My birthday is today, and it always makes me feel nostalgic and full of gratitude, so here’s a somewhat sentimental post that is now over a decade old, but the sentiment still stands

Last week, I spent a lot of time alphabetizing my CD collection (well, what’s left of it after I got rid of thousands of CDs a few years back). I had them all boxed up in my basement, and I began missing them because something about attending Bonnaroo last week woke me up and made me want to see and touch them.

Many of my CD cases are still covered in soot from when I lost most of my home in a fire a few years back. My black fingers reminded me that I survived losing almost all of my material possessions, And it was then I discovered that I could survive anything.

So, what’s present for me now is that music has been the main focal point of my entire adult life. It’s the heartbeat that propelled me to work hard to make a career in this business because I wanted to be around the people who make music, and without it, I would have been lost.

In the past few years, my focus has shifted full-time to my other passions: social media and marketing. This, coupled with a failing relationship with a hyper-judgmental man who criticized virtually everything I put on the stereo, made me turn away from music and towards other outlets where I could be unmolested.

I became unrecognizable to myself, and for the first time in my life, I uncharacteristically stopped listening to music.

But last week, while standing out in a field at Bonnaroo under a lightning storm, something shifted back into my body.  The catalyst was Buffalo Springfield’s reunion, which was visceral.  The stunning that makes not only the hairs on the back of your neck stand up but also the kind of incredible that causes you to have an out-of-body experience…. That’s my base connection to music. That’s my gratitude.

So, there I was in my basement, re-acquainting with each CD as if it were an old friend. Memories came flooding back as each CD connects me to a piece of my life.  My first job working at a record store, standing at the top of Red Rocks and looking down and crying from the beauty of the place, Sunday morning jazz on weekends with friends, late night house parties, the 5 years I worked as the PR director for The Fox Theatre in Boulder and the thousands of shows I watched from her balcony.

Then there are the CDs I worked, the thousands of bubble envelopes I mailed with thoughtfully written press kits and For Immediate Releases and 8X10 photos attached with my business card clipped to the top, now it’s an antiquated irrelevant process…  When I finished my life as a traditional publicist, my database records showed that I had mailed out over 11,500 CDs.

Then there are the CDs I will never get rid of because I was thanked in the liner notes for my contribution and hard work… And being honored for my efforts and work is a blessing.

And so,

Today, on my 40th birthday, I’m in gratitude

for music

for the artists I know who make music

for my colleagues and friends who work in, for, and around music

for our community, which is all trying to go forward and figure it out together.

When I look at the hundreds, if not thousands, of artists I know, it’s the ones who have not lost sight of what they are grateful for, even in times of reinvention and disruption in this business, who stay even-keeled and move forward despite the new rules and challenges

It’s you who help me to remain committed and inspired

Thank you.

Want to generate some more gratitude?  Here’s a post that will help.

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