dance in the elevator

“When did you start studying voice,” one of my students asked me this week. She’s feeling anxious about an upcoming birthday (we seem to be especially aware of any number ending in “0”).

I took my first lesson in 1990. But I wonder about saying, “I started ____.” Because that implies at some point you’ll say, “I ended ____.” Some things do end, of course, like university, or college, a job, or relationship. But creative things don’t end unless we stop doing them.

Still, I know how much I’ve grieved the passage of time and the little I’ve had to show for some of it. That’s one reason why I try to work hard on my dreams now.

Yesterday is yesterday, and, therefore, as far as we know, gone. For all our wishes and grief, there is no way we can relive it, except in our memories and dreams. Our regrets may be many but, like Scrooge in Dicken’s ‘Christmas Carol’, we can resolve to go forward with a different attitude. The past can motivate us to use our time better in the future.

I only have to spend a day in the company of my lively and active 87-year-old mother to know that lamenting my age now is a waste of energy. It is what it is. I can lie about it, but I can’t change the number of years I’ve lived. What I can change is my attitude about it. And I’ll tell you one thing for certain: the spirit inside you doesn’t age.

So I resolve to start every day. I strive to grow beyond my programming. I compare my unhappiness with those who are homeless, or sick, or those who live in war torn countries. I am grateful for the gifts that I have been given. No matter how ‘old’ or ‘young’ I am, I can walk my path, live my dreams as best I can, picking myself up and dusting myself off whenever I fall.

We can’t change the past, our mistakes, the good and the bad. Our lives are a series of startings, and IMHO the important thing is to start and keep starting, no matter how old we are, or what happened in the past. Courage is not an absence of fear, it is walking bravely into the unknown or struggling to overcome our issues and reprogram ourselves. It is possible for human beings to grow and change. The challenge is to do the work.

Let’s all resolve to make 2010 the year that we begin, and keep beginning. So that we feel we have not given our time to external things without supporting the creative spirit within. Find time to play, and to create, and to laugh, and to reach out to those around us with a smile or a helping hand. To vision our lives effectively and to keep working on our dreams, even if it is only in moments stolen from our other responsibilities. Sing in the shower, doodle on our to-do lists, dance in the elevator, drum on our desks, read poetry on the bus. It’s never too late.

2 comments:

cinderkeys said...

Beginning can be hard. Keeping the momentum going after you've begun can be harder. Here's to doing both in 2010 and beyond.

CinnamonGirlAlchemy said...

yes My new Life is beginning in 2010.THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORDS OF WISDOM.I am 47 years young and just
beginning.....