside that involved a game of some kind.

The Leaf Is So Simple

The Leaf Is So Simple

A leaf in Autumn 2
The leaf is so simple but full of memories

The leaf is so simple. I remember never being able to understand how a green leaf could change into so many different colors? Or why a tree would shed it’s most valuable skin? I always think back to my childhood when I recall memories. Probably because the best ones derived from innocence.

Jumping in Leaves

Everyone remembers jumping in the leaves. It’s priceless. You tend to forget year after year that those leaves do in fact have pointy stems. That is, until you get one in the eye. Or that they’re rather fragile the older they get and crumble making their way into your clothes causing you to become itchy.

Mrs. Robinson’s Cats in the Cradle

Nostalgic Music Month Day 14

Simon and Garfunkel by Jon Hilton

The songs of Simon and Garfunkel are what nostalgic music month is all about. When I look back over the entirety of my life, these are songs that have been along for the ride from the time I was 7 until today at 51. As I have grown and matured, so have the significance attached to each song. In high school, these songs were there. In college, it was the same. Even as I navigated the ever-shifting waters of adulthood, the music of Simon and Garfunkel has been there.  The difficult part for me is choosing just 5 songs that most impacted me throughout life.

The Indispensable Man

indispensable manA poem I used to read and recommend often and was struck today with how true it really is.

THE INDISPENSABLE MAN

By Saxon White Kessinger

Sometime, when you’re feeling important,

Sometime when your ego’s in bloom,

Sometime, when you take it for granted,

You’re the best qualified in the room.

Sometime when you feel that you’re going

Would leave and unfillable hole,

Just follow this simple instruction,

And see how it humbles your soul

Take a bucket and fill it with water,

Put your hand in it, up to your wrist;

Avoiding the Negative Media

Avoiding the Negative Media

news boycott
Stop watching the “News”, they lie.

It was about four years ago that I had simply had enough. No matter what was happening in the world it seemed the media had to spend its time spreading fear, unhappiness or promoting programs on their network of stations that even further spread fear and unhappiness.  Enough was enough and I tentatively started my own personal news boycott to avoid the negative media and their effects on me.

Operator, Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright

Day 13 – Nostalgic Music Month

Bob Marley- by Jon Hilton

One of my hidden talents in life is being one of the world’s preeminent dashboard musicians. That is, no matter where I travel, the time always goes faster, and is more memorable when you have good music to sing along with.  I have given performances lately on a nightly basis, and one of the artists that bring the most enjoyment is to sing along with the music of Bob Marley. The point of this project has been to celebrate the many ways that music has highlighted our lives. To rise above petty jealousy and foolishness and remember the happiness in life. The music of the late great Bob Marley always takes me to times and people who were golden in my memory.  Just thinking about writing this makes me smile and know that everything’s gonna be alright.

Love Stinks

When you fall in love, you sometimes don’t have control over your senses. You are prone to do unpredictable things and might be susceptible

Love Stinks
So Does the Music

to influences, you would never otherwise fall prey to.  Music can creep into your life, let me rephrase that, bad music can creep into your life at that point and leave an indelible mark on your memory.  One that will never truly go away no matter what you do.   I heard a song on the radio today, which brought this horrible phenomenon clearly into my thought, Billy Ocean singing his mid-eighties hit, “Suddenly”, and I realized that not only did I know every word, but I was getting a little emotional thinking about it.  Weird I thought, to hear music from so long ago,  I’m clearly being haunted by Billy Ocean.  Something clearly needed to be done. The video of the song Payphone below sums up my thoughts on love songs.

Learning from Failure

Make The Most of Your Failure

Learn from failure try again
Samuel Beckett

Sometimes it feels like we can never do anything right, that everything we do is inherently wrong and we have no clue what we are doing.  Most thinking people will feel this way at some point in their lives, it is just human nature.  Often as we try out new thoughts to see which ones are “keepers”, and which ones need to be thrown back, we will experience failure characterized as a mistake.   However it is important to understand that mistakes in life are not only inevitable, they are vital to our growth as people and professionals.  You will never experience genius in any field without first experiencing a few missteps along the way.

