Sing Your Song Anyway

rainbow

I recently learned that the song “Over the Rainbow” was repeatedly stricken from the film The Wizard of Oz.  The pundits at MGM felt that it was too slow and that a little girl singing in a barnyard was in poor taste.  Two men, Arthur Freed and Roger Edens, fought to keep it in the final release.  Thank heavens for their insistence.

Can you even imagine watching The Wizard of Oz without hearing Judy Garland singing that beautiful song?  It embodied the tremendous love and kindness she represented and set the stage for everything to come both on and off screen.  “Over the Rainbow” went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song and was deemed to be the greatest movie song of all time by the American Film Institute.  The recognition and awards list goes on and on.  It was a musical and theatrical masterpiece.

At various times in our lives, we may not be following the norm or we may be outright defying it.   Big important people may disagree with our techniques, our methods, or our words.  Those close to you may tell you that you are heading the wrong way.  That you are on a fool’s errand.  That you are wasting your time.

Sing your song anyway.

They may be right about many things, but that does not mean that they are right about everything.  There is true magic within each of us.  A divine spark.  A song to sing.  Don’t allow it to be silenced by another who is unable to recognize it.

You have an inner light.  A shimmer.  A sparkle.  A shine.  Have faith in a universe bigger than this world, and know that divine love stands with you always.  You have something important to share.  Be brave.  Keep writing.  Keep painting.  Dance.  Love.  Design.  Whatever it may be.

Just don’t give up and don’t give in.

Sing your song, no matter what they say.

In love and light always – Joanna

Shimmer

It’s Just a Matter of Time

hand grrr

Ten points redeemable at absolutely nowhere to whomever names the owner of that mouth!

I’m going to do it.  It’s best if I lead with this so we can avoid any assumptions to the contrary.  Based on past history, it is a statistical inevitability.  I can recite all of the reasons why I shouldn’t, and I recognize that this standoff with my husband is not going to end well this weekend.  Please note that I’m not aiming to make him mad.  Rather I’m trying to figure out how to win him over to my point of view on the proper course of action in this scenario.  (Reality check – There is zero chance of my convincing him.)

parentsdontunderstand

 

Okay.  Here’s the situation.  My parents went away for a week’s vacation.  No no no.  Not that.

 

So I had hand surgery two days ago, yes?  Yes.  And the bandage / wrap should stay on my hand for one full week before the doc checks it, and then he will wrap it again for one more additional week until the stitches come out, yes?  Yes.

I prefer to see these as wise suggestions from a well-paid guy in a white coat with a knife.  My husband sees this as professional advice that must be followed to avoid problems after surgery.  Silly man!  And this is where the divergence in our approaches comes into the picture.  The impending blowup draws closer…

Me:  “Argh!  This wrap is driving me crazy.  I’m going to take it off and put a large waterproof band-aid over it instead.”

Him (comforting and calm):  “Don’t mess with it.  The doctor said to leave it alone for two weeks.”

Me (ever so casual):  Yes, I heard that as well…  But you see…it’s been two days and that’s practically same thing as two weeks.

Him (quickly moving from calm and supportive to irritated):  I’m not going to debate this with you.

Me (even more chill and smooth like buttah):  Oh me neither.  I’m just going to remove it a little bit.

Him (advancing past irritated and heading toward mad):  Noooo.  Don’t touch it.

Me:  It’s no biggie.  I can do this.  It’s easy.

Him (steely):  No.  You’re not.

Me (less casual):  Hmmmm.

Him (staring at me and waiting yet saying nothing): …

Me (looking back and responding but only in my mind):  (oh yes I am)

Him (in his mind):  (NO YOU’RE NOT)

Me (in my double secret probation mind):  (OH YES I AM!!!)

knife

This knife has cut more than a tin can and a tomato.

I’m not saying that he is wrong.  (He’s wrong!)  And I’m not saying that I’m right.  (I’m right!)  I’m just saying that I have had a dozen surgeries since I was a teenager (mainly operations on my joints), and I have played this unwaiting game every time.  See the knife in the picture?  It has been used for slicing bread and removing casts (plural) from my ankles.  My tweezers have plucked eyebrows as well as stitches.  I never make it to the follow-up appointments because I have yet to become a big enough grown up to just leave whatever it is alone.  You’re welcome orthopedic surgeons for all that messy post op time I saved you.

Noooo I don’t really think he is wrong, and yeeees I know that the doctor gave specific instructions for my benefit.

