What Moves Me?

So in one of my last posts, I put the question to you — what would you like me to write about? What would you like to know?

Well, a new reader asked a pretty amazing question. She challenged me to share something I haven’t shared. Or, she said, ‘tell me what moves you.’

What moves me? Heck, I’m not even sure what that means exactly. So, in order to answer it I suppose I first need to be able to define it.

To me, something ‘moves me’ if there’s an emotional reaction or deep feeling associated with someone or something.

The ‘movement,’ of course, can be for the emotional good or bad. It just, I suppose, depends on the situation.

So, with that loosely described definition, let’s take a look at some of the things (in no particular order) that do, in fact, move me:

Music. I simply can’t imagine a life without music. I’m not a singer — or at least not a public one. I can’t play an instrument, but the impact music has on me is sometimes even hard for me to explain. I associate songs with people, moments and just about anything. Certain songs spark certain emotions. And that will never change. Yes, I love Bon Jovi. But it’s so far beyond that. I love just about any kind of music. I have ‘high school’ songs, ‘college’ songs, people songs, driving songs, thinking songs. I love songs that mean something — for whatever reason. It couldĀ be a classical piece, it could be a country song, it could be a commercial jingle. It doesn’t matter. If it impacts me in any way, it becomes a part of the soundtrack of my life.

Words. More specifically, well thought out emotional and honest words. Written or spoken. Either way. Doesn’t matter. Fact is, words are powerful. For some, it’s easier to write than it is to speak. So what. Fact is, emotions are coming across — regardless of how they are delivered. Is it easier to hide behind the keyboard? Maybe. Heck, I’m even guilty of that at times. Is it ideal? No. But, if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes. Good writing is such an art. An under appreciated art. You don’t always know good when you see it, but you certainly know bad — and that can move me, too — but for all the wrong reasons.

Friends. Can’t live without the support of my friends. I mean, how else do I say it? I’m not one for a huge group of friends. I’m much more of the get close to a smallerĀ number and, well, let them in as far as they want. Those that want in, well, those are the ones I hold close. Those are the ones who let me in in return and the give and take is just fabulous. Friends that I’ve known since first grade. Friends that I’ve known since college. Friends that I’ve known for only a few years. It’s not how long you’ve been friends. It’s about what you’ve experienced. And with mine, well, I’ve experienced a lot — and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I just hope some feel the same about me as I feel about them.

Water. Not the drinking kind. The ocean/river/lake kind — with preference given to the ocean. I’ve been around water my entire life. Growing up by the ocean, going to college on a river, working by a lake. Now working on a river and back by the ocean. So much comfort in the water. A place to go when quiet is needed and thinking needs to be done. I can still see the exact spot I used to go to in college when I needed to be myself. Forget the iPod, didn’t exist then. I’d take the walkman with an Elton John tape(!) and just go sit by the river and think. I got engaged by the ocean for a reason. There’s just something mysterious and comforting about the water. And the best time of year to go to the beach? Now. Haven’t been in a while. Time to go explore.

Family. Be it my kids, my wife, my mom, my siblings, my relatives. Doesn’t matter. Family is important. Don’t forget that. It’s easy to do sometimes. Think of the holidays and what do you remember? Family. The best part of a holiday meal isn’t the turkey or the dessert. No, it’s the rehashing of the same family stories you’ve heard over and over. Stories that have shaped your life. It’s the kids — when after a long day of battles, a simple exchange of please and thank you can do wonders.

So, there are five things that move me — in one way or another. Mostly for the good. This isn’t as easy as it seems. It challenges your own emotions to think of important things that can have an impact on your life — and why. I’m sure more will come up, and, if they do, perhaps I’ll add them here at some point.

In the meantime, thanks to my new reader for asking the question.

And now I ask the same question to all of you.

You now know some of the things that move me. So tell me, what moves you?