Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm being followed!

Being an independent sort of person, I never knew that I would love being followed around by someone else every moment that they are awake. This little person in my life is such a joy...if I go into the bathroom to brush my teeth, he is there to watch and shove his face into my toothbrush. If I go into our bedroom to make the bed, he is there playing on the keyboard and pulling out all our books and climbing on the bed to get to me so he can have a hug. If I go into the kitchen, he is there rearranging all his magnets on the fridge and clamoring for yet another snack. Sometimes, I will venture into his room to "clean" or just tidy up so that he will actually play with the toys he has - which he won't do very often if I don't stay in there with him. And even then, he will want me to read him books and wrestle and sing songs...anything as long as I am interacting with him.

You might read that and think (as I would when I was "pre-kid"): That is exhausting! When does she get time to just do her own thing and relax? But the funny thing is - I AM doing my own thing. Jeremiah just fits into it perfectly. It wasn't overnight...and it wasn't easy making the adjustment. There is not a sudden "mothering-mode" that you get installed into you at the time of the child's birth. But, you learn and learn and learn...about the baby, about letting go, about yourself. And suddenly, you realize that life is normal again. Only it's a new normal with a little person following you around as you putter around the house, run errands, visit with friends. And this little person is completely happy to just be wherever you are. Or, at least mine is. God is teaching me through this little one how it feels to be truly loved for just being who you are. What a blessing.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

thoughts to ponder

It is so different to do anything personal with your life once you become a mother. It is much harder to do anything (besides mothering and taking care of the family and house) that you used to consider so crucial to your livelihood/health/mental stability. Especially when that something takes you away from the motherly and household responsibilities. My singing is a part of me that I can't ignore - although I've tried. It seems to be a nagging bother that I can't get enough time away for - time to study, time to practice, time to learn, time to perform, time to be coached and taught. And it takes what little money we have (it is a "we" now, after all) and throws it into this "hobby" (as some deem it) never to be seen again and hopefully bringing forth more opportunity and result so that I can pour more money and more time into it. And the cycle continues - but does it pay back?

It is difficult for mothers to justify time away from their children. I have a feeling that I am not as militant as many other moms are about spending as much time at home as possible, which entails not working or going out with friends or having much of a llife separate from their kid(s) and husband. And I'm not sure I disagree with those moms that choose to live that way for one reason or another. I think there are clear advantages for kids who's moms stay home 24/7 to raise them. I am a product of one such mom, and it was wonderful having that security. My husband and I can't afford that right now, so i am working part-time. So, as if that's not enough time away from Jeremiah - I am also slowly pursuing this singing career, if it can be called that at this point. But I am constantly aware that every "extra" rehearsal/coaching/lesson/performance takes that time that I am home with him away. Even if these things are at night (usually when I try to schedule them) and he's asleep, it takes precious time away from Jon and mine's marriage. No wonder so many artists of all types have relationship problems.

Art is consuming. To be good at any type of art is consuming. As much as I have tried to forget the dream of being on stage and singing, I just can't. It's in me. Sometimes I hate it, because it takes too much work and I am insecure and these people are better than me and I don't want to ask someone to watch jeremiah while I practice AGAIN and I feel so inexperienced and why do I feel the need to pursue this and and and. And at some points, the ands have to be ignored and put aside and I just have to sing, because it makes me feel like the truest version of myself I've ever known. My complete self is singing with my family and true friends around me, even singing with me. That's why I do this. At least for now. That's why I run after this ridiculous dream that makes me feel foolish - because I would feel empty and useless and even more foolish if I ignored it.

I don't pretend to understand and am not schooled in debate or even average writing skill. I probably couldn't describe this to someone if they were face-to-face with me. But, that's what this blog is for. To put into words why this desire is in me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

soothsayer

Why is it so hard to hold onto truth? Are humans really that frail that we will believe anything that comes our way, provided we are bombarded with the false information consistently enough? There are so many times that I realize I am feeling depressed and overwhelmed because I believe that others are so disappointed in me, that I am not what I should be for this or that...to the point that I begin to avoid those very people who are clueless as to my change in behavior.

It's all built off of a look...a careless word said...and I am overanalyzing and feeling incredibly vulnerable and crummy and useless to the world. This almost always happens in a work setting. Any work setting. It could be teaching a class or babysitting a child. I take things way too personally and struggle to voice my thoughts because I will be seen as immature and weak.

Why do I believe these lies that Satan puts in my head? Why is it that he can so easily get me to look inward instead of to my Savior who tells me the truth. The truth that I am worthwhile. The truth that it doesn't matter what others think of me anyway...all that matters is looking to His hand for my next step.

It is a weakness of mine. Dependency on others' approval. It affects even my most minute decisions. I thought I had been getting better - having a child makes you care less what others' think - but I think I've just shifted the importance of the thoughts. But they are still others' thoughts. And I place them above what God thinks of me.

"Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies." Romans 8:33

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Comments from voice adjudicators:

pros:

"Good flexiblity and runs"
"Nice rich voice - strong face"
"nice attire"
"lovely, vibrant singing"
"I like your fire in (the Carmen). Nice sense of character"

Cons:

"Don't keep a hairband on your wrist!"
"Try not to sway to the music!"
"Your face was rather blank - show us the joy of (Laudamus Te)"
"Try to keep a smooth vocal line even with that drive (for Carmen)"
"Diction is not good, very swallowed"
"low notes problematic at times"
"don't show us your inner work"
"much more personality in the Bizet"
"keep your body and head still in an oratorio"
"'te' vowel is too dark - keep it forward"
"trills are a bit inaudible"
"keep consonants forward for clearer French"
"not sure Carmen is right for your color and temperament"



Tuesday, June 02, 2009

4th graders interpretation of nudity

my sweet little music kids today. I ask them how their field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts was yesterday and am answered with silence.

"Did you like being there?"

one boy raises his hand, tentatively. "Well, yeah. It was good. There was a lot of nudity."

Silent agreement from his classmates.

"What?"

"You know...there were a lot of statues and paintings...and (makes a gesture as if he was a large chested woman carrying her 'bounty')..."

...at which point, I cease being a mature elementary music teacher and laugh like the twenty-something I don't let myself often be in class. :)