“Sing a Song, Make it Happy to Last Your Whole Life Long, Don’t Worry if it’s Not Good Enough For Anyone Else to Hear, Just Sing! Sing a Song!”
There are some songs that I always sing out loud when I hear them. Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey and Respect by Aretha Franklin are the first that come to mind. Boston’s More Than a Feeling is another. The truth is I like to sing out loud to most songs.
I always sing in the car. Now that everyone is talking on their mobile phones or blue tooths, it isn’t awkward to sing out loud while alone in the car. I have always done it and I am not embarrassed if someone sees me. I do feel badly if they hear me because I can’t sing very well.
Another song that I love to sing out loud is Zombie by the Cranberries. I am really good at that one and would even sing it at Karaoke. It is completely out of character and blows people away to think of me singing that one! I know all the words and can sing along to almost anything from the 80’s. I am partial to Madonna and Prince songs. I do like to sing a few Linkin Park and Black Eyed Peas songs, so I am not stuck in the 80’s!
I think singing along to the music is one of the last free things we can do for pure enjoyment. As a child, I loved to sing along, hairbrush in my hand, pretending to be a rock star. Now it’s not a stretch to imagine that as we have Singstar, Rock Band, and Guitar Hero to entertain ourselves. But the feeling it gives us is the same. I feels good to sing loud! Who knows, maybe there is stardom in my future! Don’t Stop Believing! Hold on to that feeling!!
It’s a “Fantabulous Friday” according to the kids that make morning announcements at the school where I work.
Urban Dictionary ( http://www.urbandictionary.com/ ) defines fantabulous as . . . Sort of like “fabulous” but much more fabulous than the word “fabulous” can convey. Like supercalifragilisticexpialidocius but shorter and easier to spell. It is an adjective which describes something fantastic and fabulous, generally beyond belief or expectation. Fantabulous is an adjective meaning something is of the highest quality. It is a combination of fantastic and fabulous, which was commonly used in London in the 1960s and 70s to describe various aspects of pop culture and fashions. It was especially popular with Chelsea girls like Joanna Lumley. It is still in use in England today, but not as much as it used to be. (TMI?)
I will need to see 127 Hours (http://www.foxsearchlight.com/127hours/ ,) Winter’s Bone (http://www.wintersbonemovie.com/ ,) The Rabbit Hole ( http://www.rabbitholefilm.com/index.html ,) and The Town ( http://thetownmovie.warnerbros.com/dvd/ ) if I want to be completely informed. Maybe a DVD movie fest is in order!
It is no coincidence that I began writing about the Super Bowl and ended up writing about the Oscars! The Academy Awards Show is my Super Bowl. There are 23 days left until the big event. I love it! I always know what my plans are on Oscar Night. I make everyone leave me alone. I make a nice dinner and stay in. I like to watch it uninterrupted, live, from the beginning of the pre-show and red carpet interviews, to the last “what were they wearing” and “the winners” talk shows! (Big sigh! It’s still 23 more days!)
Since I am expecting a sunny and warm weekend ( http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/boatandbeach/weekend/91311 ) I want to do something outside, at least go somewhere that requires a drive. Tomorrow I am taking Roman downtown to a rehearsal at the Music Center. (http://www.musiccenter.org/?gclid=CNihhYnq76YCFQRvbAodaA2GEg ) He is going to be performing with his school choir in a production of Noye’s Fludde with the LA Opera ( http://www.laopera.com/production/0809/flood/synopsis.aspx ) We are very excited for him! It is a great opportunity. Tomorrow he finds out if he will get to operate a puppet. The choir is performing as the animals on Noah’s Ark. We are imagining something similar to the animals in The Lion King’s stage performance. But we really have no idea what it will be like.
