Music – The Ultimate Relaxer

I have anxiety issues. While caffeine and stress are two of the biggest culprits to making my anxiety go up, multiple factors that I can encounter on a day-to-day basis can also play a role in raising my stress and nervousness levels. But, not matter how nervous or stressed or anxious I get, there is always one thing I turn to if I want to calm down and get back to my center… music.

While like many people, I have a variety of musical tastes and my preference for a song changes depending on my mood, there is no favorite song that I can associate with. I listen to everything from Journey to The Goo Goo Dolls to Garth Brooks. Sometimes I have days where I will go through 30 Billy Joel songs and other days I will put my music on shuffle and listen to whatever plays.

If I had to pick a favorite genre of music though, country would win. Based on what I’ve seen with country, people either love it or hate it. There seems to be no middle ground for people to like George Strait, Garth Brooks and Luke Bryan. And with so many artists crossing over into different areas today, it’s hard to not hear Taylor Swift sing a song on a country station and then flip over to a Top 40 station a few minutes later and to hear another Taylor song. Country music today definitely isn’t locked in like it used to be. Today, it’s seems to have evolved into a mix of rock, country and sometimes even pop. It’s the genre that just keeps on giving.

Having been to many country concerts in my life, my all-time favorite concert ever, is one that should come with little surprise. A 2007 show at the Sprint Center to see Garth Brooks perform one of his nine sold out shows in Kansas City has to be my number one concert of all time. With Garth coming back on tour this year, there’s a pretty good chance that the next time I see him, this new tour will replace the 2007 show as my best-concert-of-all-time winner.

Favorite concert aside, I love music because I have a song for every situation. If I need inspiration, I listen to Garth Brooks sing “The River.” If I’m angry, I might throw on an Aerosmith song. And if I’m happy, well at that point I’m usually just playing whatever makes me dance, which is usually everything.

As we approach the summer, more concerts will be working their way not only into Kansas City, but also to venues around the country and the world. Right now I don’t have any plans to attend a concert this summer for sure, but it won’t surprise me when August rolls around and I’m still half-deaf from standing too close to a stage speaker dancing along to whoever it is that I see.

In fact, one of my favorite artists, Eric Church just announced his fall world tour, so needless to say, I’ll probably be going to his show this fall if I can.

I’ll leave you with a few photos from various concerts that I’ve been to over the years.

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I realize that one of the pictures above is of the Iowa marching band and not an actual concert. I should mention that college marching bands are one of my favorite things about a football game, so there’s my reason behind that.

Until next time, if a song comes on your radio that you love, remember, sing at the top of your lungs.

Best…

ZEZ

A is For…

A is for April. A is for Autism Awareness. A is for Atlanta. A is for Awesome.

Any dictionary you pick up will have lots of other words that begin with the letter A as well, but those are a few of my favorite words that start with the letter A right now.

I’d like to take a moment and wish everyone a Happy World Autism Awareness Day. Recently, the CDC released a report that indicated that 1 in 68 children have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

1 in 68 is an increase from past numbers and it seems like every year, the gap shrinks and the numbers go up. One day, I hope that awareness towards autism and ASD won’t be needed because those things will no longer exist at all and a cure will one day be found. But, for now, autism and ASD are still part of our world, so my mission of education, awareness and acceptance, still continues.

On that note, as many of you know, I’m headed to Atlanta in two weeks to participate in a panel with other individuals on the spectrum at an event hosted by the CDC. It will be an exciting time and you can learn more about the event on the flyer below.

CDC-Autism-Awareness-Event-Flyer

Aside from the awareness event, I’ve also decided to stop the process for the kidney donation, as it is not currently the best time for me to go through with that process. While I might try and donate again at a later time, I’ve decided right now that an equally great way to help save a life is by donating plasma and also by getting myself registered as a bone marrow donor. By donating plasma, I can help people right now and by getting myself on the bone marrow registry, I can potentially become a match for someone that needs a bone marrow transplant and help save a life that way as well. Giving plasma and bone marrow isn’t near as invasive as donating a kidney and the recovery time for bone marrow and plasma is much, much faster.

If you are interested in getting yourself on the bone marrow donor registry, you can visit bethematch.org to sign up and learn more about how bone marrow donation helps people all over the world.

Moving on, tomorrow, I will be meeting with a local individual who I understand assists individuals with autism and ASD find employment. I believe the gentleman that I am meeting with has actually created a business to do this specific thing. I’m excited for that meeting and believe that it will provide a great opportunity to share more of my story and experiences about being someone in the workforce with ASD, as well as to learn from the man I am meeting with.

I hope that all of my readers have had a great start to the month of April. As I’ve mentioned before, this month holds many exciting things for me and I hope it holds many exciting things for my readers as well.

Until next time…

Best,

The ZEZ