But it’s iiiiitchy!  And funky.  And then back to itchy.  And then back to funky.  It bothers me immensely.  It pesters me, and I fidget with it constantly.  I have shoved cotton gauze under the edges.  I’m about to harvest a truckload of aloe off my patio to get it to calm down.  But then the increasing invisible germ element comes back into my mind and bleh it grosses me out even more!

I doubt that I will make it through the day with this thing.  If that is the case, he will be furious (out of genuine concern for my welfare), and I will act like I don’t notice the steam coming out of his ears for the two-ish days that follow (because I’m a stubborn bonehead and I warned him that I would do this).

That’s all I have to say on this for now.  I must run to take care of other things.  For starters, I need to see what kinds of large bandages we have in the medicine cabinet.  Totally unrelated of course.  I just need to check…

mick

Help me Mick!

hand3

I can’t get no satisfaction either!

Satisfaction

Pest

Don’t Eber Eber Worry About Lyrics

 

 

Here is my sunshine tidbit who cleared away my grey skies a couple of days ago via her own unique version of a song (that apparently came equipped with a seriously distracting microphone / flashlight).  It is a well-known fact that two-year olds have a long-standing contractual clause against continuing to do anything and everything you ask once they suspect that it’s something you actually want to film. They never eber eber cooperate. I’m so glad that this little one made an exception this time. 🙂

***Thank you Taylor Swift for giving us this brilliant sassy song!

What – No Whip?

image000000_18

Even the expression on her face looks like she wants to smack you!

There is a not so fine line between being a supportive parent and allowing your young kid to have a game profile pic akin to a dominatrix.  Despite serious odds to the contrary, I was able to maintain my emotionless game face when my daughter gleefully showed me this “pretty new matching outfit” her avatar was wearing today.  Given that she typically opts for flowers and butterflies in the fashion world of gaming, I recognized that there must have been a specific reason for this choice.  I paused momentarily before responding to allow all of the “you forgot the leash” and “no self respecting s&m wench would wear that flower headband without a complementary spike collar” type of comments to exit my mind in lieu of exiting my mouth.  Not that she would have understood anyway, but even I have to draw the parental standards line somewhere.

Once the wise crack responses ceased running through my brain, I allowed my out loud voice to kick in.  I asked her nonchalantly, “So what is it about this dress that you like?”  She said that she wanted to look tougher because several people were teasing her about her babyish and girly profile name.

Boooooo!!!

At that point, I, too, wanted to bust out a tougher outfit and kick some avatar butt.  Nevertheless I couldn’t permit an S&M response as we aren’t going for Fifty Shades of MoJo in this house.  I calmly but directly explained that the dress and boots she had chosen were not appropriate for her age even if it was just a game.  I told her that she had to find another outfit that was more suitable.  She wasn’t pleased but it wasn’t earth shattering either, and she left to pick select something else.

And then returned with this little number…

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This pasty boxy babe is effectively a mannequin displaying the clothing one can select.

Nooooooo.

I’m not going to allow an avatar with a skirt cut up to her hoo-hah either.  Seriously Roblox.  Stop.  It.

I responded less nonchalantly this time.  I wasn’t angry, but I wasn’t playing anymore either.  There are other categories of clothing beyond frilly / girly and hoochie / biker wench.  Pick another outfit.

And this was her final choice…image000000_17

It struck me as rather unusual but perhaps she was aiming for a Richard Simmons kind of look.

richard simmonsI have always loved that guy.  I can’t help  but appreciate anyone who owns who he is through and through while also sharing humor and hope.  Not too shabby Richard. You go boy!  Ultimately that was the ensemble her character donned.

I know that this is a game, but are these really the kinds of options my kids are given?  Seriously?

I frequently wake my kids up on school days by cranking up “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys or “Hypnotize” by Notorious B.I.G..  They are the clean versions, but I do feel like Amazon and I have seriously different takes on what the word clean means.

At what point did I become the stuffy parent?  I typically don’t sweat the small stuff (nor do I Sweat to the Oldies even though I think that Richard Simmons seems like a sweetheart), but I’m not digging the hooker avatar option.  I don’t want to raise a princess (although she will always be one to me), but I’m not interested in this route either.  It was yet another reminder that I really have to keep a close eye on what the kids are doing on their phones.  It appears that I am going to have to whip them into shape before they start thinking that they need to do the same to someone else.  Yikes.

whip

The Earworm and the Ripple Effect (Day 14)

earworm 2 - mickey***Earworm (noun):  a song that gets stuck in your head and makes you go frickin’ bananas to the point that you have to blog about it or you brain will explode

earworm 1 - petrified

This is not the earworm I am battling, but it was too funny not to share.

