Day 58. Your therapist in a song.

“Cool Change” – Little River Band

little-river-band-cool-change-capitol-9Stress. Stress! S-T-R-E-S-S.

Sound familiar? I don’t think any of us are immune. Except me, obviously. I never get stressed. What do you mean “what about that facial tic”? I’m completely calm. I don’t have a facial tic! Everything is under control.

Okay, maybe even I am not immune. I’m generally a pretty “go-with-the-flow” kind of guy, but there are times when things keep piling up on me and I feel it.

The end of my Senior year of college was like that. There was the course load, which included two multi-term major projects that were required for graduation. And my job. (A workstudy job, which was only ten hours a week, but still part of the pig pile.) Student government. The tail end of my stint with the student newspaper. And because of the economy at the time, the looming reality of “the real world” but no looming likelihood of “a real job.”

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In short, I had a lot on my plate. I was busy and I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep.

My schedule was such that, between eating lunch and going to the office for work, I had about 40 minutes of actual free time each day. So I used that time like any sane, busy person with lots going on would.

I napped.

That’s when I discovered just how refreshing a 20 minute nap could be. During these naps, I would put on some music. For some reason, the choices tended to be either Paul McCartney’s Tripping the Live Fantastic – Highlights! or Little River Band’s Greatest Hits (the original version, before they remastered it and added a whole bunch of songs). The latter ended with “Cool Change.”

The song, in general, talks about loving the water (which I do), spending time sailing (which I don’t) and needing a change (as you might expect from the title). The chorus goes like this:

Time for a cool change
I know that it’s time for a cool change
Now that my life is so prearranged
I know that it’s time for a cool change”

Between the water imagery, my schedule, and my own need for change, I felt a connection with the song. Somehow, listening to it and visualizing the relaxed atmosphere of the ocean allowed me to decompress, if even for only a short while. It just made me feel better.

For me, therapy isn’t about advice, or what the therapist thinks, it’s about identifying a problem, and talking and/or working your way through until you determine how to mitigate it. In my opinion, the best therapists are nothing more than sounding boards, who might interject a little something to get you to the solution, but ultimately, it needs to be your own solution. The “therapist,” then, could be an actual therapist, a friend, a place, or a song. “Cool Change” fit the bill for the situation I was in at that time.

I still listen to it if I’m feeling stressed or if my schedule seems a bit too “prearranged.” I expect I’ll need “Cool Change” a lot this year, actually. I once again have a lot going on.

Either that, or that tic is just going to get worse.