So picture this: I’m sitting poolside on my vacation to Florida scrolling through Instagram as a rain storm starts to roll in. It’s mid-morning and the world is awake and moving, but at a slower pace. See, we vacation with family on a small island on the inter coastal just outside of Ft. Lauderdale, so things move and happen on their own time.
Anyway, back to the story. I’m scrolling, and all of a sudden, I see a post that intrigues me. It’s a post by the band Our Last Night where they have reimagined classic Disney songs in a heavy rock format. I mean this can’t work, can it? So I click, and a smile is immediately brought to my face as they begin with that all too familiar jingle that used to start every Disney movie in the 90’s, except it’s not what I’m used to, it’s rougher and perhaps even, edgy? I’m hooked and now I find myself sitting alone on a lanai watching the raindrops dance along the top of the pool water while absolutely enamored by the music I’m listening to.
I mean we can all pretend we’re too cool for Disney music, but let's be real here, we aren’t. They are catchy little tunes designed to do one thing, burrow their way deep down into our brains and lodge themselves into some tiny crack or crevice and never come out. Of course it certainly doesn’t help that children often want to listen to the same song on repeat for weeks on end. I don’t have tiny humans, but if I did I’d have absolutely no problem tossing this on the stereo as we drove around town (read between the lines here: I’ll listen on my own without children).
This gets me thinking about how important it is to be yourself first and foremost no matter what happens in life. As we age and our lives change we are often tempted to become a distant shell of who we once were. Now please read this very carefully: I am in no way suggesting people do or should stay the same. We are meant to grow and change as we go through life. However, I do think it is important to remember who we are at our core and not lose that. This is an incredibly thin line to walk especially as we find ourselves engaged in so many different roles such as husband/wife, father/mother, partner, co-worker, etc. It’s so easy to become a chameleon and change depending on the situation. The danger of course is that along the way we find ourselves simply playing a role instead of being authentically ourselves. I write this fully admitting that I fall into the same trap as everyone else at times and am no better than anyone else but hey, I’m trying.
One of the joys of being in partnership with people is having the opportunity to impart a bit of your knowledge and passions on to others. For some that may be friends, others, partners/spouses, and even children. Although I don’t have children of my own, I do try to make sure to expose and educate my nieces and nephews to things I love and am passionate about such as camping, cooking, and yes on occasion, my taste in music.
Here’s what I appreciate about what Our Last Night has done. They have managed to mash up two ideas in a way that allows both parties to enjoy something together without asking either one to give up on being present. Yes, children (wait no, people) love Disney music, but it doesn’t have to be the only thing they listen to. This is what I call a win-win compromise. Win-win compromises are great because it allows everyone the opportunity to be authentically themselves while also affording the other person to do the same. Earlier I said part of being in a relationship with someone is getting the chance to share with them, but don’t forget this is a two-way street. As much as we enjoy teaching others, don’t forget how much you have to gain by learning from someone else.
I encourage you to find ways to be authentic to yourself but also room for others. Although it might sound silly, perhaps Our Last Night has found a way to do just that. Growing up isn’t about completely changing who you are, it’s about evolving into something greater.
Here’s the link to the video that inspired the post: https://youtu.be/0YDuhN1UUD8.
-Shaun Ditty, CBUS Dads contributor
CBUS Dads is a community of central Ohio area dads balancing an active lifestyle with being an involved parent. A Saturday for us may involve enjoying morning t-ball, lunch at a new local spot and an evening at a summer festival with our families. We may live downtown, in the suburbs or somewhere between, but our common thread is that we continue to experience the community we love - now as parents.