Last week, I painted this flower to be used on a vitamin label for Walgreen’s.

It was when I became a writer, that I achieved clarity in my life. Expressing my feelings has completely changed my thought process. For decades, I faced constant challenges and considered it “weak” to express my feelings; I felt like it was a luxury to do that. I still have challenges, but have chosen to see that sharing my feelings allows me to feel more connected to life.

The dedication I’ve put into my audio book has been very focused, as well as rewarding. The process is enjoyable, but extremely demanding. I have neglected many things I used to be able to balance, such as shopping, bill paying, and exercise. On top of household duties, my hours of commitment to my book have left me with little time to write for my blog. I miss that. I am gentle with myself, because I know that this is a temporary situation. Like a horse charging toward the stable, I see my destination growing closer.


I am still first and foremost a songwriter.


I might be very focused upon my book, but when I give birth to a song – I am stopped in my tracks. The whole process fills me with amazement. I cannot control it. The music that has healed me continues to play in my life. My innermost feelings surfaced again this past week as a new melody began to play and the lyrics unfolded.

My new inspirational song expresses how grateful I am that I turned my life around.

I am thinking to name my song, “I Turned My Life Around” and I am sharing a freestyle acoustic recording here. Clicking on the link below plays the music:

 I TURNED MY LIFE AROUND – Acoustic Version by Judy 12-4-11


It was when I followed my heart and let go of fear.


It has taken a lot of courage for me to allow myself to pursue the things that I am passionate about. I have discovered that holding onto fear was paralyzing. It has not been easy to forgo an income for years, but it was not my choice to let go of being an illustrator. My lack of income has affected my husband, and it has been difficult for me to hold onto my self-esteem after being successful at my career for many years.


I let go of fear when I became confident of my own value. I am not torturing myself to find another career. I love what I am doing and am certain in the long run it will pay off for me in ways I cannot even imagine at this moment.


But money will never define my self-worth. I have already touched many people with my art, music, and writing and I feel very valuable whether I have an income or not.


I appreciate my life and the many other gifts that I was given. I am so grateful I have healed. This past Thanksgiving was an excellent time for me to access that appreciation.

I love this picture taken a week ago when my mother had good day. It is a result of my willingness to have her put on a new medication, Seroquel. She has gained five pounds and is slightly calmer.

On Sunday of this past holiday weekend, there was an occasion at my nephew’s home and it was a rare occurrence for me to gather with both my brothers and all of my own family.


It was up to me about whether both my parents would attend. I debated a lot about whether my mother could handle the outing with her dementia. I found myself feeling stressed, and certainly not looking forward to dealing with the whole situation. I usually relied upon her caregiver to help me, and she wasn’t able to be there that day.


But, I turned it all around. It occurred to me that this might be the very last time such an occasion would happen with both my parents being there surrounded by all three of their children and many grandchildren. This was something to treasure, rather than dread.


It wasn’t an easy day.


I arrived and my mother was already agitated and uncomfortable in her wheelchair. Soon, my father was moaning alongside her. I made a plate of food for my mother and gently fed her. I was hardly aware of what I was eating myself, and that has been an ongoing issue for me. Food is definitely a way I comfort myself, and unfortunately very familiar.


It was only a short time after I arrived, less than half an hour, when my mother announced it was time for her to go. I surveyed the situation. I had planned to take my father home and he was not ready to go. The nursing facility was twenty minutes away. I could have asked one of my brothers, but decided I could take her back myself.


My mother cried getting into my car because she was exhausted and did not want to get out of her wheelchair. As I drove, she babbled incoherently and most of what she said was not kind. I tried to block it out. After a few minutes she fell asleep, and as I drove I soothed myself by singing aloud.


When I arrived at her facility, I debated as to whether I could take her out of my car by myself. Should I call the nurse’s station and have them send someone to help me? I ended up feeling quite proud as I managed to get her into her wheelchair all on my own. She cooperated and that helped.


Almost an hour later, I was back at the family gathering. There wasn’t a chair for me at the table. I stood in the kitchen and could hear my new song’s melody playing in my mind. I certainly ate too much at that moment while I was standing up. I tried to be gentle with the understanding of why I had done that.


Soon it was time to drive my father back. I had agreed ahead of time that I would do it. My father treasured time with me, and that awareness gave me a different outlook. He moaned as I drove; then he began to cry and said, “I feel so sorry for you!”


I said, “Dad, please don’t take away from this beautiful day by worrying about me unnecessarily! I am not sad; I am happier than I’ve ever been in my life. There is nothing for you to feel sorry about. I want you to enjoy your time with me – please!”


My father wiped away his tears.


After I dropped him off, I went home and was eager to pick up my guitar and work on my new song.


I am quite human, and wrestle with controlling my thoughts. In order to stay positive, I wrote to a friend because I knew that expressing my honest emotions that way would help me. I share those feelings here with complete honesty:


Hi Janet,

I am totally wiped right now – TOTALLY.


I can’t even write; it is so overwhelming. I just had a family gathering. I spent hours driving both my parents (separate trips) back and forth to the event. Ate like a pig and there wasn’t even a chair for me when I came back after driving my mom. After that, I took my dad back.


Thankfully, I am done for today. Trust me, I am working really hard on the appreciation stuff!


Love, Judy


On Nov 27, 2011, at 4:37 PM, Janet wrote:

Go lie down.  No computer.  Just music and feet up.  You deserve a medal. 


Thanks so much for your support, Janet. My dad started crying when I dropped him off. I had to smile and convince him that I had a wonderful time. He felt so badly for me. I just wish I didn’t feel so heavy right now. How can I ever lose weight when I am carrying so much on my shoulders?


Wrong question. Not helpful. Better one would be: I wonder why I’m still able to sing.


I appreciate your love. I will go sing in a moment.


Love, Judy

I performed my new song for a fundraiser open mic night at Kulak’s Woodshed last night. Talk about courage – I had only finished writing my song that morning!

Below I am sharing the birth of my song – In a few weeks I will have it arranged. I’m still writing more lyrics and adjusting the melody. However, the exciting process unfolds below with a track of just the melody and guitar (A Beautiful Song) and two of my voice lessons discussing the song with Peaches.

judy & guitar

PEACHES LESSON Excerpt Turn Your Life Around – 11/22/11

PEACHES LESSON Excerpt Turn Your Life Around – 11/29/11

A Beautiful Song-11/25/11 (song in progress)

© Judy Unger and 2011. 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.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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