Toys and clutter spread out across my living room floor. Stress and anxiety filled my chest. I picked up my new AirPods and placed them into my ears. I hit shuffle play on my iPhone and slowly reclined onto the floor. Within seconds of music bouncing around inside my ears, I was at peace.
I wanted AirPods to help me with my running. Since I started running, I’ve struggled with boredom as each step seemed more monotonous than the previous one. I tried using earbuds, but they kept slipping out. Receiving AirPods helped my exercise routine to last longer and be more enjoyable. On this day, they brought much-needed enjoyment to a stressful day.
Music was always a big part of my life. My older cousin introduced me to punk when I was in first grade and while kids in school were singing Mary Had a Little Lamb, I was shouting lyrics about beating a brat with a baseball bat. As I grew older, my tastes widened into enjoying everything from Public Enemy to hair metal bands and Guns in Roses to country musicians like George Strait. My tastes were wide and inclusive. And then Kurt Cobain’s voice hit me in the stomach and Nirvana spoke to me in ways I didn’t know were possible.
During my early parenting days, I played the music of my youth and listened to newer artists. But I let life’s busyness take over and began using music as background noise while completing tasks. I sang along and danced to the music, but stopped feeling it. With my AirPods in place while resting on the floor, I felt the music again.
Being still gave me the opportunity to relax with my playlists. My iPhone shuffled through the music of my youth and journeyed to the Hamilton Soundtrack and into Folklore, Taylor Swift’s latest. I’ve never used music for self-care, but on the floor and surrounded by playtime’s offerings, I was still and at peace.
Disclaimer: I have partnered with Apple for this post. The story I told did in fact take place in my living room and all the words are my own.
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