Note to Self: You Don't Own The Music

Note to Self: You Don’t Own The Music

music Anyone who knows me well knows I love ’80s music. I have several variations of ’80s music stations set up in Pandora and I have considered subscribing to satellite radio just so I can have an all ’80s station in the car. The decade encompassed my entire K-8 experience and the music takes me back to a simpler time in my life. Certain songs remind me of long days exiled to my room to clean it, or of trips to the Salt River, junior high crushes, and of so many dear friends. The music makes me feel young again and it makes me want to dance (which is saying something, trust me).

I do not remember my mom being a fan of ’80s music when I was growing up. She listened to a lot of ’70s rock and even country music. I always felt that she was simply putting up with my music when it was on the radio. You heard me right…I said my music. It was not until recently that I realized I had claimed the whole decade of music for myself and my generation. We were certainly the only ones connected with it…the ones who who really got it. Right? Silly me.

I recently took my mom to one of the coolest places ever, Starfighters Arcade. This place is amazing because for one reasonable price, you can play unlimited classic arcade games and the jukebox is full of ’80s music (on forty-fives, see the picture above). I selected a few songs including Footloose, Modern Love, Heart and Soul, and Tainted Love. I was in (Just Like) Heaven! Then my mom blew my mind.

My mom was loving the music and with just about every song, she shared a memory with me. She shared so many memorizes of fun times she had in the ’80s and was in very high spirits. Then she said, “Aunt Linda used to play this song over and over again on the jukebox when she worked at the Sunset.” I stopped in my tracks. My Aunt Linda died in a terrible car accident in 1990 when she was just 32. She was my mom’s little sister and best friend. Her death rocked our family. You could say, it took the music out of our lives for quite some time. The music. My music?

I thought I had come a  long way in realizing that my mom existed outside of being “mom” and that she had an adult life and interests aside from me. In Forgiving My Imperfect Parents, I wrote “ I am able to see my parents as individuals who exist outside of their roles as my mom and dad.” Yet, I was still viewing the ’80s as my time. Somehow I missed the fact that that decade was the last one my mom got to spend with her little sister. Those 10 years are precious to her. Just as precious, if not more, than they are to me. During those 10 years she also watched her three children grow. The music that surrounded and filled our lives at that time made an indelible imprint on our memories. It is our music.

The ’80s are often referred to as the “Me Decade” but I think people in all periods are self-focused in many ways. It is part of being young and of growing up. I am learning that growing up and maturing happens our entire lives. Even at 40, I am still learning to see the many colors of life. My mom continues to get more complicated before my very eyes, yet I feel I understand her more. It is an amazing thing.

“Music is the universal language of mankind.” 
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 keep-calm-and-listen-80s-music-1Image credit:

About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. He he he…we mothers have to be a little bit secretive!! lol I didn’t like the 80’s music in the 80’s but it now brings back so many memories I LOVE it now. Yes, that place we went to , to play video games was so so fun! loved it and it was great seeing the grandkids play the games you used to Janice along with your sisters. 🙂 p.s. listening to it now drives your step-dad crazy…he hates it!!

  2. Mommy Pamela says

    This by far is one of my favorite post in you blog today! Made me laugh, cry, and think about the past. I never thought about some things a certain way until I read you post (don’t want to share). I would like to share the love of the 80’s: it was some of the funnest times of my life. You influenced me in so many ways I cannot even count. And yes, mothers are intrigueing, complicated, and mysterious but their love is awesome! Thanks so much for making my day !

  3. <3

  4. Debra Wagner says

    I loved that place and the music, you gotta remember I was 23 in 1980, so I heard all of it! ✌ what a fun night .

  5. Debra Wagner says

    Still love it and this time on the death of Linda brings many tears to my eyes. ❤ love you Rusty

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