Dec 102012
 

For Megan’s 30th birthday, I shipped an Awesome Birthday Box to Fargo.
  DSCF8008

A cardboard box filled to the brim with treats and surprises.  A variety of mini candy bars, Birthday Cake Oreos, juice boxes [of the children (Earthwise!) and adult (wine) variety], other snacks, treats, and a selection of music I hand picked for Megan’s ears.

Some of my most favorite playlists to rely on while working, cleaning, or running have come from mix CDs Megan has sent me over the past four years.  I take her music suggestions very seriously and I know that music plays in the background of her days like a soundtrack, just as I claim is happening in my life, too.

One CD mix I made is intended as a prescribed soundtrack for Megan’s 30th year. I chose songs to dance to, to dream to, to remember to.  I picked artists I know Megan cherishes, as well as some that I assumed would be new to her.  We share a love of unique covers of classic songs, which explains more than one track.  Some choices are older songs, from playlists of years pasts, lending new meaning to memorized lyrics now that we’re older. I pray that these songs lend to the coming chapters of Megan’s life story. 

Track List:

  1. Wake Up – Arcade Fire > waking up the soul to the adventure ahead.
  2. Now Is the Start – A Fine Frenzy > perfect song for the start of a new decade of your life.
  3. Howlin’ For You – The Black Keys > probably my favorite track off of the album, I imagine blues boys singing this song to Megan all year long.  This song played on shuffle the morning I turned 29 [I turned shuffle on and made a playlist of all the songs that played to listen to throughout my 29th year. I’m nerdy like that.] and I danced around the apartment singing along as I got ready for the day. 
  4. Brown Eyed Girl – Reel Big Fish > classic. and skank throughout the kitchen worthy.
  5. Suddenly I See – KT Tunstall > Megan is the girl that KT Tunstall is singing about in my listening experience of this song. Simple as that.
  6. Carousel – Vanessa Carlton > love the life theory in this song.
  7. Who I Am – Nick Jonas & The Administration > the words of this song are oh so human. by a Jonas brother.
  8. Oh Sherrie – Rock of Ages Cast > Broadway + Cover + Meg’s mom’s name in the title? Priceless.
  9. My Body – Young the Giant > One of my favorite songs to run to, this one keeps me going when I want to quit.  “my body tells me no, but I won’t quit, I want more.”
  10. (I Keep On) Rising Up – Mike Doughty > a song to declare for the next 52 Mondays.
  11. Dog Days are Over – Glee Cast > Such a fun version of such a powerful, positive song. 
  12. Cheers (Drink to That) – SMASH Cast > a song to declare for the next 52 Fridays.
  13. Dancing in the Street – The Mamas & The Papas > Just one of life’s to-always-do’s.
  14. Season of Love – Rent Cast > cliché, thus appropriate.
  15. The Scientist – Glee Cast > the past is the past and it’s in the past. <- life lesson.
  16. Watching You Watch Him – Eric Hutchinson > The sing-a-long as I drive through the country side in the sunlight with a window down track.
  17. Every Little Thing He Does is Magic – Shawn Colvin > One of the best covers in my collection!
  18. Everlong – Wakey! Wakey! > [cough. free download. cough.] “If everything could ever feel this real forever…If anything could ever be this good again”
  19. Teenage Dream [Acoustic] – Glee Cast > Favorite solo Glee performance yet.
  20. Best of You – Foo Fighters from Skin and Bones. A reminder to give the best of yourself in pursuing passions, chasing dreams, and changing lives.

427824_4584236926301_1989332540_n
I have a voicemail from Megan I’ve saved on my phone talking about the perfection of this CD.  We always joke about completing some sort of work [story, one act, book, app – ha!] based on our voicemails back and forth to one another. We basically have conversations on the regular this way.  Listening to her voicemails a few times through while I transcribed this brought such a happiness to my heart. I so cherish this wonderful woman!  Here’s what she had to say in response to the CD:

HiIIIII! I am driving home from my amazing birthday week in the Cities, and I tried to listen to the 30 Days of Megan CD on the way down and at one point I got tired and I was also listening to a podcast so I got through the first song and was like “ummm….I can’t do this right now”

So I’m driving back this morning and I just listened to the whole thing and it was SOOOOOOOO AWESOME! It was SO GOOD! So many of the songs I was like, “yep! I need to hear this right now.” and “yep! I need to hear this right now.” and guess which one that my 30 year old ears heard differently than they had ever heard before – Seasons of Love! Which I know every word to pretty much, but the fact that it comes in the middle of the CD and all these other songs which were new, and then this classic one – and I was like, this is the PERFECT turning 30 years old song.  Also…

Um….the lady on your voice mail cut me off…so I called back.  Okay! Ummm… I’m curious, because I am driving, so I have the CD case next to me so I can’t really look at the details here, well first of all I don’t think I’ve ever heard the Mama’s and the Papa’s version of Dancing in the Streets.  So – I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I’m glad you fixed that.

Secondly, I love the Oh Sherrie version from Rock of Ages! So good! When he started singing,  and he was like (singing) “ I Should have been gooooooooooooooone!” and it was clearly a different version, and I was like, “WHAT IS THIS!?” I started talking aloud in the car, I was like “What are you? Are you kidding? Are you joking? This is awesome!”

