Reach New Heights

There are times when I see myself behaving a certain way—childish, bossy, entitled—and I don’t like what I see. Or I hear my tone—in an email, or making a remark to my husband—and I don’t like what I hear. A little voice pipes up inside my head, saying, “This isn’t you! Why are you being so bitchy?”

Blame it on moodiness. We are all affected to some degree by our moods, women probably more than men. I know for a fact my husband hardly ever gets in a bad mood. Sometimes he irritates me because he’s in such a good mood all the time—grrr—whereas I probably succumb to a bad mood at least once a week. The worst thing is I can feel it happening, but it’s so hard to stop it.

I know. I should just accept this part of who I am and not beat myself up about it. I guess ideally when I feel a bad mood setting in, the best thing to do is to keep away from people, especially my loved ones. But that’s not always easy to do when you share the same living or work space.

One way to brighten my mood is to listen to uplifting music. It’s kind of hard to feel grouchy when you’re listing to Bossa Nova with its upbeat, Latino rhythms. Music takes us out of ourselves and gives us something to think about besides the real and imagined imperfections in our lives. Music can lift us out of bad moods and actually inspire us to reach new heights.

In this month’s cover story, we meet three local women who lift up others through the healing power of music and art. Their stories also serve to remind us how helping other people makes us feel better about ourselves and life in general.

Here’s an idea. Plan an outing to hear some live music with a friend or your significant other. Choose music a little outside your comfort zone and immerse yourself in it. If you have kids, introduce them to the world of music.

In the next few months, dozens of amazing performances will be taking place here in Tidewater. Virginia Arts Festival is bringing a variety of concerts and shows to area venues. Our extraordinary local arts organizations also continue to share their talents with audiences.

And listening to live music doesn’t have to be expensive. Local universities regularly offer free or low-cost concerts. Check out Tidewater Women’s calendar for what’s coming up this month.

So the next time you feel a bad mood creeping up, turn on the radio and find some music that lifts your heart. Remember that switch I’ve been writing about? The one you have the power to flick up or down? Well, flick that switch from grouchy to happy. Try to be thankful for every day you have on this planet. Spending even one minute in a bad mood is a waste. Life is precious. Embrace it.

Love, Peggy

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Peggy Sijswerda

Tidewater Women Magazine, Editor & Co-Publisher.

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