It’s no secret to my friends who knew me in 1989 that I was a huge New Kids on the Block fan. My aunt purchased tickets for my cousin Heather and I to see them at the Iowa State Fair. This was their concert where they featured the album “Hangin’ Tough.”
When I was told I was going, it became the most exciting count down to the night of the performance. I was 14 years old and I can guarantee my enthusiasm was no different than the thousands of other girls at the concert. We had all spent weeks figuring out what outfit we were going to wear, how we would style our hair, made sure we knew every word to every song and read up on all of the teen magazines. We spent hours imagining how astounding it would be to see those boys all sing and dance to “Hangin’ Tough.”
It was Jordan, Jonathan, Joey, Donnie and Danny who stole our hearts that summer of 1989, and we were so excited to see them perform. We knew it was going to be an epic event.
I still remember they opened the concert with “The Right Stuff,” and I know I belted out those words and knew every dance move they were going to throw out at us. I remember hearing Joey sing “Please don’t go Girl” and I just melted. It was just him, on a little stool, with the others in the background. I thought he was singing just to me, at least that was what I convinced myself.
Needless to say, I had the best time and ended up having no voice by the end of the night because I was screaming and singing so loud. I can say it was an incredible experience. It truly made my summer!
As I ponder and think back to that concert…I love everything about the memory of that night.
There were no pictures taken of us dancing, singing out loud, no posting to social media, no phones to distract us. It was just my cousin Heather and I at this wonderful concert. In fact, the only tangible item I have from this concert is an old concert ticket. Yet, I can remember it like it was yesterday because I truly lived in the moment. I don’t need any pictures to remember that evening under the stars at the Grandstand. I can tell you where we sat, what I wore, and that I saw a few girls faint in the front row as The New Kids on the Block came out on stage. I can tell you that it was a very hot evening and it wasn’t because of the cuteness up on stage, but rather the humid August weather that always hits Des Moines, Iowa during the Iowa State Fair.
Call me old fashioned, but I believe we all need those memories because they keep us close to who we are. They allow us to reflect back on a special time and share the memory with our loved ones as we grow older, so they can see a little piece of who we were when we were young. If we are busy with selfies and trying to post things to our social media we end up missing out on the moment right in front of us.
This is what makes me disappointed at times. We have so much to distract us from enjoying the most magical moments. We have a device in our hand that is so powerful. This device can take the most exciting moment away from us because it becomes such a powerful distraction.
I love having a phone for multiple reasons, but what I have in front of me right now is the most important. It has nothing to do with a powerful device like a smartphone. It’s about hearing my children talk about what is going on in their lives, a lunch or coffee break with a friend, that concert my children are performing in, piano party, soccer game, swim meet, or basketball game. It’s about the moment in front of me and I how I choose to spend it. We all have a choice.
We’re not always going to get it right, we’re human, but it’s a nice reminder to allow ourselves to act sometimes as if these smart devices didn’t exist. It’s these opportunities we have to create memories with our loved ones.
I wanted to update you on my cancer treatment. I started my second week of Tamoxifen which is the hormone receptor blocking pill I take daily. In all honesty, it’s been tough to adjust to since starting this new drug. I have experienced some side effects but I have been told that is to be expected for at least one to three months. I will be on this drug for 5-10 years depending on research and how I do with it. I also have what is called cording under both of my arms from the surgery and reconstruction process. This is pretty typical for a body frame like mine so I had a myofascial release under both my arms yesterday so I now have more movement but certainly not a relaxing and pleasant experience. I may be back in another couple of weeks but I have daily exercises I will do until then. I was also told to be patient with my body as I heal physically and emotionally. I know that’s wise advice!
I believe the Holy Spirit was sending me a subtle nudge when I thought back to the memory of the New Kids on the Block concert. It was this message of “Hangin’ Tough” that inspired this post. A perfect memory as I face the challenges of the side effects from the Tamoxifen. I think the Holy Spirit is reminding me of “Hangin’ Tough,” even if I don’t feel tough right now.
I leave you with this quote that seems to sum up my post.
“Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”