One of my skills in life, which is now obsolete, is the art of creating a mixtape. As a teenager, I created many such cassette tapes. Cathie's Hits One through to Fifteen, the Love Songs special and the Movie Classics are still hidden away in a drawer somewhere. My boyfriends during this period of my life also had the rare privilege of being gifted a mixtape with all the soppiest songs of the day expressing my undying love for them.
For those a little too young to understand the process of creating such a gem as Cathie's Hits 11 (I recall this being one of my favourites) let me explain. Before there was such a thing as iTunes or Spotify, we had to buy our music on cassette or listen to the Top 20 on the radio with finger poised on the record button. This required a high level of skill in order to avoid the DJ's intro or the beginning of the next song. After managing to capture the favourite tunes, you would then spend hours fast-fowarding and recording the tracks to a mixtape, creating your very own compilation.
I spent five hours in the car today, driving to retreat. As I drove, I flicked between my favourite songs on my phone and had an awesome sing-a-long. I was reflecting on what I would put on my mixtape today. It would have a good dose of Carole King, Missy Higgins and Kendall Payne. Of course, there would have to be Over the Rainbow and a couple of tunes from the musical Wicked.
As I listened and sang along, it occurred to me that each song had its own story for me. Some reminded me of certain people, while others described perfectly certain situations in life. Music holds so much power; the power to evoke tears, motivate us to new ways of being and bring clarity to the mess of life. My mixtape today would be a soundtrack to my life, a journey of ups and downs, joys and sorrows. I think I might create this 'mixtape'. Fortunately, with today's technology, it won't take me hours of pressing buttons. I will create a playlist titled 'Soundtrack of Life' and see how it changes over the months and years ahead - just for fun!!