While Roman is in rehearsal, I will have some time to hang out in the downtown area. I used to work there, so I know my way around and I have some favorite hang outs. There is so much to do there! I might go to Olvera Street and grab lunch at Phillipe’s. Or, I might go to the Central Library ( http://www.lapl.org/central/ ) and see the Forty Years of Sesame Street Illustration Exhibit. I could swing over to MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art. ( http://www.moca.org/index.php ) Every time I went there when I worked downtown it was closed. It is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. My friend Victoria and I would go to lunch at the Arco Food Court and then stroll through the MOCA gift shop. I would love to go to my favorite restaurant in that area, Ciudad. But I just found out that it has closed! I am so sad, that was a terrific restaurant!! It is now a Border Grill owned and operated by the same people, ( http://www.ciudad-la.com/ ) so I might check it out. However, in the same location as the Border Grill ( http://www.bordergrill.com/bg_dtla/bg_dtlawel.htm ) is one of my favorite lunch spots, La Salsa. If I end up in that part of town, I am certainly having some Mexican food. It’s ironic that I would go to Phillipe’s ( http://www.philippes.com/ ) if I hang out at Olvera Street ( http://www.olvera-street.com/html/olvera_street.html ) which is a little village with a traditional Mexican style plaza area full of shops and restaurants. But I love Phillipe’s Original French Dipped sandwiches! I am partial to the pork sandwich with blue cheese, double dipped of course!
That sums up my potentially funtaboulous weekend. I may end up doing laundry and watching tv, but the very fact that I have options and the ability to do these things makes me very happy! Have a fantabulous weekend my friends!
I have lost many people in my life. They all live in Heaven and in my heart. In order to cope with my loss, I have found it helpful to identify the stage that I am in. Sometimes I go through them over and over again. Or I digress a stage or two before I advance to a peaceful place of acceptance.
There is no perfect order or steps that you can take to reach that place. One day it just happens. You might not even realize it, someone else may point it out. When that happens, I often experience an 8th stage. It’s one of guilt that I have made it through even though I really didn’t want to. I feel like I am too young to know all of this. I feel guilty that I have life and the person I love is not here to experience it. That’s actually the very thing that ends up pulling me out of the guilty feelings. Thinking of the person as if they are here and know everything that I am doing. I can imagine that they are proud of me and that they enjoy seeing me be happy. I know that they can feel the sorrow and pain that I feel when I miss them, as well as the joys and triumphs!
Grieving is not good. It is not easy. However, it can be graceful and peaceful.
It is important to note that sometimes we experience these stages when we go through other losses in life. We may feel this way if we a fired from a job that we love, when a close friend moves away, or when someone we love breaks up. Going through a divorce is very much like losing a loved one. Not only the couple mourn the loss of the marriage, it affects everyone they know.
Here is the grief model called “The 7 Stages of Grief”:
1. SHOCK & DENIAL-
You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.
2. PAIN & GUILT-
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.
You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn’t do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.
3. ANGER & BARGAINING-
Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.
You may rail against fate, questioning “Why me?” You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair (“I will never drink again if you just bring him back”)
4. “DEPRESSION”, REFLECTION, LONELINESS-
Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be “talked out of it” by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.
During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.
5. THE UPWARD TURN-
As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your “depression” begins to lift slightly.
6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.
7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-
During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.
You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future.
Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.
Foremost on my mind today is a very sad issue. As part of my journey it is important to convey how very sad the loss of a parent is to me. It seems that many of my peers are suffering a loss right now. I guess I am at that age. My own parents live in Heaven. It takes a long time to cope with that kind of major loss at any age.
Nothing prepares you and no matter how close you are to your mom or dad, it is devastating. At least three people in my life who I am very close to have recently lost their mom or dad in the past few weeks. I can count about ten who are dealing with sick parents or their parent has died over the past few months. It is heartbreaking. It reminds me of how I felt when it just happened to me. It was probably the most difficult time in my life. Thinking about it causes me to revert to some of the deep sadness, depression, and pain that I experienced during those difficult years. I have posted the Seven Stages of Grief. I find it helpful to read that when grief revisits me.
I know that the final stages of acceptance and hope is where I want to be.
I feel truly happy when I get there. My mom and dad would want me to be happy.
When I see photos of my parents at their best and happiest, it helps me to recall the good times. I remind myself that I am blessed with such happy memories. For those whose memories aren’t as happy, in time you will be able to separate the good from the bad. It takes time, but you will someday be able to look back and be ever so grateful for your life and the ones who brought you into this world. It is up to you to keep the memory of the good things your parents gave you alive. Learn from their mistakes, trials and tribulations. Break the chain, if necessary. Move forward to a peaceful and joyful time.