And then finally. I want to know who sings Teenage Dream. You have marked down “the Glee Cast” but because I drive the Speech van, I have the Glee version memorized. Umm and then it came on and I was like “WHAT’S THIS!?!? This is not the Glee version I know!” So then my question is, is it not the Glee version – or is it the Glee version and there are two Glee versions? Question Mark? I’m curious- it’s a mystery now.

And I love the Carousel song. I’m still healing. I’m doing so much healing and that song is going to be so good for me.

I love what’s her name’s cover…Shawn Colvin! I love her cover of Every Little Thing He Does is Magic, that’s great!

This is such a great CD. I loved it! Thank you, friend! Thank you for being so nice to me and sending me wine in the mail and posting all of my blogs.  I love you! Have a beautiful day at work! Bye!


p.s. some of the items I share [because I love them & think you’ll love them, too!] and link to on this post are available for sale in my amazon affiliate store. I’d love if you made amazon purchases through my store – you can search and shop for ANY item on Amazon as you normally would, by following this link. It helps to keep THS alive and well. xo

Celebrate Your Life

 Posted by at 6:00 am  Megan
Dec 062012
 

megan

Celebrate Your Life
by Megan Orcholski 

Earlier this year, I turned 30. Unlike most people in the world who dread getting older or hush their day of birth, I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY!!!! I love celebrating, I love cake, I love gifts, and I love being able to jump for joy that I am still alive! I always have a wonderful birthday, but this year, I didn’t want to only celebrate for a day. I didn’t even want to celebrate for a week- I wanted a whole month! I was planning to do fun things each day, but I thought….wouldn’t it be great if other people could do them with me if they wanted!?!?!? So much birthday happiness for EVERYONE!

  • I posted on my Facebook each day what I was doing to celebrate that day with a link to a blog post that explains why and how it fits in the context of my life. I encouraged others to either just read and enjoy or to also do the joyful activity in their own lives.
  • I teach oral interpretation and love theater. Thus, I’ve planned the 30-day celebration with the same dramatic pattern of a good story. We started on October 1st, built rising action toward my birthday, climax on the 25th (My actual birthday!) and then had 4 days of dénouement. Halloween had its own day, so we pretty much celebrated my birthday for 30 days, then wore costumes. Perfection.

This started as something fun I wanted to do to celebrate my 30th birthday. I love an excuse to do happy, wonderful things and turning 30 seemed like a perfectly legitimate reason to openly celebrate for an entire month. But I wanted people to be able to celebrate with me, so I planned to post my happenings on Facebook. As I started telling people my plan and getting excited, I realized it might be fun to do one thing on day 1, two things on day 2, etc. Then someone said, “you should match the activities with your years.” Excellent idea!

37223_1512950386057_1303323791_1402237_3612952_nWhen I began thinking about what I would do each day, I realized I was thinking of very specific events in my life that had a story or lesson. I really wanted to be able to share these things, write them down and use these to reflect on my life and who I am. Because even though a good percentage of the motivation to do this is the pure bliss of doing fun and happy things, there is a bittersweet chunk. I’m happy to still be alive. There are a lot of people in my life who were once alive and aren’t anymore. I sometimes ponder why they are not still alive but I am. I have also been through many things. 30 Days of Megan gave me the opportunity to explore how these events have shaped me and made me who I am. Then, as I shared with others, they were also getting to celebrate life and themselves.

This was a celebration of life.
Megan style.

.1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9101112131415161718192021222324252627day 28 watch 28 minutes of any performanceday 29 watch your favorite television show for minutesday 30 look forward with a list

Oct 302012
 

30days

by Megan Orcholski

[Learn more about #30DaysofMegan]

Well, it’s here.
Today is the last day.

I have had such an amazing 30 days of Megan.

I have tried new foods.
Held a baby.
Gotten hugged.
Watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along.
Gotten my hair cut.
Taken pictures.
Seen people who live far away.
Received presents in the mail.
Eaten a lot of candy.
Written strong words.
Received a lot of compliments.
Danced
Talked on the phone
Worn a big purple flower in my hair
Rocked out to music
Told stories
Taught my classes
Went to yoga
And felt incredibly loved.

It’s been an amazing 30 days.
While I am sad it is over, I’m excited.
I know there is so much more coming.

That’s why I made a list of 30 things to look forward to.
They are either things I hope or know are coming.
It’s a little like a bucket list-you’ll see things on there I’ve never done before.
You’ll also see things I’ve done plenty of times but need to do again.

I committed the list to my body, today.
It’s my way of looking forward. 

 

  1. Sky Diving
  2. Moving to a new city
  3. Have a baby
  4. Eat European Cheese
  5. Go back to London
  6. Get a PhD
  7. Back massage
  8. Teach a new class
  9. Publish a paper
  10. Write a book
  11. Make a Queen of Hearts Costume
  12. See Brad in Orlando!
  13. Lady Gaga. Concert.
  14. Watch the baby girls graduate high school
  15.  Finish all of the CSI’s
  16. Swim in the ocean naked
  17. Visit Prague
  18. Reconnect with an old friend
  19. Become more organized
  20. Speak in public much more often
  21. Impact students
  22. Make a large, noticeable impact on the world
  23. Lay on a beach
  24. Make love
  25. Hold hands
  26. Learn new music
  27. Make someone laugh
  28. Cook for people I love
  29. Keep getting pain free
  30. Turn 40!