Round and Round In Your Eyes

Day 12 Nostalgic Music Month

Peter Gabriel by Jon Hilton

The college years in a person’s life are transitional as you move from the foolishness of youth into the “seriousness” of adulthood. You need to learn to balance the fun quotient of life with getting tasks completed.  The music of Peter Gabriel reminds me of my own struggles putting fun and work into proper perspective throughout my college years.

I was fortunate enough to attend two different institutions and earned a degree from both. However the lessons I learned in life there were far more valuable than any organized degree. Some of those lessons are here in the music of Peter Gabriel.

How Baseball Is Like Life

Baseball Is A Part Of Daily Life For Many People

baseball is like lifeI have often wondered why I have such a love for the game of baseball, it is sometimes long and the action sometimes is slow, but it continually comes back to me that so many aspects of the game are a direct representation of the way life is.  Life lessons are displayed daily on the baseball diamond, and we simply have to be paying attention to soak in the knowledge.   Following are some of those observations.How baseball is like lifeKeep your Head In the Game

The Loss

Loss of a loved one One of the things we all must deal with as we walk through the world is the loss of a loved one.  This loss can be sudden and swift or slow and painful but no matter how this loss occurs the pain of missing someone who is a light in your life is not lessened.  There really can be no words to describe the empty void that is left behind.  Inevitably life will continue as it must, and you will move on with your daily experiences because that is what we must eventually do.  But those activities will always be brushed by the thoughts of our loved ones that have passed away.

People are People In the Air Tonight

Day 11 Nostalgic Music Month

Phil Collins by Jon Hilton

1985 was an important year in my life, it was the year I graduated from high school and first left home to venture out into the world. The music of Phil Collins always takes me back to those times, when I was getting ready to leave high school and the first tentative, scary and exciting steps into life. Growth and change are a part of the living process and to move forward to find new things, old things have to be left in the past.  This music reminds me of some of the things I left behind but still carry pieces of around inside. Our lives are literally defined by the stories we tell, and these are the stories that Phil Collins brings back to me. Welcome to 1985!

Damariscotta Lions 1982

Sports As It Should Be

It is said that as we remember the events of our lives, what we really remember is only bits and pieces of the entire picture.  Our memories are colored by our own prejudices and experience, we basically remember what we want to remember, and it is not always the most accurate retelling of events.  I try to keep this in mind,  as I remember the summer of 1982 and playing Babe Ruth Baseball for the Damariscotta Lions.  It was one of the most purely fun events I ever participated in.

The More Things Change

Tragedy Strikes A Great Idea

An anonymous friend of mine agreed to cash in his 10-year-old stepdaughter’s change collection and start her first savings account.  I was informed of this decision and asked to participate in the endeavor.  Knowing that learning to save is a critical skill for anybody, and realizing that I lack that skill myself, I decided I would help get the project off the ground.

Born to Be Ironic

Nostalgic Music Month Day 10

Bruce Springsteen by Jon Hilton

It would be hard to think of nostalgia and music for me without including Bruce Springsteen. For many of the formative years of my life, the music of the E Street Band punctuated the activities and defined many of the moments.  Even though I have never raced cars in the streets, or even been to Atlantic City, there is a message in the music that a kid from Maine could definitely relate to and find comfort in. Growing up, I listened to Bruce as I fell asleep many nights, to the dismay of my brother who I shared a room with. The people I shared these times with are very special to me and always will be.

Isn’t It Ironic? Don’t Cha Think?

 

 Isn’t it Ironic? Bad Luck is Not Necessarily Ironic

Isn’t it ironic? I am sure that I am not the first person to take issue with Alanis Morrisette and her song Ironic.  But I heard it today and have to point out once and for all, the many examples she provided of things that weren’t ironic at all.  

Alanis Morrisette Ironic
Alanis Thinking about irony,

I hope that by pointing these out in detail, people will understand what irony really is, and may be able to identify it in their own lives.

Isn’t it Ironic

Let’s start with the definition of irony-