Tag Archives: challenges

A challenge to myself!

I’m feeling lately like I have more going on than I do, maybe due to the personal and internal struggle involved in it all. In talking with a friend, I was forced to face once again how little emphasis I put on myself and what I want…how everything I do has a major focus on others in my life…how I don’t deal with my own immediate issues but help others stay on top of their own. In my life, I want certain things and a certain lifestyle. I find myself frustrated and disappointed in who I am, what I should be doing, and why it is I put off the things I love most in life – writing and photography.

I was asked, if knowing this, I had an explanation. The practical side of me says, I don’t NEED the new camera and computer to create more blog posts. I don’t NEED the fancy technology to do what I love. There are more pressing items that need repair or purchase ahead of my camera and computer. BUT – that money is not money going into my own household or life, so what makes it more important? I’ve spent countless hours lamenting the absence of writing and photography in my current life, pondering how my love of these two fields has been so quickly and easily pushed aside to cover the needs of others. Why is the absence of my passion okay?

Today I made the decision that I’m going to begin taking small steps to recover writing and photography in my life. I can use small bursts of time to get out there and take a picture or write a small piece. I can recapture a part of my soul that has been missing. I can rediscover a journey I stopped walking along to suit the needs of others in my life. And I love my family, don’t get me wrong, but right now…I need to get back to me and in doing so, stop focusing so much on everyone else.

That was my plan this summer…to buy the camera and to buy the computer I want. I don’t need to focus on photo editing but rather, getting back to having that camera with me at all times to capture a moment or image. It literally takes a few seconds to pull over on my drive home and capture that image…or, if a thought comes to me, to verbally capture it recorded on my phone so that I can get home and transpose the recording into writing. And in knowing that, it seems a little more realistic already to imagine integrating both writing and photography back into my life.

In accepting the challenge to write and photograph again, I’m going to need to commit time I tend to spend elsewhere, namely in front of my television. Being on the computer all day definitely crushes my will to get back online once I get home. Maybe, however, this will lift my spirit back to where it likes to be, instill the creativity to tear through me like it did a few years ago, give back the voice that I so willingly handed over, and provide an outlet and opportunity to grow my professional writing.

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The Quest Continues…

In the throes of just writing again, simply to reactivate vocabulary and written communication skills, I’m finding it more and more difficult to stay away from my blog. I’m finding that ideas and words are flowing more freely, and that I’d rather spend time typing out my ideas and epiphanies and thoughts than do my actual day to day work and at home chores. Is that a bad thing I find me asking myself? Is it wrong to want to keep expounding and chatting and seeing occasional feedback? Is it bad that I’m just writing and not taking more photographs? My answer to those questions is NO! Absolutely not!!

I have to admit that pushing my limits has become my normal mode of thinking these days, refusing to give up the good fight. Whether it’s inner turmoil, handling issues at work and at home, pacing myself to read a book I’d rather rip through in order to get my next new book fix at the bookstore, or even just simply utilizing quiet time to get my head in order, I’m taking steps to live outside my normal realm. Recently I mentioned music, how it had been such an integral part of my pre-mom/wife lifestyle. I’ve found a show, the Sing Off (all accapella) which fits not only my love of music but the thrill of hearing voices and harmonies and percussion and bass all blending together. My favorite group has a solid country feel, and the bass singer has the most amazing voice, striking a low note that made my chest rumble. A full octave below the normal bass notes…blown away, just completely blown away. Music moves me in a way nothing else can, and I’m getting my fix regularly even if it is on television…the best part, my husband is addicted to the show as well so I don’t even have to fight for the remote! LOL Living outside the norm for sure and having my hubby come along for that musical ride is even better. Soon contestants from that show will be touring and you can bet, I will be there…it’s my birthday soon and I’m due! I work every day and balance my house…I’m due!

There it is…giving something to myself, investing in my heart and passion, allowing my guilty pleasure of music to dictate my birthday wishes. I will be there, even if I have to sneak in the backstage somehow! Isn’t it wonderful though, to feel so caught up, so alive again, so much involved with the arts whether as a listener, writer, photographer, or as an audience member. We get lost so easily, push off what we love for what we are supposed to do, get so caught up in what is “reality” and often times forgetting what brings us true joy. Writing…music…it’s all there. Written words with a melody, harmony, percussion…music, the expressions and fire that words cannot cross, emotions that lift and raise and fall and rise and take our breath away. Lost, just totally lost in the rapture of having found my joy, in being involved again, in feeling such a lift.

When you know the notes to sing……

In my pre-marriage pre-mama life, music played a huge and crucial role in my life. I spent hours in band, chorus, jazz band, pep band. I spent weeks at music camps and attending various festivals. I even auditioned for an all-state band and was selected amongst my many peers…of course I played the French Horn so I kind of had a leg up, but chosen just the same!! I had many friends within my musical circles, locally and regionally and state wide. I had college professors who spoke my language of flats and sharps and treble and bass.

In today’s life, music is not as strong an influence. Not that I don’t sing at the top of my lungs when a favorite song is on the radio, or that I don’t have CD’s of musicals in my car that blast over my sound system. But I don’t get out to shows and festivals and performances the way I used to, never mind being a performer in said events. My house is dominated by my husband and two teenage boys…none of whom are musical, none of whom play instruments, none of whom would lower themselves to be part of a chorus or band. It’s very sad for me…but thankfully my niece got our musical gene so I can live vicariously through her. (Genes – our uncle played with Glen Miller, an aunt went to Julliard, we grew up surrounded by musically gifted people!)

Last night, however, I hiked some risky terrain in my house and watched the Carrie Underwood version of the Sound of Music. While she is no Julie Andrews, I refused to change the channel for three hours. I sang along with the show, experienced an old emotion charged by music and acting that has long been dormant, smiled when the live cameras panned to wandering stage hands behind false windows, and thoroughly enjoyed being in the moment. The moment where my heart was momentarily full of a lost love, feeling a flush of emotions as voices and instruments soared.

I didn’t allow the normal changing of channels during commercials as I did not want to miss a second. I kept the remote…let me say that again…I Kept The Remote and refused to part with it until the musical performance was over. That is sacrilegious in my household…but, I broke tradition, laid down a gauntlet, and dared anyone to pull the remote from my grasp! It didn’t happen!

So there it is! I told a co-writer today that “an adventure is ANYTHING that helps you break out of your normal routine, challenges you a little bit, and pushes you to be, even momentarily, someone more than you are!” While I wasn’t braving a mountain, climbing on to a jetty, rock-climbing in Arizona or scaling a rock face, demanding that I get to watch an entire show, especially a Musical, is a huge challenge in my house. I scaled that terrain like a deer skipping through a stream and Loved every second of it. I reintroduced an old love back into my life and refuse to part with it again. And “When You Know the Notes to Sing, You Can Sing Most Anything”, or in my case I  Can DO Most Anything!!!