The other night I was listening to Pandora while I was making dinner. I don’t listen to music on my commute aside from a brief car ride, but it keeps me company while I’m doing dishes, making lunches—essentially any chore that’s on tap once my kids are in bed. All of a sudden, a song I was enjoying skipped. I turned around to find the culprit and discovered my daughter going through my playlist. The next song that came on was one by Selena Gomez that she likes but I can’t stand. Before she could give it a thumbs up I yelled at her to back away from the phone. Let’s just say I got mad. She probably thinks I overreacted. In hindsight I did too at first and wondered why it bothered me so much. It’s just a song. And that’s when it hit me that the incident was simply a symptom of a larger problem: there are very few things I can truly call my own.
Let’s face it, sharing is hard. It’s a behavior that has to be taught and often rewarded (at least in my house). As the saying goes, “Sharing is Caring.” But I referee countless arguments over who gets to play with a toy first because sharing isn’t considered unless I suggest request it. Eventually we come of age where we understand that sharing is a societal norm, and even come to enjoy it. Although that typically comes about at a time when we have to share less. As independent adults we can decide to share our things as we see fit.
Then comes marriage, where what’s mine is now what’s ours. But it’s exciting—for a while. Because once kids come along you realize that nothing is sacred. Case in point. My husband bought me an iPad for my birthday a few years ago. There is not an app on it that’s for me. The only reason I know it’s mine is because it has my initials inscribed on the back. Don’t get me wrong. I’m OK with sharing. But sometimes I need something that I can call my own. Like my music. So sayonara Selena.