Friday, February 19, 2010

Memories and triggers...

As I get older I realize that no matter how different people may seem to each other, that no matter what your race, religion or opinions are and that no matter where you live we all share some things in common. Two of them are: the want to be accepted for who we are and more importantly the common drive to be truly happy. There is a third thing we all share, and that is MEMORIES.

Memories of good and bad, past people and places, and the roads you took to get you where you are today. There are certain things that trigger these memories for you--maybe it's the smell of your mom's homebaked apple pie that reminds you of her, or the scent that your dad had over him after changing the oil on your car. It could be a certain color that reminds you of the dress you wore at prom. Or possibly the memories start to flow as you look through old yearbooks or photographs of times gone by. Ot nowadays maybe it's the excitement you get re-connecting with past friends on Facebook or other social media.

I have three memory triggers. The first is aromas. I talk alot about them in my book "Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosecxual Male, Lessons Learned from the Faire Sex." The ones that "get to me" the most often are best quoted from my book, "The smells of Wisconsin which always filled the air start with fresh cut green grass, the charcoal scents of a hamburger cooked on an open campfire, and the brackish seaweed that lay on the beaches in the early morning...I hated the taste of mint, but loved the smell, so I would take the sprig out of my glass of lemonade and put it in my pocket so I could enjoy it later...Whenever the snell of rain came to the air--you know the smell--we would wait excitedly for the storm to hit. As soon as it did, there were the two of us out dancing in the downpour. Nana told me, 'Rain is the cleansing agent God sends to wipe away your sins.'

The second trigger surprisingly enough is sleep. People say I have a photographic memory, I don't forget a thing. Well I can "program" my mind before I go to sleep and whatever I set it for, comes alive once again. It's like I have a TIVO in my head.

Finally the third and most used trigger is music. My ten-year-old son always jokes with me saying, "Dad, what's wrong with you? You can remember every song lyric ever made in the 70's, but you can't remember what we had for dinner last night." I explain that certain music takes me back to when I was younger and that he'd understand some day.

From my earliest memory music was there for me. My grandfather would listen to old country music on a small portable transistor radio and that became my favorite music back when I was 4 and 5. Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn were my favorites...but it also landed me the label of strange. Once school started I was able to change my listening to easy going music, the Temptations singing Up, Up and Away brings back fond memeories of Jenna and first grade. As I continued to grow, each memorable occassion had a song attached to it. Jim Croce, Billy Joel, Air Supply and finally Rod Stewart all have special places in my mind and in my book. Disco music really comes to mind as I learned who the "real me" was going to be.

So you see, memory triggers are all around you...learn to use them and to relax and enjoy the moment. The world we live in today is so fast and complicated that we tend to forget how easygoing and carefree life used to be, and should be again.

There is one song that brings this all together for me. I hope you enjoy this version of Jim Croce's Time In A Bottle.

Why not leave me some of your memory triggers?

Till Next week,


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