March 4th, 2013
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I try to clear my brain on the weekends and taking long walks or short runs usually does it for me.  I like to make an effort to wipe my mental slate clean of whatever happened last week and get rid of it so I don’t carry it into the next week.
However, this weekend I am fighting a cold and the weather in Washington, DC was just too cold and windy to allow me to get out in the elements.
Instead, I exercised indoors on my stationary bicycle and the only way to break the monotony of  being in one place is to wear my iPod and shuffle all my songs.  As I was watching the bicycle’s calorie counter slowly show my progress, a song came on I hadn’t heard in awhile: Carrie Underwood’s Lessons Learned.

The lyrics unfolded for me in a new way:

And all the things that break you,
Are all the things that make you strong,
You can’t change the past,
Cause it’s gone,
And you just gotta move on,
Because it’s all,
Lessons learned.
Boy is that true!  Sometimes you think the curve that life has handed you is totally going to break you to bits.  And at the time that it is happening to you it does feel that way.   You feel like a mess, like nothing is ever going to make sense again.  For me, I found strength in knowing that life is sometimes out of control and I needed to stop fighting it.
A lesson I learned is to reach out.  Sharing your problems with friends, family members or a support group and spending time in nature are just some of the ways that I found to be the best buffers against stress.  Force yourself to call someone because isolating ourselves can make “the blues” even worse.
Listening to music can also help you shake a down feeling, just as it helped me make the time on my stationary bicycle fly by.  Music can energize you and calm you.  It’s hard to stay in a bad mood when you are listening to a song that you love.
I hope Lessons Learned gives you strength and perhaps some inner resolve to deal with whatever is going on in your life.  Here is the multi-talented award-winning Carrie Underwood singing Lessons Learned:
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