I’ve got one of those maddening earworm situations happening at the moment.  Although I only saw the rock musical play Rent one time on TV many years ago, I still remember all of the lyrics to the song “Seasons of Love” with absolute precision.  This is what keeps replaying again and again in my mind:

“Five thousand twenty-four hundred thirty-six second miiiinutes…
Five thousand twenty-four hundred thirty-six minutes are there…
Five thousand twenty-four hundred thirty-six second miiiinutes…
Five thousand twenty-four hundred thirty-six minutes somewhere…”

I’ll spare the fact checkers and list the purported lyrics per the vast majority of the rest of the internet (and possibly the Screen Writers Guild as well):

“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear…
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…
How do you measure…measure a year?”

The internet just couldn’t stop there, so it felt compelled to add even more lines (below).  As with all good music, I can assure you that there are only four lines in this song and that they are meant to be sung ten thousand times in a row exactly as I originally wrote them above.

“In daylights…  In sunsets…
In midnights…  In cups of coffee…
In inches…  In miles…
In laughter…  In strife…
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…
How do you measure a year in the life…
How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love.”

Well clearly my version is the right one, so pay no attention to any naysayers who might attempt to throw out frivolous comments like “But Joanna, your words aren’t actual numbers…” or “That isn’t how telling time works…” or even “No seriously.  I’ve seen the play and your version is in no way representative of the lyrics.”  Pshaw!  I won’t fall for your tomfoolery!

However I am a kind person and would never want to dismiss others even when they are clearly out of touch with reality.  So just for the sake of giving the little guy (the entire internet) a chance, let’s pretend that their version of the lyrics was an actual indicator of the way one could break out the number of minutes in a year.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.  That’s a monster boatload of minutes.

counter

And in contemplating that daunting number, I started thinking about the hit counter on my own little blog.  It isn’t a drop in the ocean compared to the stats of innumerable sites out there, but the number still amazes me nonetheless.

As of this moment, the counter has almost reached forty thousand hits.  In Internet-landia, it’s almost approaching amoebic status!  Perhaps I will achieve paramecium-ic status by year end!  Smallest of the small potatoes.  I know.  But that still represents forty thousand interactions of some kind.  Forty thousand opportunities to share something with another person.

In the last few days in particular, I have read several incredible people’s blogs and comments that mention how they often see no value in their words.  The self criticisms have ranged from “I just gripe and whine” to “I’m spinning my wheels.”  I have heard “What I say isn’t important” or “I just ramble.  My posts don’t matter.”

The wild part to me is that they absolutely matter.  I know because they matter to me.  I can’t begin to articulate how much I receive from their words.  I need their emotions, their realities, and their perspectives on their journeys (even if they don’t call them that).  I see the amazing wonderful everythings that they add to this world.

Personally (and this is just me) (but I’m thinking that leading the sentence with the word “Personally” should have cleared that up already), I don’t buy into the idea that you should only write or say something that you know is helpful, happy, thoughtful or uplifting.  I love me some good inspiration, and I want to feel bliss and joy for at least twenty-five of the available twenty-four hours in a day.

But I still get my feelings hurt by people I love.  I frequently handle situations in ways that are so beyond terribly poor.  Sometimes I feel lonely and sad and angry and frustrated.  I hurt physically and emotionally.  My thoughts become cloudy and my path unclear.  I become disappointed in myself for making sad choices so often that the number could be used as part of the lyrics of a song in a rock musical play on TV.  Thankfully the person who heard it would probably hose up the number in those lyrics beyond recognition anyway.

Every day isn’t like that.  Yes I do make mistakes aaaaaaall the time, and I definitely make them on a daily basis.  But I am always hoping for better.  I am always wanting more for myself and, more importantly, from myself.  I will have the life I dream of because I am tenacious as hell and refuse to go quietly.

It helps me to feel like I’m not the only person meandering the expansive “Human Under Construction” zone.  Pardon our dust, but the lady of the house was busy blogging and also she hates dusting more than pantyhose.  But she hates sporks even more…that freaky mutant plasticware…  Bleh!

Our words and interactions sing to countless people around us.  Although those people may not get every detail right, some part of what we say and who we really are sticks with them.  Those parts then ripple out to others as well.

If you know without question that you approach the world from a treacherous place of cruelty,  pure meanness, or blatant dishonesty, take these words as a serious call to reevaluate what you are doing.  We all stand at crossroads at different times in our life, and when that happens, you have a chance to pick another path.  Choose a better way.  This is your moment to change everything.

