Zippity Do Dah

What else does one call a post when one has not posted in so long?

I have been snowed under with countless things since the end of March. I knew that at some point, I would miss those long, lonesome days of just sitting on the couch (not missing the chronic pain and vertigo), just crocheting and watching the mailman make his rounds. I have drawn all kinds of opportunities to myself but some “opps” were not altogether fun – there was an outpatient surgical procedure that had me on Vicodin for a week. I now declare that there is nothing left on me to cut, burn, poke, biopsy or stitch! The husband unit was carted off to the ER with a kidney stone. BUT…

….drum roll… there was a ton of good stuff. For the first time in *years*, I am feeling sheer excitement again. I went back to Bikram yoga last night for the first time in well over a year. Who knew that having had a cantaloupe sized fibroid tumor removed last year would make such a difference in postures and balance? I’m training for a half marathon that I’m doing as a fundraiser for the Children’s Cancer Association. I’m hosting many house concerts and music jams. I’ve started an online school program to become a therapeutic musician. (That is someone who plays one on one, bedside, for patients who are facing surgery or are in Hospice. I calm them through music! It’s a new field and I hope to blaze a trail and be employed again for the first time in ages!!). I started playing the harp and love it way more than I thought I would (along with way too many other instruments).

Just one good thing after another. Life is grand. Never thought I’d make that statement after having been virtually suicidal – or at the very least, almost completely hopeless – not all that long ago. HOORAH!

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New Path

It should come as no surprise, to those who know me, that I have applied to yet another training program today, exactly 4 years and 2 months since I (unwillingly, through disability) left my career as a sign language interpreter.

I write this with a great heaviness in my heart and gut because today there was a shooting in an Oregon HS; the 74th school shooting since the Newtown massacre 18 months ago. I have cried and ranted and been so distressed today that I’ve almost made myself sick. I know – that’s not helping anything. It’s the mom heart in me that cries for the 2,800 kids who had to march out of school today with their hands over their heads amidst SWAT teams. And yes, I cry for the kid who went so wrong (and certainly the kid’s parents) who felt their only way to deal with something was through violence.

There are no easy answers to this and I will forgo any political/gun talk. But I think many people will agree that something has *drastically* changed…changed from the time I went to school when the worst offense was getting caught chewing gum. If the “climate” can change for the bad, it can change for the good. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and countless others are all testament to that.

So – I have applied to an online program to become a Certified Clinical Musician. CCMs play soothing music to distressed people; to those facing surgery (I know a bit about that!) or other medical procedures, to hospice patients etc. It is one on one, live, soothing music tailored to that person’s needs. While people are somewhat familiar with Music Therapists (Gabby Gifford had one after her near fatal gunshot wound), the focus is a bit different with being a therapeutic musician.

I will have to blaze a bold new path because being paid – if even minimally for part-time work – is not a standard yet nor is it in the consciousness of hiring parties. I’m already providing something similar in the hospitals through the Children’s Cancer Association but if they can get the musicians as volunteers – and I certainly advocate being a volunteer  – then it’s harder to make even a slight subsistence from my training. But alas – I must keep the faith.

Here’s to changing the world for the better, one distressed person at a time. Today, I need to start with myself.