“Control Freak. Now you say, ‘control freak who?’”
It’s always been my favorite knock-knock joke, but I didn’t realize just how much of a control freak I truly was until today. I downloaded the latest version of iTunes, which opened on my computer after the install, randomly playing songs on shuffle.
How I hate the shuffle feature. I’m a creature of habit. I like my routines. I order the same entrée at my favorite restaurant that I frequent, read the same magazines each month, watch the same TV shows every evening, and when it comes to music, I have dozens of my own carefully prepared playlists. I know what kind of music I like, and the order I want to hear the songs, and when I’m in the mood to hear them. I also know what songs are not my favorites, and I’ve left them out of my playlists. Why in the world would I need to have them resurrected and thrown haphazardly in with the songs I want to hear?
A song I didn’t recognize was playing on my computer and I didn’t like it, not one bit. It frustrated me that I wasn’t able to drop what I was doing and run to the computer to turn off the shuffle feature. I had to wait it out.
But the next song surprised me. It was a song I didn’t have on any of my current playlists, and hadn’t heard in years. It brought back memories from a wonderful, carefree time in my life. It made me smile.
The next song, while not one of my favorites, was also a throwback to the past. I hadn’t heard that one since my college days. In my mind, I found myself back in my dorm room, smiling as the tune poured into my headphones from an old cassette in my Walkman – the caveman predecessor of the iPod.
Ah. This was fun.
I spent this afternoon enjoying all kinds of songs that I would not have listened to, had I chosen for myself. Shuffle chose them for me. I’m so glad it did. The experience inspired my one and only New Years resolution for 2013: to lighten up and not be such a control freak.
To be more adventuresome. To find more to enjoy out of life than just a narrow list of what I deem my favorites.
To take risks. To be surprised.
And to face uncertainty with the same hopefulness of finding something wonderful on the other side – like an old familiar song.