November 6, 2020
I came of age in the early 1970’s so rock was my preferred genre of music. While I enjoyed psychedelic rock, I tended to lean toward soft rock and ballads. I was swayed to the dark side during the late 80’s and 90’s when a friend introduced me to country dancing. When I found out how much I enjoyed dancing, I realized I needed to listen to the music to know which dance went with which songs. That began a love affair with Country Music that continues to this day. While I listen to the new songs, I prefer the Golden Oldies featured on Country Prime radio. Not surprisingly, these are songs from the 80’s and 90’s.
One of the artists I enjoy is Reba McEntire. Reba Nell McEntire was born March 28, 1955. She began her career as a high school student singing in the Kiowa High School band, on local radio shows with her siblings, and at rodeos. She signed her first contract with Mercury Records in 1975 and released her first solo album in 1977. McEntire has since released 29 studio albums, acquired 24 number one singles, 16 number one albums, and 28 albums have been certified gold, platinum, or multi-platinum in sales. She is often referred to as “The Queen of Country.” Reba has sold more than 75 million records worldwide. In the early 1990’s, McEntire branched into film starting with 1990’s Tremors. She has since starred in the Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun (2001) and in her television sitcom Reba (2001–07), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
I find one of McEntire’s songs particularly relevant. “Is There Life Out There” peaked at #1 in March 1992 and was made into a television movie (starring Reba) in 1994. This depicts a young woman who wonders if she made the right choice getting “married when she was twenty.” It is not that she does not love her husband and children, it is instead that she wonders what else she might have done. In the movie, she chooses to pursue college and a career. I have seen several movies which depict similar musings by older adults (usually 30 somethings) wondering what life might be like had they made different decisions when they were young. The number and popularity of these movies tells me there are a lot of people who feel this way.
Thoughts: I have sometimes wondered what life would be like had I made different choices. What if I had chosen one career and stuck to it rather than eclectically bouncing through my chosen paths? Every time I have such thoughts, I always come to three mediating points. One, it is the path I choose that makes me who I am today. Two, the choices I made were not made rashly. I put time and thought into all (most?) of them and made what I thought to be the best decision at the time. Third, just like the housewife above, I could still make changes. While I may never achieve my dream of being on the first interstellar flight looking for alien races, I can buy a telescope to look at the stars. It is a matter of choice. Do the work. Follow the science. Change is coming and it starts with you.