Living Life In Syncopated Rhythm

syn·co·pate

To place (the accents) on beats that are normally unaccented.

New parents want to do everything “right”. In the first few weeks and months of parenthood, there’s little sleep and the routine becomes feed, burp, change, repeat. I’m discovering that being a ‘dual career’ adult with a traditional worklife and an entrepreneurial venture has elements of new parenthood to it. I am trying to do everything “right”, and keep the guilt about what I’m not doing at the right time to a minimum. Nothing feels natural yet about how I the balance my time. I’m enjoying my new 3/4 time position (traditional work schedule). With the other 1/4 of the time, I’m traveling, teaching, tending, friending, and building the business I’ve started.  I often ask myself “Am I doing this right?”

I’ve been trying to put a finger on how I find the beauty, lesson and music in the newness of it all. You see, I’m not really feeling DIScomfort. Things just feel out of step.  This isn’t wrong. It’s just different. Yesterday, it dawned on me that I’m fitting everything into my schedule, just at odd times, rather than obvious times.

This discovery was music to my ears and it calmed me down and made me think about the unique qualities of syncopated rhythm in music.  One of the most common forms of playing off the beat in music is called syncopation. Syncopation  is when a normally weak beat is emphasised, giving the impression that it’s ‘out of rhythm’. You may recall, from music class, that there are downbeats and upbeats.  If you tap your foot to a 4/4 beat and count the space between the major beats , “1-and, 2-and, 3-and, 4-and”, you find the upbeats. Your foot goes down on the downbeats and up on the upbeats. Downbeats are normally emphasized in a song. In syncopation, you emphasize the upbeats instead by playing those notes a little bit harder, or louder, than the others.

Reconnecting with this concept helped me breathe a sigh of relief.  You see, I’m just living in the upbeat, or living in the “and”.  There’s vitality in the upbeat. I’m working “and” building a business. I’m working in Chicago “and” working downstate.  I’m living my life with my own timing, a bit like Jazz or Ragtime. In fact, my life’s rhythm’s kinda catchy. It’s not as if I don’t know how to keep a beat. I’m just riffing out here, living the downbeats and the upbeats. No wonder I’m breathless. You’re probably living in the “and” as well. If you are working toward future goals or building a new life, you’ve got a case of the “ands”.

On to the show…. I’ve included a YouTube link that I think you’ll enjoy. I’d love it if you’d respond to/comment on this post with a link to something that exemplifies the rhythm of your life. It will be a concert, of sorts. I always enjoy listening to the soundtrack of someone’s life. It helps me understand the frequency of their vision, their challenges and the rhythm of their life.

I present to you the music that represents my life right now: Maple Leaf Rag.

As always, I welcome your comments and wish you well.

~ Tess

Copyright 2011

Destiny Rising, LLC

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