Go ahead, have your Cake

We originally published this piece on Roundtable Talk, official blog of The Executive Roundtable, an accelerator group for next generation executives.

I get the strangest ideas for blogs when I’m running. It takes all kinds of inspiration, especially at this time of year. Mine comes courtesy of Cake, a band I love, a band my husband absolutely hates (he prefers pie…). I have a lot of Cake on my Ipod. This may be ironic, as I’m focused on perhaps burning off some cake when I’m listening to Cake, but it’s there because Steve doesn’t want to hear it in our house.

So I’m (trying) to run in the snow and on comes Cake. Sure John McCrea can hardly sing. Neither can Tom Petty, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, or Eddie Vedder, so let’s not belabour the point. But man can Cake swing. Depending on the song, I think to myself “gee I wish I could play the FILL IN THE BLANK like that!” I’m amazed by trumpet. Or the bass. Or the keyboards. Or my soft spot – drums. I LOVE drums. I’ve come to realize as a slightly self-aware adult that I love drums because if I were an instrument, I’d probably BE a drum. Bang bang bang. That’s the way I roll, that’s the way I get people to listen.

I’ve also come to realize that Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps, Love You Madly or Hem of Your Garment would suck if they consisted of just drums. It’s the trumpet, the bass line (especially the bass line!), the keyboards, John McCrea, that make each song uniquely Cake, and make me love them and turn them up loud. Otherwise, just bang bang bang.

I’m not into New Year’s resolutions because I think they set (some of) us up for failure. But if I have one thing that I plan to be more mindful of this year, it’s to maybe stop focusing so much on the drums, and start listening more to the trumpets, the keyboards, the bass and even the tone deaf singers. They all have valuable contributions to make too. Who knows, maybe somewhere in there, I’ll hear a symphony.

At the very least, I’ll enjoy some nice Cake.