Today’s prompt is musical. Listen to Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah and then. . .write.
My philosophy is, when life presents you with opportunities, grab them and enjoy the adventure!
This has been a weekend filled with opportunities:
Dress rehearsal for the 6th year running – check
Dinner with friends at The Pub Outback – check
Milling wood for the new addition – check
Dance Recital completed successfully – check
Photographs for the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild – check
Pinochle with Del and Jackie – check
Blog Posts underway – check
Golf Tournament – check
WoW! It’s been a busy couple of days, but in a good way. A very good way. With all this going on it can either be overwhelming and stressful or exciting and interesting.
I pick exciting and interesting!
It is a blessing to be able to do these things, to have these connections, to be with the friends and family sharing the opportunities.
Some of the memories created this weekend include the oohs and aahs of the beginning dancers when they see the adult tappers and tell us “You are so cool!”
Yeah, that Typewriter dance was pretty cool!
And some of our boys working together doing what they love to do, ‘play’ with wood, turning it into something that will support our home and act as a lasting memory of them.
Look at that beam! What a beautiful thing.
This is the first year of doing the dance recital that I didn’t feel nervous and I think I did better than ever. Maybe writing that post about stage fright last week was all I needed to relax me. That, and reminding myself that “is is what it is.” It feels good to let go of some of the worries.
Being with a variety of friends eating, drinking, and laughing is a priceless treasure.
Finally, an afternoon on the golf course, playing for a Relay for Life benefit. To be able to do good and have fun at the same time. . .
The day was perfect – a light breeze, but still warm. Some of our shots were good – good enough to land us in third place. (Yay us!)
That contributed an extra $100.00 to the benefit.
I even earned an opportunity for a putting playoff. It was me and the boys.
Sadly, I whiffed it on the back stroke and didn’t earn the extra $75.00 for the cause. Ah well, you can’t win them all.
AND NOW FOR THE FLIP SIDE!
It’s Monday, and the hill climb for boot camp is looming over me. It’s just a few hours away and I don’t want to do it. I don’t know why.
I did it a couple of weeks ago in preparation (and anticipation) and it wasn’t so bad. But for some reason. Today. I am dreading it.
After getting home from work I went out to weed the flower beds and have been tossing it back and forth. . .‘so what if I don’t go? What’s the big deal?’ ‘Oh, just go and get it over with, what’s the big deal?’ ‘But I don’t want to!’ (said in a terribly whiney voice reminding me of my 5-year-old self)
So what is this all about? I ask myself. Yesterday I was all good with grabbing opportunities that life sent my way and today I’m all bad with new opportunities and want them to vamoose! Can I have it both ways?
Well, yes, I can pick and choose the opportunities I will embrace – the ones I will say yes to – and I certainly have the free will to say NO to others. Yeah, but. . .sometimes that free will thing doesn’t always cooperate with certain parts of my brain. Like now.
Yeah, but. . .if I don’t go do the damn hike I’ll be mad at myself later.
Yeah, but. . .I DON”T WANT TO!
Yeah, but. . .you know you’re going anyway. Maybe you just want to whine about it first.
Yeah, okay. You’re probably right.
I’ll provide an update when I get back.
Okay. I’m back.
Glad I did it.
Glad it’s over.
Glad my time was the same as the trial climb, but this climb was actually longer.
Now I know.
SEIZE THE MOMENT!
You’ll be glad you did.
This has been a full weekend for me, and as I was thinking about how fortunate I am this song popped into my head-
I remember hearing this over and over again as a child. I’m sure my mom must have had the record and perhaps it was a radio favorite. It was 1967 and I was eleven years old. We lived on Church Street and my life was good, which is why I probably remember the song so well. I think the lyrics resonated with me at that time. I was loving life and could feel that sense of overflowing love for everything.
The memory got me thinking about other music from my past and how I associate with it. There are times when I hear a song and relate it to either a specific moment in time or a relative period of time in my life. Music jogs my memory. Today I’ll share a few oldies with you and hope it takes you on a sweet trip down memory lane, as well.
Another love song. At fourteen I wanted to be in love and have someone feel about me like this guy felt about Rosemary.
I relate this song to the end of the Vietnam era – which never affected me in a direct way, but I had a sense that the older students worried about the draft and tried to imagine the horrors of being sent away to fight and kill. I knew I could never do it. I was fourteen, living in northern Vermont – I never thought the war could affect me, but the lyrics meant something to me in a larger way.
Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend, do it in the name of heaven, you can justify it in the end, there won’t be any trumpets blowin’ come the judgement day, on the bloody morning after one tin soldier rides away.
This is another one played over and over and over again in 1971 making me think about humanity, and history, and injustices in the world. I was fifteen years old and full of righteousness. Hearing this one again reminded me of Cher’s Half Breed:
More about injustice, but as I watch the video today I have to think there was something that didn’t mesh – the words and the image she’s portraying – doesn’t really look like ‘anyone has been against her since the day she was born’. But that was the Sonny and Cher show – one of the many song and dance shows popular in the day. Here’s another of my favorites from Cher:
At the school dances most of the girls would be front and center, dancing in a group, while the boys stood around the perimeter. Who cared? When a slow song came around, the boys would too.
