can you allow yourself your dreams after you’ve seen your nightmares?

February 27, 2012


i didn’t have any understanding just how much a big ol’ bout of cancer would knock the stuffing out of me.  or maybe, it was less that i lost my stuffing (well, trust me that i gained plenty of stuffing over the past few years – then lost some – then…oy..) but that i battened down all the hatches.  almost every one.  i could not listen to music in any meaningful way.  i shut it out because my heart ached to want more out of it  – to let it touch me.  i shut out big dreams and oversized wants and certainly closed the door to seeing my life too far ahead.  it was too dangerous to crack that door open and get a glimpse of open sea – lest the door slam shut and you’re stuck back in the world of 1/2 drawn curtains and industrial lighting. 

but…time is a funny thing.  if you manage to stay in the game of time, eventually, slowly, you put some of it behind you and there is a glimmer that you might – just might – think about next year or plan for even a few years ahead.  i still ‘knock on wood’ (usually my head) and sometimes take a deep breath but slowly i find some more space between now and then. 

and, in a scenario i only allowed in my most private thoughts, i have allowed myself to not only dream but to do – to create and work on a life i have wanted to return to for many years – of making music and singing again and finding the discipline to be back on stage.  it has almost helped that i look nothing like my old former hot curvy sassy self because i am given the gift of not trying to recreate what was but to create and shape what is now and, more importantly, what will be because i want it.  that’s what i say to myself every week at each audition before i walk in through the door to face the casting folks.  quietly to myself i say:   ‘you are here because you want to.  have a pisser of a time.’  (the first part is mine; the second told to me once upon a hot-curvy-sassy-fling with a famous irish flutist who said he said that to himself every time he was about to walk onstage.) 

i now happily juggle my regular working life, my wonderful family (they might say they juggle me!); and the buds of a life of music and theater that is starting to, once again, belatedly, take shape.  what shape?  i’m not sure but i am determined.  and i’m here because i want to be.  i’m having a pisser of a time.


affirmative action

June 1, 2009



last friday was an anniversary of sorts. one year ago, bertha entered my life and my house.  i wrote about bertha earlier.     i’ve been thinking a lot about the thought process that went into deciding to get so mirrors my life.  i take a long time.  i don’t even acknowledge that i’m thinking about something important but i instinctively know that the gears are back there turning.  i mull.  a lot.  and then i know.  i just know.  the university term paper get succinctly written.  the paperwork gets done.  i decide to sing at a friend’s wedding.  i buy the elliptical and know that my life has changed forever. 

my manager at work has long since stopped asking me those traditional questions about my goals.  she hates my answer.  when she interviewed me, she brightly looked at me with hope and enthusiasm and said:  what are your sales goals?  man oh man am i not cut out for a traditional life.  i wouldn’t know a traditional reply if it was written on a card in my pocket.  ‘one deal a month.’  i thought she would pass out.  somehow i  got hired.  but that was one of my most honest answers publicly ever.  i knew that if i got one deal a month, i would strive for the 2nd and the 3rd.  but i wasn’t going to put it on a billboard only to fall flat on my face.  and last year i exceeded it with over 28 deals.  this year…good thing that’s my goal!  i might achieve it. 

getting off the topic tho.  i had to decide – in my very private heart of hearts – how to handle this expensive decision i had made.  was i just buying the sporting paraphernalia but then would leave it all behind?  i did take it day by day.  every single day agreeing to one more day of this.  i think that my decision to ‘never go on a diet again’ has been one of the most helpful things i have done.  i decided that there were a few things i could give up:  mayonnaise (i had a serious and cumbersome egg salad jones for the past few years); ice cream (substituted non-fat frozen yogurt or fudge bars) and a decision to try to eat ‘one major visible carb a day’.  those three things changed everything.  i eat.  i really eat.  and i love yogurt and fruit and almonds for breakfast – and allow myself to buy the stupidly expensive but truly wonderful fage 0% thick greek yogurt.  i tend to save my big carb for dinner – a baked potato or rice or pasta.  in fact, i almost never skip that big carb- it makes me feel normal.  i still have to convince myself to go walking – tho these days it’s more power-walking and flat out running – but i do well with a regular schedule and if i can do it in the morning, i feel so right these days.  (it’s wreaked a little havoc with my morning work schedule but …)

1 year.  23.5 pounds shed.  slowly.  bit by bit.  For me, the biggest milestone was finally finally finally creeping under the 180 mark while still being able to go to my favorite french restaurant once every few weeks for pan-roasted chicken and sauteed spinach and a glass of sauvignon blanc. actually, if i’m being honest here, the biggest milestone is that i am still ok with my goals – as private as they may be.   hooray.

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