Driving home from work the other day, one of my favorite songs came on the radio. Changes, by Yes.
The first minute of the song plays a repetitive melody, that sounds like it is coming from a Marimba. As a percussionist, I love hearing these kinds of instruments in music, especially modern music. Of course, I have since learned that it was a keyboard that did this, but it didn’t matter to me in 1985. Take a listen...
Now, unfortunately this stops just short of a cool screaming riff of a guitar, before it starts up again for a bit then into the song itself. But it is just so cool.
My junior year of High School, our band director hired an assistant to work specifically with the drumline and percussion section during marching band season. The goal was not only to make us better but to perform a short percussion only song, while the band took a break. The assistant (who happened to be a woman, which was inspiring to me) chose the opening 90 seconds of Changes to be our song.
The drumline on the field had nothing to do most of the first minute or so, but the 10 people on the sideline worked their butt off, playing the melody on every keyboard we had—marimba, vibes, chimes, bells, xylophones. It was awesome!
That is probably why I love this song.
But on this day, driving home from the museum, I was more interested in the lyrics.
In particular, the very first stanza.
I'm moving through some changes.
I'll never be the same.
Something you did touched me.
There's no one else to blame.
Even though the lyrics are about a relationship, the song was originally written about a time the writer was experiencing difficulties in his life. Trevor Rabin wrote the lyrics shortly after he moved from South Africa to the United States. He was extremely popular at home, and “wanted to remove himself from that” atmosphere. Record labels wanted to sign him, but they wanted him to “write stuff like Foreigner”. It was the last thing he wanted to do.
Eventually he changed some of the lyrics to make it more about a relationship, but some parts he kept, because it still worked, like in the chorus
Change changing places Root yourself to the ground Capitalize on this good fortune One word can bring you round Changes
The words (and subsequent meaning I found) spoke to me on that day—and every day recently.
I’m moving through some changes, and I’ll never be the same.
Lately I've felt bummed, almost depressed.
First, I missed out on another triathlon season.
The biggest reason has been my ongoing shoulder injury. Good news is that I am back in the pool and swimming!!! Now I need to get back to running.
On top of that, 2 races that I’ve followed have been discontinued.
My very first Half Ironman, Ironman Steelhead 70.3 in Michigan just announced that 2023 would be their last year. I had thought about racing it again several times, but either it didn't fit into my schedule, or I decided to race something else instead. I continued to follow it on social media, because I enjoyed it so much. It was a great race, a great location, and I am so glad it was my first Half in 2015.
A few days later, Ironman Mont Tremblant announced that 2023 would be its last year as well. This was the race that I was supposed to race as my first Full Ironman, but Covid had different plans. This blog started because of my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) to do IMMT for my 50th birthday.
This one is quite surprising since Mont Tremblant has embraced the Ironman brand and lifestyle fully. The town keeps the bike and run course marked year round. I've been told it is one of the most popular races, with athletes coming from all over the world to participate. Many former participants are upset. They did decide to keep their Half Ironman...so I guess there is that.
I have some FOMO. I have missed my chance. Not only has "The Voice of Ironman", Mike Reilly, retired, now the races that I would do if I ever got the nerve to try again are gone. It's kinda sad. Another change.
Next, two of my close friends in our book club are moving away! And not just across town, or to another part of the state, but several (large) states away! 100s of miles.
These are “original” members of the Juggabees book club. I’ve known these ladies for over 25 years. We went to church together. I’ve watched their kids grown up into amazing adults. We’ve travelled together. We’ve laughed and cried together. They are my people.
They are part of a group of women that was a “lifeline” during Covid, sharing our joys and sorrows, prayer requests and frustrations via texts and Zoom, at least until we could meet in person again—although we still share things via WhatsApp in between our gatherings.
They will be here for only a few more months—and we are already planning a road trip. But the hole they will leave is huge! And this hurts, more than ripping off a band-aid. This is a large hole. And I worry our group may not survive the loss. I'm being a little pessimistic. I hope I am wrong.
And this will be just the beginning, because our group is "getting older". We are talking about what we would do now that kids are growing up, or already out of the house. Where would we live? What would we do with the time?
"Retirement". That's a huge change!
And…school is getting ready to start up again. Just a few more weeks before my 10th grader and 8th grader head back to school. They are becoming more and more independent, mature. I’m still not sure how that all happened, but one thing I do know is that both J and B are both taller than me. By several inches.
Just another blow to the psyche. Another change.
Then there is the stuff going on hormonally with me. Even though this has been happening gradually over the past couple of years, there has been a dramatic shift in the past few months.
