Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Once more, with feeling!

Look, look! Two posts in two days!! See I DO remember how do do this blogging thing.

So today I would just like to say, I *LOVE* musical theater. Like, a lot. The cheesier the better.

I'm not really sure when this started to be honest with you. My first exposure to theater would have been some mediocre Gilbert & Sullivan productions at ICS, and one or two plays that I went to with Laura when Premier gave discounted tickets to the G&S productions that happened at the Concert Hall (I think?). Of course, there was also the "Newsies," the cheesy Disney musical that I think might have been shown at every 12th birthday party for awhile, as well as other movie classics like "The Sound of Music". When I got a bit older I got introduced to the racier side of musicals, with "Chicago" and "Rent," things we could never dream of seeing, let alone performing, in our school.

I guess it was a slow development. I started to appreciate the nuances of theater, the history of old movies (not just musicals) and then I went to Broadway. I saw "The Lion King" and was officially hooked. If we had the time (and the money!) I think I would have quite happily have seen every Broadway, off-Broadway, and maybe even off-off-Broadway production while Darryl and I were in New York. There is something about a soaring voice, a blasting band, and maybe some dancing that just makes me happy! Add some jazz hands and I'm on cloud nine.

Over the past year or so I have watched more musicals on TV, and have even seen one or two in person. Watching "White Christmas" in December with Darryl at the MTC was awesome! While Darryl cringed at the silly dance numbers and actors randomly breaking into song, my smile grew bigger with each coordinated dance move. The louder and more ridiculous it got, the happier I was!

Sunday night after work I turned the TV on and was pleased to find that the Tony Awards were on. Most of it was fairly dull, as award shows typically are, but I loved the re-enactments of numbers from various musicals. It had been a busy and crazy day, I had gotten home from work late, but none of that mattered when I watched the actors sing and dance. Tonight I went to Famous Players to watch a filmed version of "Company," a musical by the renowned Stephen Sondheim. It was silly and absurd, and I loved every minute of it. I can't wait to experience more!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Finding my Focus...

*cough cough*

Pardon me as I blow the dust of my poor abandoned blog. I've had a few times where I started to compose a post for here, whether on the computer or just in my head in the shower (where I find myself doing most of my thinking) and found I could barely finish a sentence, let alone a blog post. Lately my head has mostly been an uncoordinated jumble of thoughts, ranging from positive and exciting (I spent a week and a bit in Europe, so that was pretty cool), to the negative and not so exciting (mostly work stuff).

The negative thoughts, unfortunately, are the ones that aren't so easy to get rid of, so I've been a little leery to sit down at my blog, not wanting this to be super whiny or negative. This is supposed to be "My Pile of Good Things" after all. So why write this post now? Mostly for catharsis. I won't deny that I'm going through a bit of a mid-(twenties)-life crisis, but the one thing I remain powerfully aware of is that my life is full of good things. As much as there are things in my life that I find stressful and somewhat depressing, I have watched over the last month as friends have been dealing with far worse - from losing friends to losing the life growing within them. I am also reminded every day when I go to work how truly fragile life is - I have had patients with history of sexual abuse, to patients nearly losing their lives while trying to bring their child into this world (and that's just this past weekend!).

Okay so where's the positive in all this? That's why I've been trying to remember. The hugs from patients as they walk out the door. The sincere "Thank you's" from terrified fathers, and exhausted mothers. My co-workers. They make the days at work bearable. It's the things I fill my life with OUTSIDE of work, however, that give me joy. My photography has recently been a huge source of joy for me. And yet, at the same time, a huge source of stress. A good stress though, the kind where you are truly being challenged and the effort that you put in has a real, tangible payout. I've always longed for a creative outlet in my life. I'm not a hugely creative person, and I'm also kind of lazy. I realize now though, that the abandoned scrapbook pages that sit on my desk, and the abandoned cross-stitches that sit beside my chair in the living room are there because I was searching for something I could really pour my heart into. I think I've found that in photography. I say I *think* because I'm very aware that I am very new to this craft. One thing I know with certainty is that it has been a LONG time since I have found something I am actually this invested in, this interested in, and have this much desire to better myself in.

What else gives me joy? The people I fill my life with. My friends who I sadly don't see enough of, but treasure when I do get to see them. My family, who I am blessed to see LOTS of (and the older I get, the more I realize how much of a blessing that truly is). A church family who accepts me, flaws and all. A loving God who accepts me flaws and all!! All 202 Facebook friends who have all touched my life in various ways and in various degrees but without whom I don't think I would be me! Silly TV shows, singing along to a great song at the top of my lungs driving down the highway, talking to myself, chair dancing in front of my computer (yep, I'm doing it right now), sitting alone in a dark movie theater losing myself in a big bag of popcorn and a really good movie, a really good book, a really good cry, this kid, enjoying junk food when I really know I shouldn't, and way more things then I can even think of right now!!

It shouldn't be this hard to remember the good things in life, but some days it is. When your day grows dark, count your blessings. It's amazing how much it can brighten your day!

Two other things to brighten your day...they certainly brighten mine!!

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