Turn Up the Music
Photo Courtesy of 25 Artist Agency

Turn Up the Music

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By Steven O. Evans, PhD

Photo by Michael Murphy Photographic
Photo by Michael Murphy Photographic

I grew up in a very small town in Kentucky. My dad’s boss at the bank, L D Sweazy (he didn’t have a first or middle name, just initials) once told dad, “Don’t tell everyone all your business.” In our world of social media, I think that is still sage advice.

I will share some of what the last few months have been like, of which I now call, “The Darkest Chapter of my Life.” I went through a challenging (to say the least) 11 months in Lexington, KY that I used to assign that label. I won’t go into the details, but I still deal with some of the anxiety and PTSD that resulted from it.

With all the events since March, I do believe I can reassign that title to these last few months. I hate to complain, because I do have so much for which to be thankful. However, there is one piece of this chapter that has been more difficult, nay I say painful, that I ever expected to come. I’ll not “tell all my business,” but suffice it to say, this strange science fiction movie we all seem to be part of, has included a subplot for me with characters that have touched my heart.

Since they started, I have followed a music group called Point of Grace. Their depth of words has always spoken to my soul. God laid this song on my heart, and I wanted to share the words of “How You Live [Turn Up the Music]”¹ with you:

Wake up to the sunlight

With your windows open

Don’t hold in your anger or leave things unspoken

Wear your red dress

Use your good dishes

Make a big mess and make lots of wishes

Have what you want

But want what you have

And don’t spend your life lookin’ back

Turn up the music

Turn it up loud

Take a few chances

Let it all out

You won’t regret it

Lookin’ back from where you have been

Cause it’s not who you knew

And it’s not what you did

It’s how you live

So go to the ballgames

And go to the ballet

And go see your folks more than just on the holidays

Kiss all your children

Dance with your wife

Tell your husband you love him every night

Don’t run from the truth

Cause you can’t get away

Just face it and you’ll be okay

Turn up the music

Turn it up loud

Take a few chances

Let it all out

You won’t regret it

Lookin’ back from where you have been

Cause it’s not who you knew

And it’s not what you did

It’s how you live

Photo Courtesy of 25 Artist Agency

Oh wherever you are and wherever you’ve been

Now is the time to begin

So give to the needy

And pray for the grieving

E’en when you don’t think that you can

Cause all that you do is bound to come back to you

So think of your fellow man

Make peace with God and make peace with yourself

Cause in the end there’s nobody else

Turn up the music

Turn it up loud

Take a few chances

Let it all out

You won’t regret it

Lookin’ back from where you have been

Cause it’s not who you knew

And it’s not what you did

It’s how you live

Cause it’s not who you knew

And it’s not what you did

It’s how you live

So, no matter where you are in this “COVID-movie,” remember, it’s how you live. Take some chances that you would never have taken before. Make peace with those around you. Go to the theater, the symphony, the ballgames, the clubs, the restaurants, and all the places that make South Florida so fabulous. Talk to your family, even if it’s via FaceTime. This is the time to make your wishes and reinvent yourself, your life, and, maybe, your career. Don’t look back, but see the possibilities. Dance, even if it’s just you in your bedroom. If you have a boyfriend, partner, wife, or husband, kiss them every morning, noon, afternoon, and night. Hold their hand in public (kiss them, too!) and be proud of who you are and who you are with.

Now is the time to turn up the music and turn it up loud. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. “Cause it’s not who you knew, and it’s not what you did. It’s how you live.”

May happiness be abounding ² amidst this storm.

Steven O. Evans, PhD

Publisher & Editor in Chief

¹How You Live (Turn Up the Music) lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc. Songwriters: Cindy Morgan / Cindy Lavonne Morgan

²Dr. Angela Easterday-Holder, former Chair and Professor of Music at Carson-Newman University.