But if you are human and raw and just doing the best you can, I speak your language.  If you stumble and want to get up but simply can’t figure out how, I am a frequent traveler on that road, too.  If you don’t know if you will be able to hold on another day, I call to you from my heart and plead with you now – just wait it out a little longer.  The dark clouds will clear.  The importance of your place in this world is beyond measure.  You matter to more people than you fathom and you affect innumerable lives throughout the five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes of each year.

Sing your song – whatever the lyrics may be – and I will gladly sing along.  I have a decent voice.  Just ask my shower.  But not my kids.  Their reviews of my shower singing are not to be trusted.  (With that said, you should anticipate that I will probably eff up the words so apologies in advance.)

Love and light always dear ones!  Joanna

And just like me –>>earworm 6 - rick astley

earworm - rick astley

Rick-rolling will never cease to be hysterical to me.  It is utterly stupid and truly one of my most favorite things ever ever ever.  So boo-yah!

Puberty – Nature’s Little Joke

Children entering the unfamiliar world of puberty deserve parents who help them navigate this natural change with maturity, respect, and a moderate sense of delicacy. Unfortunately for my kids, they have me instead.

A few days before school let out for the summer, the elementary played a video for the girls in my daughter’s grade about body changes and what to expect. I knew that they were going to be showing this to them and didn’t sweat it as I had already given the 10,000 foot version of the tale many moons ago.  What I didn’t expect was the moment when my daughter opened the car door, plopped her little butt down on the seat, looked right at me and said with complete seriousness, “Well we watched a video about puberty today, and I got cramps.”

Peed.  My.  Pants.  Laughing.

A few days before that my son had commented excitedly how he so wanted to do “The Wild Thing.” For reference, I knew that he was talking about learning to play the 80s Tone Loc song on the drums, but he didn’t say it like that.  (He still doesn’t know what that even means.)  Again, there was pants peeing on my part.

Seriously.  My kids unwittingly tee these up for me on a daily basis.  Lucky for them, I shall store their comments in a secure location on their behalf until they are old enough to understand how very funny they are – the internet.

***MoJo***

The Trash Can Band

On average, my kids tend to be relatively happy when I pick them up from school (perhaps because they are leaving school), but every now and then, they have something extra exciting to share, and I can see it in their eyes before they even open the car door.  A couple of days ago, I saw that very look on my daughter’s face.  She jumped into the car with a massive grin so big it would have made the Joker envious.  I thought maybe it was Free Kitten Day at school, but of course that wasn’t happening until next week.  And then she revealed the big news. “Mom!  I got into the Trash Can Band!”

Naturally, I burst into laughter.  It was my instant reaction, and of course anything that makes her that happy makes me extra happy (excluding cutting her own hair or shirt, indoor basketball / indoor moon sand, and that time they got the sock stuck on a window ledge fifteen feet high).  I wasn’t trying to make fun of her or step on her feelings, but her smile disappeared and twisted into a hurt grimace in an instant. My heart broke when I saw her face fall.

Far be it from me to recognize that the best way to improve an initial misunderstanding is to go with a different approach, so I dug myself further into the emotional rabbit hole.  I went for levity yet again – my go to defense mechanism when it comes to diffusing an uncomfortable situation. I explained that I wasn’t teasing her by laughing, but I hadn’t been aware of her love of the trash can musical arts.  To the surprise of no one in the universe, she became angrier and it devolved from there.  I switched to overt and clear validation of the “Well that’s so exciting!” and “I’m so proud of you!” genre, but she had already tuned me out and the moment – the joyful happy “I can’t wait share this with my mom” moment – was gone.

Kids are like rubber balls that bounce right back.  She was onto a different topic and back to normal before our car had even made it back home.  I, on the other hand, continue to wrestle with it days later.  I keep trying to get that excitement back. I want it for her. I want it for me.

How long will this keep circling around in my mind?  Her birthday is a couple weeks away, and I will probably end up buying her a metal trash can and drumsticks. I have visions of purchasing all of Amazon’s Oscar the Grouch paraphanalia because no one appreciates the magic of trash cans more than that surly muppet. Maybe I’ll switch from an SUV to a larger truck designed to move and empty dumpsters. Given the amount of garbage my three kids have left in my car over the years, this may be a logical vehicle change anyway.

Raising kids is like aiming for moving target.  Sometimes you are spot on, and sometimes you just miss the mark.  All I can do is try again, and hopefully I will get it right the next time.

That’s it from me for now.  Ironically, today is garbage day, and I have trash cans of my own to tackle.

***MoJo***

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