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Music is the Balm

Ever present, ostensibly multiplying behind my back (perhaps even unashamedly before my very eyes), housework is my adversary. Laundry, kitchen, bathroom cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, not to mention the deep cleaning that comes with all the people in my house.

I won’t bore you with the details, but sometimes I swear other people live with us and I just haven’t met them yet.

Audrey helps to make it more bearable. And Netflix. The baskets of laundry mount up and beg to be folded after sitting there, facelessly staring me down for a couple nights before I relent. “Ok,” I concede. “I’ll get to you as long as I can watch an episode of something at the same time,” I whine to the apparel. The apparel doesn’t care; it’s worn, too. (See what I did there, and I’m not even sorry.)

So, as a mindless episode of guilty pleasure facilitates the folding, so too Audrey accompanies me with my bathroom cleaning.

On goes the speaker, blasting sounds to fill my cup. The air fills with music, accompanied by fumes of Scrubbing Bubbles and toilet cleaner, and it makes the chore less …imposing.  Audrey Assad. 2013 Fortunate Fall album. It’s a mediation-type album, so my kids think it’s incredibly monotonous. Perhaps a little contradictory, but this mundane chore, accompanied by a lyrical, droning album, actually fills the cup of my soul; like the rhythm and comfort of the repetitive prayers of the Rosary, she makes the imposition of housework a sort of devotion in themselves.

Instead of draining myself of energy with the daunting tasks of cleaning, in that moment, I feel energized and ready for the war.

Well, until someone enters the room and catches me belting out the lyrics, accompanying or harmonizing with Audrey; then I just feel gauche. Not that it stops me, mind you. I just lower my voice, like a 4-year-old who’s been told to be quiet but can’t quite help himself.

This weekend, Adele joined Audrey for my own personal concert. JJ Heller has also made an appearance or two, as does Francesca Battistelli’s 2013 album Hundred More Years album, especially “This is the Stuff.” That was my anthem for a little while. Making it less of a task and more of a meditation, my backup singers got my backup. Rinse. Repeat.

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Erin Bayard

Erin lives in Lafayette, Louisiana. She homeschools 4 of her 5 children and has one in college. She relaxes primarily with good music, Netflix, or a good biography, and may be overly enthusiastic about puns.

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