Best slow dance song of the day? Hey Jude:
Being an 8th grader and going to “basement parties” – called that because they were always held in someone’s basement. I guess that’s the only safe place parents could house a dozen or more young teens. This is where you and your friends made those boy/girl connections that usually lasted only a week or two because you mostly communicated through friends rather than directly with one another. The real purpose of ‘going out’ was to have someone to hold hands with or make out with at these parties.
I could go on forever. The 70s – particularly 1970-74, my high school years, had some amazing music. I’ve included a video of some of the top hits of 1974 below. Enjoy, and may your cup runneth over with beautiful memories!
When is the last time you stood up in front of a large group of people and performed?
Some do it every day – musicians, motivational speakers, actors. . .
In a way I do it with small groups daily, as an educator. But that’s not the same as performing in front of a large crowd for the purpose of performance.
When I think about the number of times I have done this it’s not a large number. There were the dance recitals when I was a kid (6), and the plays in high school (3), and some professional development trainings in my adult life (6), and most recently dance recitals again (5). Altogether that’s less than two dozen opportunities to ‘put it all out there’ and sometimes I get stage fright.
Most of the time it’s nothing more than butterflies in the stomach and shaky legs. And maybe a bit of memory loss. Afterall, transferring something like this:
Begin R heel up, hand on hip, 5678 and
:02 hip snap hip snap for 4
:05 flap R, L, R and flap BC (x 4, last 2 turning)
:14 Grocery store step R and L
flap toe heel turn to R, br back BC, step R clap, step L clap, step R clap clap, L scuff front and hold
:21 3 shoulder twist, L stomp stamp, pull backs L R L R, shfl toe heel x 3 (RLR) shfl shfl L,
:29 L paddle, R paddle, L paddle and dbl roll on R (and repeat), step L drag R, step R, step L (hands on thighs)
:36 heel slaps (RLRLRL) toes out and in, repeat, zigzag R, scuff L hop R, step L and R (repeat L), scuff R toe R toe L heel heel hop back and switch (repeat L)
:50 3 BC (back front/side side/back front), 2 heel drops left (face back) step L and rendejambe to face front, triple Buffalo, stomp stamp R(lunge), reach L out and drag R in, R brush toe back, triple Buffalo, stomp stamp clap clap
1:00 L shuffle and R heel drop x 4, step L shfl hope toe and repeat turning, step clap x 4 to finish turn, L br back BC and repeat R
1:09 R draw back(and a one and a two and a ((end L heel)), 2 Cincinnati, R br heel toe (R toe back), R scuff hop L step, step L step R, step slide, zigzag R 4, L br bk BC, R hip twist x 3, L 4 drawbacks end R toe, scuff R, L heel, dig R slap R, L stomp and kick
1:24 Step L and forward (into Charleston) and kick kick R, R brbk toe heel, L stomp stamp (turn L ¼) – repeat x 3 alternating feet each time + turning to face front
L pull into time (pull hop shuf step, step BC),
toe toe heel heel slide in and scoot front and REPEAT
R brush heel toe (R toe back)
R scuff hop L step, step L step R step slide L
zigzag R x 4, L brbk BC, R hip twist x 3
into something that looks good on a stage can be a challenge.
The worst stage fright I ever experienced was just before opening night of a one act play in high school. During dress rehearsal two days before opening night I lost my voice. I had no illness, no sore throat, no feelings of fear or nervousness, but I had no voice. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. It was strange. I would open my mouth to speak and nothing came out. Not a squeak. It lasted for about 24 hours and by the night of the play I was fine.
This week is the dance recital for Dance Images by Heidi – the studio’s 25th year! My fellow dancers and I will be performing two numbers and I’m thinking now about the bit of stage fright I usually have on that day. Yes, I said bit because I think with age comes a more laizzez faire attitude than when I was younger. It’s not that I don’t care, but I worry about these things less.
I have this sign in my house:
I think looking at it every day has helped instill in me the mind set that there is little in life worth stressing over – much of what occurs is just that – an occurrence – and however it turns out, well, there you are, really; no better or worse off than when you started, usually.
But sometimes, when you ‘put yourself out there’ and take a personal risk, you feel just a little bit stronger for it; a little more empowered for having tried.
Therefore, two days before the big day I am telling myself that I will be fine. My knees may shake and I may miss a step here or there, but in the big scheme of things, my five minutes on stage is only a big deal because I am giving myself another opportunity to take a risk and do something I love to do. More power to me!
It’s time for another video prompt. The one I chose for today is very powerful. It begins as a celebration of the earth’s beauty – the miracle of life here really. It then goes on to show some of the realities of what is happening to the planet, and finally ends with a reminder that there are some true heroes out there trying to make a difference. Watch it and then take your thoughts where you will. There are so many ideas the video will provide for you, so just write.