Often I am asked the question: how do you do it? How do you go into the hospital over and over again to see children and still manage to be joyful?
A lot runs through my head when I am asked these kinds of questions. I could explain that I believe in miracles, and I try to walk into every situation with hope instead of fear. And speaking of fear, I could get into a long discussion on how my spiritual journey is shifting my perception from fear to love, and that when I look at a child in any state of health or pain, I just focus on the Light of Love inside them and somehow know it will all be OK.
Of course, that doesn’t always work, and sometimes it just totally sucks. I see all kinds of illness as Princess Joy… not just pediatric cancer patients, which is beyond comprehension, but I also visit children in the ICU or children who are born with special needs that require life support 24/7. And I struggle to see the Light and put on a Joyful face. I struggle a lot.
So I pray. And then I play Duran Duran.
My love affair with Duran Duran started in 1982 when I was only 5-years-old. I had a super cool older cousin that I worshiped and I wanted to be just like her, and she was a huge fan. We lived to see Simon, John, Nick, Roger, and Andy on MTV during the channel’s breakout years (before On Demand, when you had to actually WAIT to watch what you wanted–gasp!), and I could practically feel the breeze blowing through my hair as I pretended to sail along with them on the boat in the “Rio” video. For me, their music was just plain fun.
That "fun" has gotten me through some of my toughest days. I like to play “The Reflex” before walking into the hospital because it feels so great to sing along at the top of my lungs. I admit that the weird and wacky lyrics make no sense at all… but who cares? And when I’ve had a particularly emotional day, I play “Save a Prayer.” I guess you could say that song is for me what Adele’s songs are to most others.
Thirty years later, the band is still going strong (after a few breakups along the way) and I have tickets to see them in Washington D.C. on April 8th! They aren’t the Front Row VIP seats of my bucket list dreams, but you better believe I’ll be dancing my ass off from the rafters.
So thank you, Duran Duran. Thank you for helping me go to a happy place when sometimes that’s all I need – to change the channel of my thoughts and find a little joy, even if just for a moment. I hope that everyone finds what works for them to feel as awesome as you make me feel, whether I’m singing in the shower, spontaneously dancing in the grocery store (I often hear “Hungry Like the Wolf” in the meat section... hmmmm…) or when I’m escaping from a rough day.
Who is YOUR Duran Duran?