Recently, there was a game on Facebook that I chose to play. The idea was to look up the number-one song from the week you were born and then find it on YouTube and post the video as your status update. I couldn’t wait to find out what my song was! I figured it would be a super cool song – either by the Beatles or some other classic artist that stirred my soul.
But it wasn’t. The number-one song on February 2, 1969 was “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and the Shondells. Not that it’s a bad song. But I never really cared for it. In fact, through the years, if I heard it on the radio I almost always changed the station.
So I posted it on Facebook and unenthusiastically claimed it as my song. Then I figured I might as well listen to it, in full, since I was putting it out there and sharing it with my peeps.
When I hit the “play” button, something inside of me shifted. For the first time ever, I closed my eyes and fully let this tune in.
I took a deep and purposeful breath and envisioned my 18 and 19 year-old parents, kids themselves, holding me for the first time.
I imagined feeling what it might have been like to be them in the late 60’s. An independent Jewish girl who marched to the beat of her own drum. And a quiet Lutheran athlete ready to try out college. Both barely out of high school in an unconventional relationship.
As the song played on, I let myself get lost in the melody. I felt such love and respect for those kids who became my parents, and for the first time, it seems that I fully “saw” them. I started loving the song, too. I turned up the volume and let it take me away. I had goosebumps.
And then I started to sob.
Accepting what is
In a matter of moments and with this song as the catalyst, I went from fighting “what is” to accepting and honoring who I am and my place in the world.
It was just another reminder of how challenging it is to go against the flow of life. I initially wanted a different song that I thought was “cool.” But the reality was that this was the song that was number-one when I was born. Plain and simple. I couldn’t skew the facts or alter the Billboard charts. Letting this song in, in its entirety, represented me loving and embracing what is – all the way back to the very beginning. Pretty cool experience.
Just yesterday I had a conversation with a client about living a life that is more ‘congruent’ with who she is. I explained the importance of not only striving for something better…but of also holding the truth of ‘what is.’ We are all free to create any type of life we want for ourselves but not until we accept what is, first. The path to joy is clear, only when you appreciate where you’ve been and fully allow yourself to be all of who you are.
Today is my birthday! I’m proud to say that Tommy James and the Shondells topped the charts the week Michelle Joy came into the world. I’m smiling thinking of my dear parents who chose to have ME as their very own.
My day today will start out with an individual call to each of them (if they don’t beat me to it!) with a message of appreciation and gratitude.
Lucky me to have the beautiful and blessed life that I do. I’ve always said that I’d never change a thing, because each step along the way has shaped me into the adult woman, rich with purpose, that I am today.
I keep this quote by Sarah Pound close to my heart, and it especially speaks to me on this important day:
“When you were born, God said ‘YES!’”
Amen. Now it’s time for me to go out and celebrate!
Please enjoy the song below that was a part of the soundtrack to my mom and dad’s life the week I was born. It really is a great song.
As you’re listening, you’ll get to take a peek at the life of a young Minneapolis family establishing their place in the world in 1969. Cheers! :)