Saturday, February 23, 2013

Maybe it's February

Maybe it is because my son is in the Yukon and I'm not.

Maybe it is because my friend is moving into a new house and I'm not.

Maybe it is because another friend is moving to a new city and I'm not.

Maybe it is because my daughter is in Halifax and I'm not.

Maybe it is because my sister is travelling to London and India, and I'm not.

Maybe it is just February.

Or maybe I just need a nap.

Until Spring.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

stepping out of my comfort zone

I have played the piano for years. Since I was five - so that is 52 years. I have always shied away from playing in front of people - my nerves get the best of me and I make mistakes, and then I feel bad for not being perfect. I have played recitals when I was taking piano lessons and it was always nerve-wracking. I believe my phobia stems from a piano festival I participated in when I was young - grade two. I arrived at the festival all excited and ready to play. My teacher asked me where my music was. I told her I didn`t need it because I had memorized my pieces. "What if you forget", she said. The thought had never crossed my mind. But ever since then it has. I have never forgot that moment - when doubt was introduced. It was profound and has dogged me ever since.

Recently a friend asked me to help her with a musical comedy her grade six class was performing. She wanted me to help the students learn the songs and then to accompany the performances. Helping the students was a no brainer. As I retired choir teacher that was well within my comfort zone. Playing for the performances? Not so much. My first answer was no. My second answer was no. But for this class, this teacher, I reconsidered. Because, well, at 57 it was time to step out of my comfort zone.

So a week of practising at home, and two and a half weeks of working with the class. Three performances are behind me now. And, it was, fine. I did it, and I enjoyed it. It was challenging, but also, fun, to follow the performers and to provide the background music to the play. I am especially proud of the music that accompanied the two chase scenes. It was those scenes I was most nervous about, and in the end the proudest of.

So, another new skill. Another new trick for an old dog. Another chance to push outside the boundaries and to not limit myself by past experiences.

I am continually surprised in this life. By myself, by others. And I am learning that surprises are, in fact, a good thing. Even if I don`t know it at the time. Surprises make me think, and step outside my comfort zone, and wake me up. And I don`t want to sleep walk through the rest of my life.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Giving Up

Lent begins tomorrow. When I was a little girl I would give up my penny candy. As a young woman I would give up chocolate. In those days I didn`t know about being able to break Lent on Sundays. Every Sunday being a little Easter. Last year I gave up facebook for Lent. And penny candy (which costs way more than a penny all these years later).

This year, along with facebook and penny candy I will also give up my daily crossword. This past weekend we went camping for two days and my husband commented how much he enjoyed morning coffee with me because I wasn`t solving my daily puzzle, but giving him my full attention. It made me think.

Why do I observe Lent? I don`t attend church every Sunday, but when I do attend it is always a deeply moving and spiritual experience. Always.

This past year, in my life, I have two people close to me who are undergoing chemo-therapy. For one it is a 48 week treatment. For the other it is a life long treatment. One day, I too may undergo some form of chemo-therapy. (Although I dare to use the word remission these days).

So in the next six weeks when I reach for the crossword, and then turn the page and put down my pen, or when I have a little craving for my beloved swedish fish that I will ignore, or when I think about logging onto facebook to see what my daughter et al are up to, and pick up the phone instead, I will remember.

I will remember that the central figure of my faith struggled and was lost in the wilderness for 40 days. That he doubted. That he was tempted. That he got mad. Really, really mad.

I will remember those two men in my life that are willing their bodies to win over the invisible foe.

I will remember that I am so very lucky, and really, in my life, I have suffered very little.

I will spend more focused time having coffee in the morning with my life partner.

I will pick up the phone, or write a letter.

I will pray.

As a friend said, for her, Lent is not about giving up, but about taking on.

I will take on looking forward with hope - to Easter and to Spring.