Tag Archives: music

No such thing as Boredom

Growing up, there were some words that were banned in our house. One of them was the word “bored”. It was considered a non-starter. If you felt inclined to use the word, it was pointed out that you had a personal responsibility to find things to trigger your imagination and captivate your attention. In this current environment, I have a deeper appreciation for being encouraged to learn this skill at an early age. It’s not easy. But in this Coronavirus crisis, it’s actually something that can keep us all safe. And yes, it is work! But the trick is to make it fun!

“The Beatles saved the world from boredom”   George Harrison

I think George Harrison had a good observation to make here. Maybe the world was a bit bored before the Beatles arrived on the scene. I don’t know. But the group certainly did wake the world up! And in so many ways. To this day, Beatle songs are covered endlessly. Paul McCartney is still writing and recording and touring. So is Ringo. They were prolific and fascinating. Their releases are still among the most treasured collections of songs. And for good reason.

This brings me to thoughts on things to do while the “stay at home” movement continues. Few things are more soothing than music. I love all genres of music. Literally. I can listen to anything, from pop to classical, jazz to rap, opera to broadway. I wrote an earlier posting about experimenting with music while you’re at home these days. It can transport you, elevate your mood, bring back a flood of wonderful memories. It can transform all kinds of boredom into delight and dispel the blues you may be feeling. George Harrison may be right, but regardless, it was the music that transformed the world, as it has for centuries. Indulge your imagination and unleash the music inside you! That’s A Table for One!

Copyright 2020 Marion M. O’Grady

Design Your Own Spa Day

Somethings we’ll all be missing during these days of self isolation are those appointments we make to attend to our beauty and/or grooming rituals. These can be both restorative and lovely ways to relax and exhale, even during normal times. So why not focus on this aspect of our lives and use these days to design your own spa days at home?

“You exist only in what you do”.

Federico Fellini

First, look around your house or apartment for all the things you already have stocked but haven’t thought of using for self-pampering . Things like bath salts, fragrant candles, a great CD for background music. If you’re in the mood for a manicure, look for polish you may not have used recently. Never given yourself a manicure with polish? Now is the time to try! Pedicure too. If you’re a man who likes a good shave, try giving yourself a nice hot towel wrap before shaving. Try a sample cologne you haven’t used before. Sample a new perfume. Most of us have plenty of samples we haven’t tried. Find them and have fun experimenting!

I’m sure you’ve also got cosmetics that you haven’t used in a while. These could include fragrant moisturizers, creams and even makeup. Now is the time to try experimenting with different colors. Perhaps an eye shadow, lipstick or lipgloss that you have on hand but haven’t used.. You can even experiment with a different hairstyle. If you always blow dry your hair, try letting your hair air-dry for example. If you have longer hair, tie it back or try making a messy bun or a braid.

Then enjoy your favorite beverage in front of the TV or computer this evening. Put your feet up, put on a snuggly robe and slippers. Sip some tea, have a beer, cocktail or glass of bubbly. Try some wine that you haven’t had before. The point is to create a really relaxing environment, enjoy doing something good for yourself and don’t hold back. That’s A Table For One.

Copyright 2020 Marion M. O’Grady

Self Isolation

Being on your own can sometimes appear to be a form of self isolation, but it usually happens by choice or happenstance. Which is entirely different than the “self isolation” we’ve been told to practice during this pandemic. In these days of trying to tamp down the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, I know that many of you will be confining yourselves to “self isolation”. And that you might find it daunting. So I’m going to try and share some ideas during this time, that you may find helpful.

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

We’re at a moment in time that is extremely troubling and unsettling. Add to that the worry for loved ones along with ourselves and it’s a real recipe for anxiety. I’d like to share some ideas on things to do that might help. I’m not a medical expert, but I have spent lots of time exploring and discovering ways to enjoy life when you find yourself on your own. Things that might also help dispel cabin fever, even if you’re inside with another person.

