Sing out loud!

I don’t miss much about my marriage, but the one thing I really do miss is singing! My ex was a musician. He played guitar and drums. While never achieving any fame and spending way more than he ever earned, it was a very satisfying hobby for him and by default, for me as well. Sitting around the kitchen or on the lounge after work and on weekends he would play his Maton acoustic and sing. Most times I would join in with him. I am no virtuoso, but I could hold a tune and used to really enjoy these times.

I guess if we were singing, we weren’t fighting!

 

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High School Teachers Band! (photo by David Croft)

The repertoire was fairly broad but consisted of mostly “middle of the road” rock and folk music. There was plenty of Paul Kelly, Cold Chisel, Dire Straits as well as Bob Dylan (which incidentally I didn’t join in on).

I especially enjoyed the family singalongs with his brothers and sisters. These were always happy nights that went into the wee hours.

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Once upon a time, I had the guts to get up and sing in front of people!

Since I have been on my own, my opportunity to sing ad hoc has completely vanished, and now when I try and sing along in the car or in my kitchen, my voice is weak and becomes hoarse very quickly. I begin to splutter and cough. I  guess it’s like anything, it takes practise and training.  My “singing” muscles are no longer in good condition. Sadly, I can’t remember the last time I actually sang with other people!

Singing is good for you! It’s a positive, life-affirming thing and when you’re with a group of people making music it’s so much darn fun! This article talks about the benefits of singing for your health and wellbeing   but I  don’t need any convincing!

Singing is something I will have to find a way to bring back into my life. I didn’t include it as one of my 60 for 60 items. That was an oversight and something I will need to remedy.

I am not sure I have the level of commitment needed for a choir while I am still trapped in the day job, so I’ll be on the lookout for a Grannies’ garage band! 😆

I wrote about other aspects of music in my life in a post last year. You can read it here.

Remember to look out the window!

I read that life goes by quickly for adults compared to children because we have fewer new experiences. For children most things they do are brand new. Something they have not experienced before and this makes time go slower. For adults, because we have done most things before we don’t anticipate, we know what’s going to happen and this makes time appear to go more quickly. Ergo, to make time seem slower, adult needs to do more new things.

When I look back over 2017, it certainly was a year of new things and while it seems like the year has whizzed by, when I look back on what I have done I find it hard to remember that if it was this year or last year. I seemed to fit a lot in!

In 2017

I did 6 writing courses 5 face to face and one online

I went to two writers’ festivals

I went to 8 meetings of my writers’ group and about 5 meetings of a screenwriting group in Sydney

I started this blog

2 online courses through Udemy – food photography and inDesign

I did several online modules through the Adobe Education site

Wrote at least 7 short stories plus 35 blog posts, a screenplay and 4 chapters of a novella.

I entered 5 writing competitions and 7 photography competitions.

I won none! But that’s not the goal. The goal is to actually do it. After all you have to be in it to win it!

I went on a short cruise with friends

I went to Canberra with the same group of friends

I hosted 3 (relatively) fancy dinner parties

I went to the Sydney Mardi Gras

I did a general rescue course with the NSW SES

I started running and trained hard over several months and built up to a 15km run which I completed in good time.

I lost 7 kg.

I did a full Tough Mudder (17km and 18 of the 20 obstacles)

I started to de-clutter my house and sold some stuff at the local markets

I haven’t bought anything new since July 1 (well anything that does not fit in my guidelines)

I bought and paid off a new car (I bought it June 30!)

I took over 2000 photos of various subjects.

I bookended the year with two trips to Israel to visit my daughter and her family.

Oh and I worked full time in a demanding job.

I did a lot and I don’t think this is a complete list because I forgot to bring my 2017 diary with me.

It was a good year. I felt content and fulfilled and despite the long list I did not feel “busy”. I have come a long way in my journey to live meaningful life. I have a ways to go.

2018 is shaping up to be a different sort of year. My daughter and grandson will be staying with me in Australia me for a visit. I already have a writer’s course booked in for February and I am going to New York in March.

My goals include

To continue writing

To keep getting better at taking photos

To make a few short documentary style videos

To keep fit

Stay creative

Continue to downscale my material goods by natural attrition and not buying anything new

Continue with this blog. (And learn how to set it out better from my iPad!)

I hope you have some goals. In my opinion, they keep you grounded, give you clues for what to say no to and provide you with some directional signs so you don’t meander around too aimlessly. Although a meander can be good too as it puts new and unexpected things in your path.

Happy New Year! Remember to look out the window – there is always something new to see!