Last night was nearly sleepless, with lists of things to do running through my head, along with startling realizations of things I’d forgotten about entirely (like writing this note to you around the beginning of the month). Sometimes the holidays feel like a fast moving train coming right at me! Fortunately, the rough night prompted me to take time this morning (which it didn’t seem like I could spare) to play with my 8 year old “puppy” Lucille, enjoy the lighted decorations, sip peach tea, absorb the warmth from the fire, and simply breathe in and out. Ahh-h-h-h… Soon, I started to feel the bliss of just being alive. Then came a gratitude list, a meditation, and some heartfelt prayer. It’s good to remember that the spirit of the season is actually about feeling the light and love that surrounds us, fills us, and sustains us. I’m glad I took a time-out from the Holiday Hubbub.
Writing a gratitude list of things for which I’m truly thankful, is always enlightening and uplifting for me. Some of my friends don’t find it so easy. One of them explained that he had too many “You should be grateful”s thrown at him as a kid. He definitely picked up a negative feeling about giving gratitude. There’s an inspirational speaker who talks about appreciation being a better feeling word for most people. Another leader writes about just making a list of things you love. Luckily, it all works for me, and any one of these techniques is sure to rescue me from a funk every time. However, it doesn’t seem like Love & Appreciation Day sounds as catchy as Thanksgiving Day. My personal favorite is Turkey Day. It doesn’t seem to expect so much emotion from us. Just appears to be a day when we’ll all share a giant spread (generally turkey) with family and friends, for which we naturally feel love, appreciation, and gratitude. Of course, we also feel full!
Memories of Halloween come “trick-ling” back to me this time of year. My family lived in a small town where traditional Trick-or-Treat was entirely safe. I especially liked going to the Eminheisers’ house where we were invited in to see the extravagant decorations (nothing to “freak-out” little children in those days). The grand tour ended in the dining room where a large table was loaded with homemade sugary treats. Yum! Well, that was then, and this is now: I don’t get kids at the door in my neighborhood. Not one single knock in 32 years. Maybe it’s because this area is partially industrial, and very few youngsters live around here. But, it would be fun to set out something for my students. Hum-m-m. So many parents these days are concerned about sugar intake. Maybe nuts? Nope, peanut allergies abound. How about a big black bowl of tangerines on the piano? Sounds pretty boring. Maybe a more exciting idea will come “trick-ling” into my brain…..
As it turns out, the audition video for America’s Got Talent can now be 2 to 3 minutes instead of the previous 90 seconds. (I never did figure out how I was going to do the “minute and a half thing” without hacking my precious original to death!) Once the song could be a little longer, it was a “piece of cake” to put an abbreviated version together. So, the shoot was a week ago, and extremely fun. Two days later we edited the visual, making decisions about which camera view to use where. (I’ve never been a part of the edit before, and was surprised to find it quite amusing!) Tomorrow we mix the audio. (I’m kind of an old hand at adjusting sound levels, but it’s always exciting to “frost the freshly baked cake”!) Then, off my submission will go to A.G.T. Shortly after, we’ll have it up on You Tube. Go to “Cynthia Bythell Channel” and look for my song, The Wish Planet. Hope you enjoy it….