I was sitting on the bus, on my way to work, yesterday. We were stuck in the morning rush traffic and the skies were a cold grey and there was drizzle. The world felt pretty hopeless. I looked around – at my fellow bus passengers, at the people hunched in their cars and the people scurrying on the pavements – and I realised whilst we had many things in common. The thing that stuck me, however, was that nearly all of us were in little self-created audio bubbles. There was the lady in her Ka unconscionably tapping her fingers on the steering wheel in time to the radio. There were the two girls to my left in their school uniforms sharing the music from a phone one ear bud each. There was the guy in the long black coat on the back seat whose big headphones were vibrating to loud drums and guitars. There was the exhausted looking man in an old promotional t-shirt running with an iPod in a neat case on his arm.
We were all stuck on this miserable Tuesday morning but we were all protecting ourselves with an audio bubble. We were giving our lives a soundtrack and I was struck by how powerful that can be as an emotional nudge. Instead of the quite depressing audio book I was listening to, I switched to the Elizabethtown soundtrack.. Suddenly I was in a place of more relaxed perspective. I was looking at my world with more of a wry smile and the drizzle was saving me from watering the plants.
So this week (and a bit!) I will be mostly carrying out from more experiments with my own personal soundtrack.