Monthly Archives: January 2015

Rambling on and pursuing joy

Fair warning: this post is a bit of a ramble.

It’s been a difficult few years for DH and DBF and myself. We’re all orphans, now, and that brings with it all sorts of challenges. Dealing with the various estates (though calling them that sounds much more grand than they are) brings a host of issues that are annoying and heart-wrenching at the same time. Two of the three are settled; still waiting on the third. (Anyone interested in a mid-century ranch home in the Milwaukee area?)

We’re all struggling with the aftermath and working through how to live with the gaping hole that has been left by the loss of our parents. For the most part we’re doing fairly well. As I try to heal, I am determined to pursue joy wherever and whenever possible, and to actively search for the activities and people that are affirming and positive and creative and, well, joyful. Get back to doing the things I loved to do that have fallen by the wayside.

DH presented me with a number of lovely gifts this Christmas, the most meaningful of which was a gift certificate for voice lessons. Once upon a time, I had a good singing voice. As in, people would frequently tell me I should be on Broadway, or sing professionally. I sang in theatrical productions, I sang in an acapella jazz group, I for sang innumerable weddings, I sang with a Big Band, I sang for fun. Being a singer is so central to my being that I still think of myself that way…..but I haven’t sung in almost 10 years. Part of it, weirdly, is the lack of a commute. When I lived in the Big City, my daily commute was almost an hour each way. I sang almost every day on that commute, which kept my voice in relatively good shape.

Now, however, DH and I live 10 minutes from work. Not much time to work up a good set. Every now and then I drive somewhere further away and try to sing, but having not sung regularly has made my voice weaken and shrivel to the point that I cringe at the sound coming out of my mouth. (I feel like those American Idol wannabes that proclaim they’re wonderful singers and then have a perfectly awful audition.)  I have shared my situation with friends, and a few of them demanded that I get back to singing, pronto. Enter DH and his lovely gift. I’m hoping that some voice lessons will help to get my voice, if not back to what it once was, at least to an acceptable status.

Meanwhile, I’m also wanting to do more pottery, and have decided to purchase a kiln of my own. The electrician will be giving me an estimate soon, and I’m planning to get things set up in spring. Creating something useful and charming and occasionally beautiful is good for the soul. Having the tools at my ready is a luxury I am able to have thanks to my parents and a small inheritance. I found out recently that my Mother and DBF had been secretly on the hunt for a kiln for me a few years ago; to purchase one now feels like a gift from mom.

And then there’s travel. I adore traveling. Unfortunately, DH and I haven’t been able to travel much; our last official vacation was in 2008. It’s ridiculous. Travel is absolutely on my list for this year.

DH, for his part, is getting back to bowling. He really loves to bowl, and is (or was) a seriously good bowler. A few of his bowling balls cracked, having been stored in the garage. Not a good idea, apparently, in our frigid climate. He’s on the hunt for a new bowling ball or two. (Yes, bowlers will have a few of them. Who knew?)

DBF is working on Book Two, which is seriously exciting. You can follow her writing here, by the way. She’s redecorating/remodeling/redoing her home, too, and it’s amazing to see her imaginings come to fruition. DBF was doing Pinterest before there was such a thing. She had binders of photos cut from magazines of rooms and fabrics and colors and arrangements, all in the name of someday having a room or home that looked like that. Well, she has. Her home is beautiful and elegant and welcoming all at the same time, and looks like one of those Pinterest photos that someone would pin for their own inspiration.  She and her DH have added a master wing onto the house, which I have yet to see. From the photos, it looks amazing.

We’re doing okay. It’s going to be a joyful year. Amen. Let it be so.

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