Exploring Other Passions

Wow.  It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here.  Since my last post, I’ve returned to work (teaching), my youngest started school, and life became much busier than it had been before.  And, unfortunately, as things got busier my writing was shoved aside to make room for other things that were work-related or family-related.  But here I am now.  And that’s thanks to Eli Pacheco, one of my blogger friends.  Eli (Coach Daddy) has been a constant support throughout the last few years that we’ve known each other through social media, and an inspiration for many of my posts.  I still love reading every one of his blog posts, and every time I do I think, If only I could have that much creativity running through my veins to be able to write not only so often but so poignantly.  Recently Eli emailed to ask if I would participate in his latest 6 Words post.  I always feel honoured when he asks me to participate because he’s giving his platform to other bloggers so that we can generate interest in our own blogs, which is a pretty generous thing for him to do.  And his 6 Words posts are always thought-provoking for me and fun.  But because I haven’t written a post on my own blog since August of 2015 (I returned to work in September of 2015), I wasn’t sure how to respond.  I didn’t want to say no.  That email from Eli was a kick in the pants to take some time, sit down, and just write.  So here we are.

I have mentioned several times in previous blogs that one of my passions is singing.  I grew up singing all of the time.  I would sing in church, I would sing to my dog, and I would sing in my room, pretending I was on a stage entertaining tens of thousands of people.  In high school I sang in a school play, and after high school I sang with my friends’ band and in multiple weddings.  I was pretty good.  But I never pursued it further because…well…life gets busy.  That seems to be my excuse for giving up my passions.  A number of years ago I set a goal to start singing again, but that idea was quickly shelved and I busied myself with another passion:  writing.  However, at the end of this summer I thought, This is it.  Just do it.  I enlisted a good friend of mine – who happens to be a musician when he has spare time – to play guitar and sing some songs with me.  We did that and decided to record them.  Then, maybe against my better judgement (!), I decided to post them on YouTube.  I’m attaching them here, just for fun.

This is the latest – a “True Colors” cover – which we recorded last week.

This is the second – a “One Day” cover – which we recorded last month.

This is the first one – a “Wheat Kings” cover – which we recorded in September.

Although I feel vulnerable posting these, I’m doing it anyway.  I hadn’t sung publicly since 1999, so doing this first one was pretty scary.  But I honestly feel like that’s part of what life is about:  feeling vulnerable and scared so that we push ourselves to do things that challenge us and enable us to grow and be better.  I will continue to do that with singing…and hopefully that kick in the pants to start writing again will stick so I can continue to do that with writing too.

3 Words for 2014

I follow a blogger on Twitter, who had an interesting writing prompt this week:  write 3 words to describe what your 2014 will be about.  I have been thinking long and hard about this one for several days.  I think I have the same New Year’s Resolutions as many:  I’d love to exercise more – okay, MUCH more, since I barely exercise at all – and get in better shape, especially as I approach my 40th birthday this summer; I’d love to read more – again, MUCH more, in my spare time (rather than watching TV);  and I really should get little projects around the house finished up – or even STARTED.  Eeks.  But I don’t want to write the same as everyone else.  And I can’t really improve on the obvious bad habits, because, luckily, I don’t have the “obvious” bad habits.  Don’t get me wrong, I have lots to work on, but what I mean is I don’t have “quit smoking” or “stop eating fast food” or “limit my alcohol intake” as possible resolutions.   So here goes.

BLISS – specifically the phrase “follow your bliss” applies here.  I absolutely LOVE singing.  I did it a lot as a kid – or as much as a shy(ish) little girl could, in my room, and then later in a play, and with my friends’ band, and in a string of weddings – but haven’t really sung in almost 15 years.  I would like to sing this year.  One of my dreams is to make a CD for my kids to have.  I just need to research where to go and how to get tracks laid down for me since I don’t really play instruments – well, I haven’t for decades.  I see a trend here.  Life gets busy, but I think it’s important to hold on to the hobbies one finds rewarding and satisfying.  I need to do this.

GRATITUDE – I am incredibly fortunate to have what I have.  Often I get caught up in the things that I do not have, or with the things that I want to improve but have no control over.  Instead, I really need to just be grateful for my life.  I have a wonderful family, including 2 healthy and happy children, I have so much fun here at work at the radio station, where I work with such fantastic people, I have a satisfying job as a teacher where I love working with students, my husband and I are healthy, I have terrific friends (but, unfortunately they are all over the place and so I don’t get to see them very often), we have a nice home and great neighbours…and the list goes on.  I think it’s time to start the good ole “gratitude journal” that Oprah Winfrey used to talk about years ago.

STOP – I mean this in terms of my children.  There are times when my husband and I hope for the kids to grow up a little quicker, so that they sleep longer – and don’t wake up SEVERAL times each night – and so that they are a little more independent…and so that they can play together without us worrying that our son is too rough or our daughter isn’t understanding that hitting her brother to provoke him isn’t the best decision to make.  Anyway, I need to stop wishing they would grow up faster.  Yes we are sleep deprived.  Yes we are not able to go out much – at least, without breaking the bank for a babysitter.  But, and here’s where word #2 comes in, I must be grateful for the opportunity to have these moments.  Many people are not so lucky.

Those are my 3 words for my goals for 2014.  I’m sure I will think about it some more and think of additional words…and that’s okay.  Nothing’s wrong with having goals, right?