Thursday, March 23, 2017

Slice of Life Story Challenge - Theme Songs for Right Now or Life

It's the March Slice of Life Story Challenge at Two Writing Teachers!

Image result for life theme songs

     I'm listening to the audio of Two Turns from Zero by Stacey Griffith, and finding lots of ideas for Slices of Life in this motivational book.  One of the things she talks about is how music can influence your motivation, mood, and life.  She brings up the idea of life theme songs.  They can be songs that define your life or just how you're feeling right now.  I loved thinking about that and thought it would be a fun topic for a Slice of Life.  I also wanted to know what my friends' and family's theme songs were.  I got lost in YouTube videos and song lyrics last evening, enjoying what they revealed about us.   I'll start with my best friends...

Karan - Karan and I have known each other since grade school.  We graduated from the same high school together and both ended up going to Miami University, rooming together our freshman and senior years.  She is an eternal optimist, but she also has a lot going on in her life.  We call her "The Project Queen". She chose Walking on Sunshine as her life theme song, but this Jackson Browne title as her "right now" song:

Jill - I met Jill my senior year of college when Karan asked her to be our 4th roommate in our first off-campus house. She's from Cleveland, but we ended up living in Lebanon, OH (Karan, too - Jill and Karan lived in the same neighborhood) for many years, and now we live in the same condo community!  Jill is a single mom, and she and her daughter, Ellie, are very close and have always had this Kelly Clarkson title as their theme song:

Lisa - Lisa was a friend from grade school along with Karan, also went to Miami University, and lived with us senior year. Lisa chose all country songs which focus around the ideas of hometowns, living the simple life, and being thankful for who you are and what you have.  Her titles include Jake Owens's Real Life, Kenny Chesney's American Kids, and Zak Brown Band's Homegrown.  Her life theme song, though is "Unanswered Prayers" by Garth Brooks:

Annie -  Annie and I met and college as Resident Assistants in the same dorm.  We became close friends, and even though she lives in State College, PA, we try to see each other four to five times a year. We have so much fun when we get together, and she is always full of optimism. She was very definitive about her song, and it totally captures her:

Megan - Megan is a former colleague and close friend. She and I do a lot of presenting together at literacy conferences. She chose a "right now" song because she is preparing for the state tests with her students,  vacationing with family, and interviewing for a new job - all making her stressed!  We both laughed about the video, though - she's adding a disclaimer that she's not quite at Billy Joel's level of "under pressure" yet. Ha!

Julie - she was my neighbor at our former house, and we became good friends throughout the years.  She is one of my Bachelor/Bachelorette friends. She responded quickly, too, and picked Brad Paisley's "Today".  I knew whatever it was, it was going to be country.  We share a love of country music!  I thought this was a perfect song for her. Get some tissues because this video is a tearjerker! 

Now on to my family's songs...

Libby - my oldest daughter.  She and Jamie have been married a year and a half. She picked two very different songs. She and Ed are alike in that they have very eclectic tastes in music!  When she was a young girl she would listen to Anne Murray one night, Macy Gray another, and Brittany Spears the next. She also loved country.  When she was older, her CD mixes were very interesting...right, Lib? Now she likes a ton of different things. One of her theme songs is "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga. Here is the other:

Jamie - Libby's husband.  He and Libby met at Miami University.  One of my favorite parts of his twin brother's toast to Jamie and Libby at their wedding is explaining when he knew Libby might be somebody important.  After they had been dating for a bit, Jeffrey got in the car, and there was one of Libby's CDs playing.  I think it was country music. He responded by saying, "Hey, that's not our music."  Ha.  Jamie chose this one as a "right now" song because he is currently into classical/instrumental music.

Ed - my husband.  He has an almost comical diverse playlist of songs.  He likes everything from heavy metal, to rap, to contemporary Christian music, to country.  When I met him in college, he was the one who made me a Bruce Springsteen fan, and one of our first dates was a Billy Joel concert. He's always kept current with music, and even introduces our daughters to songs first that later become popular. The song that first came to him was the following one, but he had also listened to Eminem's "Till I Collapse" three times yesterday.  See what I mean?

Katie is having a hard time picking hers, but we have a funny story from when she was a young girl.  We had been talking about what songs we would pick for our future funerals (I know - we have these kinds of conversations), and she didn't even hesitate with her answer:  "If You're Going Through Hell" by Rodney Atkins.  Katie has always had a great sense of humor!

And that brings us to me.  There are so many songs to choose from!  I chose three. My "right now" song is Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop That Feeling".  It's a song played at Cyclebar often, and it just makes me feel happy.  Once I think of or hear the song, I can't get it out of my mind!  I haven't seen "Trolls" yet - I need to.  I'm in a good and happy place (most of the time - ha) in life right now, so this one represents my present being well.

I've had memorable "right now" songs in the past:  Amy Grant's "Thy Word", Michael W. Smith's "Friends",  "You've Got a Friend" by James Taylor (our wedding song), Alabama's "Dixieland Delight", "The Dance" by Garth Brooks, anything by Prince because I loved him, "Praise You in the Storm" by Casting Crowns, "Thunder Road", "No Surrender", and "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen, My Wish by Rascal Flatts, Don McLean's iconic "American Pie", and "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" by Billy Joel. I even have my funeral songs picked out: "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton and "I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe. Choosing life theme songs is harder, but I think I've decided (at least for now).  I've seen Bruce Springsteen in concert 6 or 7 times, and they were all awesome.  However, my favorite one was "The Rising" tour when I saw him in 2003 at the PNC Park in Pittsburgh.  PNC Park was brand new, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band was the first musical act to play there.  Ed and I went with good friends on that August night, the weather was perfect, and we danced all night.  This song makes me think of my optimism and faith, knowing that if things get hard, they will always get better - especially if you have someone by your side. It speaks of sorrow, hope, and love. And it's also really fun to watch this video!

My second one is from one of my favorite movies, so I've listened to it again and again, I had to pick it.  This one represents my life with Ed.

This was a fun Slice of Life to write.  What are your life or "right now" theme songs?


  1. What a great snapshot of all of your people! I would love to do this with my girlfriends.

  2. This is such a great idea for a slice! Definitely borrowing this as a mentor text!

  3. I'm sobbing through some of these songs!! Brilliant idea!!! Thank you. I may steal this one!

  4. I love this idea! I've thought about a post like this before, but it never came together. I think you've motivated me to try again. Thanks for sharing!

  5. What an amazing slice!! I am really in awe of all the friends and family who could so quickly choose a theme song for themselves. I would need to reflect on that for awhile.
    My initial thought is my song might be "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack. I have a long car ride ahead of me; I'm going to give this some serious thought. Thanks for the motivation! ;)

  6. The thread of music through our lives is reflected here in your post. Way to go!

  7. I'm so impressed with your friends and family for contributing like this! I'd have to take some time to come up with the right song for right now and for my life, though I've always though John Denver's "Sweet Surrender" is the song for people in their twenties.