All of these things drew me to the lyrics of Changes, but especially my own changes.
I look into the mirror, I see no happiness.
All the warmth I gave you, has turned to emptiness
That verse really hit me.
All the work I had done both physically and mentally over the past 7 years has gone out the window…especially over the past 18 months.
I’ve written about this before, and I probably will again, but this Menopause shit is a bitch!
I’m not happy.
I continue to work out, but those exercises don’t work like they used too. Of course they are not exactly the same, due to a torn rotator cuff, and nagging back issues, and some serous weight gain, but I am still working out.
On top of that, sometimes I just feel like crap, and that makes it even worse.
Throw in some mood swings, a couple of teenagers that are in full blown puberty, and my house is a great place to live. A hormone twilight zone nightmare!
I’m not sure how my husband is dealing with it. Maybe that’s why he has been going to the driving range to hit golf balls more frequently.
And it is a vicious cycle.
My "shoulder/back/knee/head (enter sore body part here)" hurts, so I don’t work out like I should. I then eat a little less healthy, because I feel yucky and need “comfort food”.
This all makes me more lethargic, so I don’t move like I should; which means I gain more weight. Which makes all my body parts hurt more, so I don’t move like I should. Which make me mad at myself; which stresses me out; which causes a hot flash, and more weight gain.
And on and on and on.
I’ve tried a couple of different ways to work on myself, but it is getting harder and harder.
And as I usually do, I start to make excuses.
Change, changing places Root yourself to the ground Word to the wise Well, you get what's coming One word can bring you round Changes
It's time to make some bigger changes.
Another song that has also struck a nerve is David Bowie’s Changes
(See a pattern...)
Ch-ch-Changes Pretty soon you're gonna get a little older Time may change me But I can't trace time I said that time may change me But I can't trace time
I had to look up what Bowie meant by “I can’t trace time”. One blogger states the following:
"The song therefore is Bowie declaring that while time may change him, he isn’t going to live in, worry about or waste time regretting, his past. He is living in the now and Live in the now is the essential takeaway from this song."
I have always said that I don’t regret what I have done, but regret what I haven’t. I still believe that. And I fully believe in living in the here and now.
But, I also want to be around to live in the here and now, and I don’t care what my hormones want to do. I need to fight back (at least to a degree where my clothes will fit, and I feel better about myself).
Part of this fight is for health—I know heart disease runs in my family, and my cholesterol is borderline, even doing all the right things. Health also means mental. I need to be mentally healthy for my family.
My dad died at 41...and even though he wasn't very health conscious in his younger years, he did start to take care of himself more--at least that's what I remember.
Him going for a run. Stopping smoking. Eating healthier to reduce his blood pressure.
It worked for a while, until It didn't.
Mentally I’m in a better place. I've written about dealing with my "daddy issues", although that will always be a work in progress.
I don’t feel quite like an imposter at work anymore. Coming back to the museum field after a long hiatus has been tough. But, I am gaining confident about my abilities more and more everyday.
And, I know my family loves me, and I love them. And they are starting to step up more and more to help out around the house. The boys are doing their own laundry. They are mowing the lawn. They are pitching in. My husband has been too. Shopping on the weekends, while I'm at work, and getting dinner going since on the weekends I get home right at dinner time, or later.
As for the rest of the world? I truly don’t give a shit what people think of me.
But for some reason, I do give a shit about what I think of myself…which seems counter-intuitive.
So, I’ve made some calls, seeked advice, and it's time to cut the shit and take action. What has worked in the past isn't working now. I need a change. I need to work smarter not harder.
A good friend of mine, (who is a medical professional and who has been really helping) me told me just the other night, "once someone sets their mind to it, they just do it. But you've got to commit, and not let there be anything to sway you."
That's where I get into trouble. Something always comes up. Excuses are made. I'm "swayable."
By writing these words now and putting them out into the Metaverse, it becomes more real.
Just like when I signed up for the Ironman…now I have to follow through and put my money where my mouth is.
Accountability! Lord knows I need it…that’s why I hire coaches, even though I know what I need to do.
I have the Vermont 10 Miler in less than 3 months. And I need to start training, because I'm quite certain that I can't walk the route and make the time cut off. So time to get back to running. (see --> )
I have no idea why I am smiling...maybe because the run was done!
So, listen to the coaches. Do the work. And take to heart those song lyrics.
Word to the wise Well, you get what's coming One word can bring you round Changes
I can do it! Change is coming, and I need to embrace it and make it mine.