Monday, February 22, 2016

Happen To Life!

   One of my passions in life is the performing arts so I tend to view life from a thespian lens. That said I’m transitioning to the next Act of my life.  I'm coming out of a season where I've noticed that a number of people who I thought would be around forever ended up moving away.  Additionally, I've lived through the passing away of some of my closest family and friends. AND my children are graduating and moving on.  All this feels like life is presenting me with an inordinate amount of changes in a short span of time.  Broken and grappling for some semblance of normalcy, I decided not to sit back and watch all these things happen in my life and do nothing to make sure I still have a life.  Change is and always will be a constant. Instead of sitting on the sidelines watching life happen to me, I decided to get in the game and develop a new strategy for a new normal.  What do I enjoy?  What is most rewarding?  How can I help more people? What's simply fun?  How can I get my life and live this next Act with purpose and fulfillment?  So, with that in mind, I decided not to just watch life happen to me but make a plan and "happen to my life."
    Last year I went to one of the saddest funerals I have ever attended.  Everyone spent the whole time celebrating what the person was in the past and this person wasn’t that old. They talked about how amazing this person was in high school which was 30 plus years ago.  I said to myself, I” don't want that to be my story.  I want to continue to do amazing things and I want to celebrate today and tomorrow.  I want to look for opportunities to help as many people as I can.  I never want to stop living a most impactful life
   Each season of life can be as rewarding as we want it to be if we sure ourselves up with people, places and things that fulfill us.  I decided that all those things in my life that I’ve wanted to do but were on hold, for whatever reason, can now be explored.  I've never been one to feel the grass is greener someplace else. Wherever I am is where the action is.  So, I'm determined to have each Act of my life as rewarding as it can be.                                                 So, if you are experiencing uncomfortable and maybe even painful change you're not alone.  I want to encourage you to go get your life! Sitting around lamenting about the “good old days” will be of no benefit to you.  Create some amazing new days.  If what was normal and comfortable for you is now a thing of the past, create a new normal.  Don't just sit idly by and let life happen to you.  Make an amazing new plan and go get it!  It's your time.  Go for it!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Music Is Saving My Brain

Music Is Saving My Brain
I have been the music director at my church for 25 years.  Over the years, I have been exposed to countless songs.  My responsibilities include learning and teaching vocal parts to tenors, altos, and sopranos.  I also have to memorize arrangements and lead words and vocals.  The constant  calisthenics that I have to engage to keep all this info at the ready is astounding.
I watched as the aging process ravaged both my parents' mental capacity.  By the time my father passed away his brain had gradually shut down.  He went from not. being to recall every day, simple words so he could engage in conversation, to sitting in silence, and downhill from there.  My mom was not nearly as bad but I watched her struggle to remember what day it was to thinking she was the same age as me to repeatedly asking the same question over and over.
I am so thankful for being able to constantly exercise my brain through the platform that music provides.  With my role as music director, I embrace the never-ending challenges to learn new music and teach parts to the rest of the vocalists.  I know this helps to keep my brain stimulated and functioning on a healthy level.  So, I contend that along with all the medicinal and healing properties that music provides, I certainly have benefitted by the salve of musical exposure.  Oftentimes,  people who haven't seen me for a long time ask me, "Are you still singing?"  I want you all to know that the answer is, and will continue to be a resounding YES!