1. ‘Welcome to the Jungle,’ Guns N’ Roses
After a long day at work, I come home, open the door, and I hear Guns N’ Roses on a loop in my head as I look at the debauchery that has ensued since I left. Clothes are everywhere, from one part of the house to another; the air conditioning is running with the windows open; televisions are blasting from empty rooms; and the microwave is beeping, as apparently someone was hungry but abandoned their dining selection for greater adventures.
As I begin to pick up clothes, I think, Where did I go wrong? Sings Axl: “Welcome to the jungle/ It gets worse here every day / Ya learn to live like an animal in the jungle where we play!”
2. ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,’ Journey
My sisters in the struggle, hold fast to the belief that one day, these children will leave home! I get discouraged and afraid as I hear the cost of rent and what it takes to earn a living wage. However, my hope lies in the belief that one day, these children will graduate high school and even college and take the midnight train going anywhere! Yes, I need to believe this!
3. ‘All Night Long,’ Lionel Richie
“Everyone you meet / They’re jamming in the street / All night long”—oh yeah! Well, guess who will be calling the authorities if that happens? Yes, that would be me! I have turned into the neighborhood fun snatcher. Excuse me, I beg your pardon—I have to get up early in the morning, and I need my rest. If you haven’t heard, lack of proper rest can lead to weight gain (and nobody needs that). Therefore, if it is a ruckus you intend, may I suggest you end it by 9:30?
4. ‘Our Lips are Sealed,’ The Go-Go’s
There’s nothing better than getting together with my college girlfriends and drinking wine on the deck as the children play in the house. Although we have to be careful when we talk, so that our children don’t overhear us and think that we were once young and free. As we reminisce about days gone by, we pinky swear never to share the details of our wild, youthful living in the presence of our children. We know girls just want to have fun, but our lips are forever sealed.
5. ‘Jump,’ Van Halen
It seems like I’m constantly jumping on and off the bandwagon for the latest “it” thing. I have tried yoga, hot yoga, paleo, master cleanse, Zumba, low carb, Crossfit—you name it! The only thing that seems to stick for me is weight gain. It seems I can do that remarkably well, with little effort. Nevertheless, as Van Halen says, “So can’t ya see me standing here / I got my back against the record machine / I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen / Ah, can’t you see what I mean? / Ah / Might as well jump!” I will, as soon as the next best thing hits the market.
6. ‘Faith,’ George Michael
As I have gotten older, I have embraced a greater sense of faith. It seems that all the years I spent running through my life, I was doing it all wrong. Who knew? Now, I find peace and purpose by participating fully in my faith. Honestly, the ability to trust someone else with directing my life was a challenge, but it has given me a new sense of joy that I never had before. My younger self could never appreciate what faith does for me, because my younger self falsely believed experience is greater than faith.
7. ‘I Can’t Go For That,’ Hall and Oates
“I can’t go for that” is my new motto. Compression undergarments? I can’t go for that! Staying up all night (except for a sick kid)? I can’t go for that! Buying gas any day except Thrifty Thursday? I can’t go for that! Using non-recyclable grocery bags? I can’t go for that! Checking my groceries at the self-checkout line? I can’t go for that! Wearing an underwire bra? I can’t go for that!
As you can see, I can’t go for a lot of things, and neither should you. At this point in life, it’s a blessing to be able to declare what I can no longer accept.
8. ‘Ain’t Nobody,’ Chaka Khan
Ain’t nobody got time for that! That is all!