Listening to music comes to mind as a way to sooth anxiety . Listening to old favorites can bring back happy memories of times you spent with friends. “Oldies but Goodies” is one category that never seems to fail. Or, go on an exploration of artists and types of music you’ve never had time to tune into.

For example, The Metropolitan Opera is streaming past programming for free. If you’ve never been to an opera, now’s the time to try it! I’m a life-long fan, having been to The Met in NYC, as well as the magnificent Opera House in Vienna. The stories, the music, the incredible talent will transport you. It’s also a wonderful way to spend a few hours away from the chatter about this pandemic. You may find you enjoy it and become a fan too! Visit Metopera.org to find their offerings.

Be sure to experiment with the time you have, to explore new avenues of musical entertainment. It will help occupy your mind to concentrate on other things. I’m going to post more ideas as well. This is one of many. Take care, hunker down and enjoy some new as well as familiar music! That’s A Table For One!

Copyright 2020 Marion M. O’Grady

Search For Sweet Sounds

I love music.  All kinds of music.  Listening to music is one of the best pastimes you can embrace when you’re on your own.  Music elevates your mood, transforms your day, sets you on a path of wondrous self discovery.

“Without music, life would be a mistake”  Friedrich Nietzsche

Throughout my travels, I’ve found that music is everywhere.  On subway and transit platforms from New York to Paris.  On street corners, in parks and even in the tunnels under bridges in places like New York’s Central Park.

Trio Uses Acoustical Advantage of a Tunnel

Trio Uses Acoustical Advantage of a Tunnel

In open areas I’ve heard music played, across a full range from classical music to jazz and hip hop.  Sometimes, I’ve even discovered a bag piper practicing his skills in an open field or by The East River in New York.  Musicians will gather to play their tunes in the most unusual places.  On occasion, I set aside an afternoon to go and look for music.  It can be anywhere, but on a sultry summer afternoon on a weekend in New York, music fills every corner of the vast expanse and quiet niches of Central Park.


Jazz Quartet Cool Vibes on a Hot Day

Jazz Quartet Cool Vibes on a Hot Day

Not only is it easy to find, it’s delightful to come upon these talented groups and so easy to linger with a gathering crowd, to enjoy their gifted offerings.  With so much to enjoy, try treating yourself to an afternoon of fine music wherever you are.  Set out to find it and you’ll have yet another great experience of “A Table For One”.

Music is Everywhere!

Music is Everywhere!

Copyright 2015 Marion O’Grady

All rights reserved

Break For Lunch

When I think about how many lunches I’ve spent rushing through the meal or eating at my desk, it’s hard to believe.  Frequently, I am thinking I’ll get more work done.  Or that , if I don’t have a client lunch or one with a friend scheduled, that I should use the time to catch up on other things.  I think a lot of people do this.

“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking, if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.”   Voltaire

Find a Quiet Hideaway

Find a Quiet Hideaway

Instead of rushing though every lunchtime, try making a pledge to “take yourself out to lunch”, even if it’s just once a week.  Brink a notebook along and see how refreshing it can be to write out a few notes.  Not about work and not a “to do” list.  Just write about your thoughts in the moment.  It can change your mood from stressed to relaxed, almost immediately.  If you need to take any devices with you, try to put them aside and avoid using them during your meal.

Bring a notebook!

Bring a notebook!

Your meal can be a really simple one, but it should be special.  I like to select a quiet cafe and one that might even have music.  The ambiance and music can transport you, even before your food arrives.  And it also helps re-set your mind and inspire your thoughts.   Here’s a delicious meal at a little French Bistro, where the setting, along with Edith-Piaf style Parisienne music and a Croque Monsieur provide a perfect lunchtime escape.

Croque Monsieur and a salad!  Delicieux!

Croque Monsieur and a salad! Delicieux!

By all means, take time to find a really unique lunchtime escape and treat yourself to a well deserved lunch on your own.  You’ll go back to work completely refreshed and ready to plunge back into all those “to do’s”.  What could be a  better result for taking time to break for lunch with “A Table For One?”

Copyright 2015 Marion O’Grady