I like to keep things simple and uncomplicated. You know, not over think every little decision until it drives me crazy.
One example of my non-obsessive nature is my daily theme music. When I'm selecting music from my ipod to listen to at school, I simply have to ask myself some very basic questions:
1) How am I feeling today? Excited? Stressed? Tired?
2) How do I want to feel today?
3) What do I need to get accomplished today?
3) What music will make me most productive in my current state?
Does a musical checklist make me neurotic? Of course not! It only makes me thorough. That's a good trait to have - just ask my students when they get papers back from me.
Anyway, from these questions, I can ascertain what sort of music I should be listening to. I've decided to share some of my most often played theme music to perhaps save you some time in deciding on yours.
Scenario #1 - I have some important tasks that need to be completed carefully and methodically. I am not quite awake yet, and I need to focus on the task and not the fact that I'd rather be at home sleeping.
Music #1 - Corinne Bailey Rae or Norah Jones
Scenario #2 - I have lots of little things that need to be done, but I'm too tired to move too fast. With this music option I can sing along without losing focus on my tasks, but too much dancing could cause me to give up on accomplishing anything at all and go down the hall to find someone to chat with. I need to stay on task while leisurely enjoying the music.
Music#2 - The Police or James Taylor
Scenario #3 - Anything and everything is driving me nuts. I'm going to snap and scream obscenities at the next person who says any words to me. I need a vacation.
Music #3 - Tim McGraw's song "That's Why God Made Mexico" on repeat
Scenario #4 - I am a multi-tasking machine. I am sorting stacks of papers, returning emails, and making copies all at the same time. Need something? Bring it on.
Music #4 - The Killers or Fall Out Boy (Maybe I've got some lame emo kid inside trying to get out. Somebody call Trey if I show up at school in skinny jeans.)
Scenario #5 - I know that I will be faced with negative attitudes and/or situations, and I know that I need to handle them with positive words and grace and dignity for everyone. I also know that I am in no way capable of doing this on my own.
Music#5 - Chris Rice, Rich Mullins, or (lately) Bart Millard's "Hymned" and/or "Hymned Again" OR Willie Nelson. I know, right? Willie Nelson? But it reminds me of where I came from and where my priorities really are and what's most important. And Willie is awesome.
Scenario #6 - I can't answer any of the questions. I don't know anything. I can't make another decision because my brain is mushy. Choosing music is just too hard, and it's a choice I should never have to make.
Music #6 - I choose the playlist titled "An Eclectic Mix." It has Johnny Cash, The Bangles, Chicago, Willie Nelson, Journey, Green Day, Prince, Patsy Cline and lots of other songs and artists I just like.
So, I'm curious. What's your theme music?