Since my fiftieth birthday last October, I have experienced many changes in my life. I have wondered if I should consider what I’m going through a “midlife crisis.” Well, the word crisis conjured up a lot of negative images for me.
I looked up the definition of “crisis.” One definition of crisis, which sounded a whole lot better was “turning point.” Therefore, I have decided that what I am experiencing is a “Midlife Turning Point!”
This picture was taken only three years ago. My parents’ health changed very quickly in a short time. My mother’s illness has affected my father greatly.
Today was not an easy day. Today was very stressful for me. This afternoon, I decided I must go swim some laps. The weather has warmed up, and swimming has been very helpful for me. I may have a sandwich list, but I have learned that I must put myself on the list.
After swimming, I attended my first voice lesson in thirty years!
The lovely instructor’s name is Peaches! Peaches taught voice lessons to my youngest son about a year ago. I told her that I was taking lessons because my son insisted I contact her.
I played one of my original songs for Peaches. Peaches told me that she has coached many well-known professional singers. She has a website and she has written her own original songs. When I have time, I will listen to her music. Perhaps I will share that on my blog later on.
The half-hour lesson flew by. Here were some of the many, interesting things she told me today:
When you are older, your voice has not deteriorated. It’s just that you can no longer get away with bad habits.
It is very common to dislike your voice when it is recorded.
Your vocal problems related to your throat being tight are from “stress” while singing. Singing should be totally relaxed and open. It should be even, without unintentional changes in volume.
Achieving openness can easily be learned, no matter how old you are. You must be relaxed. When you do it correctly, you will feel the difference. Looking in the mirror and feeling your throat while you are singing can be helpful.
Your range is great, and you can learn quickly if you are motivated. You can sing and record your own songs and share them! Other people may sing your songs, but both are exciting ventures. I have had this same experience.
Stress affects everything. When we yell, we ruin our voice. When we hold in our feelings and tears, it affects our voice. “Holding tears in” is detrimental, while crying is actually better for our voice!
You can unlearn any old habits you may have. I have helped a lot of people and I can help you.
My voice lesson was inspiring. It was not about singing at all. It was about having hopefulness I could be improve my singing with effort and motivation. Finding the time and energy won’t be easy for me. But I am certainly filled with motivation.
Recently, I have also taken some tennis lessons. There is a lot of similarity there to what I’ve written about voice lessons. I am re-learning and releasing many old habits.
The revelation is that recently I have been doing that in all areas of my life, as well. I wonder why I waited until I was fifty years old for this “turning point” of discovering I could improve myself?
“Another Turning Point”
In the evening, I called my mother and finally reached her. She was very quiet on the phone. I figured it was because she was concerned about me. I regretted I had shared with her how stressed out I was this morning.
She said, “Today was very difficult for me. Things have been very hard. My back has been hurting. I have been forced to sit in my wheelchair waiting and waiting. The nurses have told me that I’m not allowed to be alone in my room. I might fall if I’m alone. Therefore, I have been left waiting in the lobby for two hours at a stretch.”
My mother insisted she didn’t want me to remedy her current situation. She has become a worrier. She hates to bother anyone. She also hates being dependent on other people.
I tried not to get angry. I could feel my throat tightening up. I thought of what the Peaches had told me.
“Mom, I promise you – I’ll call someone and take care of this.”
She said, “Please, don’t! I know they’re just worried I might fall again!”
I decided to change the subject. I told her I had gotten some new bras for her. I told her I also had a new purse for her and a lot of new things to read. I told her I would take her out to dinner again this Sunday.
She began to cry.
I began to feel more desperate. Now what could I tell her?
I told her, “Mom, I sent out a heartfelt letter today. In it, I share how upsetting this situation has been with you and dad separated! I am hoping this letter is going to help your situation! I am even going to talk to the director in person!”
She was still crying. She could not stop.
I continued, “Oh, and by the way, Dad is going to visit you tomorrow! I arranged for him to be driven by your granddaughter! He will stay for dinner and she’ll take him back later in the evening!”
When I got off the phone, I did not feel like Super Daughter.
That was because I was crying, too.
© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.