Classical Music Takes the Edge Off and Listening to Yourself Pays Off

7 Dec


For the past three weeks I have been riding a happy wave. I got three job offers, I picked the best one, (the one that felt right and had the most potential). I collaborated with Seton Hall University, bothering the heck out of them to update the transcript earlier than usual, as I needed the credits for my new district. The new district has agreed to wait in order to put me on a higher salary step (from BA to BA+30 credits). The board meeting is on the 17th, and the transcript was updated yesterday. Now that’s cuttin’ it close 🙂

But that wasn’t the only thing why I went with B. Township job instead of Paterson and Plainfield. I really listened to myself. Of course, I also analyzed every little detail. But I also listened to myself, to my being, to my body. When I imagined myself working at Paterson, for example, I felt uneasy, worried, tired, and anxious. When I thought of Plainfield, same thing. But when I thought of working in B. Township, I felt expanded, excited, content, confident, special, sought-after, and valued. Now this job might not even turn out to be my ideal job, but for the time being it is the job that literally “feels right”.

I also saw some friends, decorated the tree, interned at Somerset (that is almost over), did some Christmas shopping, wrote holiday cards, spend time with hubby, made time to go to a few classical concerts and plays, meditated… So, all in all, these couple of weeks have been very pleasant and productive…

It’s amazing how the little things make such a difference. For instance, classical music. When I hear Hallelujah from Handel’s Messiah or Mozart’s The Shepard King or Strauss’ Radetzky March, I can FEEL my heart opening and filling itself up with joy. It’s such a weird feeling but it’s wonderful. Hallelujah from Messiah made me tear up many times. Radetzky March made me clap my hands. It’s incredible how music can completely carry you away. In a good way, that is. And, of course, there is Dvorak. His symphony From the New World is my all time favorite! During Sandy we had no power but I did have a battery powered CD player. And I had Dvorak. I listened to it at least ten times.

When listening to an all time favorite piece or a new movement, I can almost feel my mood shift towards a more pleasant, positive state. I want to  say that it almost works like an anti-anxiety pill. Again, I am not depressed, I am not taking any medication but we all go through periods of sadness and not being fully satisfied with our lives. So at times when sadness rolls in, I put on Yo-Yo Ma or Philip Glass or Brahms and just focus entirely on music: the notes I hear, the shuffling of musician’s feet during some performances, and whether I can pin point different instruments coming in… I also noticed that after I am done listening to a new CD, I like to research the composer, see what kind of life they lived, whether they were rich or poor, whether they had a family and what country they were from. That’s how I found out that Schubert died at 31 and Tchaikovsky was forced to commit suicide for possibly having an affair with one of his male students.

Well, enough about me. Now, I have two questions for you:

1. Apart from considering many factors, do you also do a “listen to yourself” test before making a major decision?

2. Does classical music have the same effect on you? If yes, why, and why not?


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