AT THIS VERY MOMENT

Tomorrow is my 62nd birthday. Just writing that stuns me! As a young girl, I used to write to “Judy of the Future.” Perhaps now I’m that older and wiser woman, but I like to believe there is still a “future Judy” ahead of me with more stories to tell.

It has been six months since my last blog post for “My Journey’s Insight.” When I first began blogging, I remember how I couldn’t wait to write and share my heart with brutal honesty. That time of “opening up” was definitely pivotal to my healing. Eleven years later, I share less and less and write infrequently. Although that sounds negative, I want to explain my thoughts surrounding that.

First off, I am a lot more careful not to impinge upon my adult childrens’ privacy. At the beginning of my blog, I wrote about my tenacious advocacy and parenting struggles. I have so many incredibly touching stories I would love to write related to their current achievements. Perhaps I will someday. But right now, I don’t want to embarrass them. They all know how proud I am!

Secondly, I actually am able to easily open my heart with honesty when I perform live on Insight Timer. I feel vulnerable when I sing, and push through my hesitation. I do not “practice singing” and my voice is very limited for a number of reasons. But my audience is so warm and loving – this allows me to simply tell my story and not worry too much about my abilities. I am very fortunate.

Lastly, I am in a peaceful place. I have already released so much anguish, heartache and trauma. That space is now filled with calmness and gratitude. I haven’t written a new song with vocals in five years (but I have composed new instrumental music). I accept that perhaps I’ve written all of the acoustic songs I ever will. Pressuring myself to write a new one doesn’t serve me. A song is a gift from heaven that will come to me if it is supposed to.

So many of my songs appeared to guide me when I was bereft. Maintaining my song garden is also a joyous pursuit. My music continues to bloom and grow and I feel like I am the luckiest songwriter on earth.

I began creating piano solos for my courses on Insight Timer. They were a perfect ending for a song lesson. Eventually, they became a 3-year project and I have created piano solos for almost all of my songs. I have only four left and because those last ones have elaborate finger-picking, I’m not sure how they will translate to piano. I have written about my piano editing on my music blog here: “The Magic of Piano.”

Last week, I released “Healing Piano Melodies – Part 2” on Insight Timer. It carries 15 songs. “Healing Piano Melodies – Part 1,” carried 20 songs, because the clips were shorter. I am well into “Healing Piano Melodies – Part 3” and have eleven melodies already completed for it.

Clicking on the image plays my tracks on Insight Timer:

I’ve shared about my music, but what else is going on in my life besides piano editing?

I recorded a third course for Insight Timer over the past five months. It was very time intensive and that is why I haven’t painted as much. I haven’t submitted it yet and once I do, it will probably take many months before it is released.

INTRODUCTION TO MY COURSE “DOOR TO MY HEART”

I currently have recorded 3 courses that consist of 30 song lessons. The process of writing lessons for my songs has been both challenging and rewarding. Mixing in background music is very fun and creative for me. I even started recording some slow nylon guitar meanderings to add to my lessons. I wonder whether I will write lessons for the remaining 20 songs. Wondering is a good thing!

Despite my focus on music, I did squeeze in time for a few new paintings. A fig tree next to the tennis court where I play every week inspired me. The figs were actually quite tasty in my salads.

And this past summer, I had a real craving for Rainier Cherries!

In 2018, I had the glorious experience of shooting a music video for my song “Crystal Oceans.” After three years, I had never seen any of the raw footage; I was particularly interested in the reels of me playing my guitar on a sailboat. That footage wasn’t used in the final video because the actor playing my love interest didn’t show up that day. The editor wanted a more romantic story line, so my solo singing on a sailboat wasn’t included.

I was finally able to see myself performing on that boat when my son converted the files for me. I extracted a few stills and am sharing them on this post.

I don’t feel as young as I did then, even though it was only three years ago. But I remind myself that I broke my ankle a year later and it was a huge setback.

A few days ago, I spoke to a good friend across the country. She was recovering from foot surgery and giving her a pep talk reminded me what an achievement it was that I healed from a broken ankle in 2019. Then in 2020, I had the hardware surgically removed. Somehow, I have put it all behind me and am incredibly grateful that I can do so much of what I did before. The only difference is that I am extremely cautious.

I continue to play tennis once or twice a week and unfortunately, my dry eyes still bother me when I play. Some days, I shuffle out of my chair with stiffness from sitting too long, but when I’m on the tennis court – I amaze myself. I am careful not to lose balance because I know what’s at stake.

Talking to my friend, I understood how she felt as she faces several months in a wheelchair. Back then, I could only dream of playing tennis again. Running around with my girlfriends and whacking that tennis ball truly is a miracle in my life.

Last week, there was one day where I felt teary. I wasn’t sure why I felt so emotional, until I realized that the fall season holds so many anniversaries of the heart for me. Today is actually the day my mother died. I shared that with my daughter and she texted back: “Wow! Grandma would be so proud of you and the woman you’ve become.”

So tomorrow on my birthday, I celebrate many things. At the top of my list is my health. I can see well enough to drive, paint and play tennis. I can sing my heart out to a loving audience anytime I want to.

I have amazing children whom I adore. All three are close to me, despite the physical distance with two of them. My deceased son, Jason, continues to live on in my music and songs.

On October 6th, it was 29 years since Jason died. My day was filled with ordinary activities, yet my heart felt extraordinary. What came into my mind was the line I spoke at the end of one of my song lessons for my newest course:

“I am positive the absolute best time in my life is right now, at this very moment.”

I share below an excerpt from my song lesson for “More Than You Know.”

“More Than You Know” was originally about my sadness over losing a good friend, but it holds so much more wisdom for me. With the line “I thought that you were mine” I was forced to accept the harsh truth no one could ever belong to me. Instead, I held onto what I cherished with all the love in my heart as I let them go. It was letting go of being responsible and simply acknowledging love that led to my healing. 

At the beginning when my mother had dementia, I was so bereft at the loss of the sharp woman she used to be. It was awful watching my father suffer and wish for death. I was depressed receiving reports about the disabilities my children struggled with.  

Letting go in all of those situations wasn’t remotely easy. But my love carried me through. I also turned that love into compassion and forgiveness. I couldn’t continue to blame myself for not being able to save Jason. 

My story “Each Day” is about making every day my best. On what was a particularly stressful day in my former caregiving life, I was able to find beauty in small moments. Is there a way in your life, you can see beyond the stress and discover miracles? 

As relatable as “More Than You Know” is in so many ways, there is one other lyric line that is not honest. I‘ve left it there anyway, because it brings a smile for me to realize how far I’ve come. The line, “How could I have guessed our time would be my best?” just isn’t true for me anymore.

I am positive the absolute best time in my life is right now, at this very moment.”

This picture was taken a few months ago at my niece’s baby shower.

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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23 Responses to AT THIS VERY MOMENT

  1. Who I am says:

    I am so proud of you for all you have achieved. Sixty two is still young. I am five years older than you and hope there is still life out there to search. So glad we are friends. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      Oh, Terry, thank you so much! I’m glad we’re friends also. Yes, let’s hope there are more beautiful life experiences out there for us to discover. Until then, we get to treasure each day!

      Like

  2. Belinda O says:

    What a beautiful post, Judy. You have achieved so much, and of course there still is a Judy of the future. What an emotional month October must be for you, yet you have managed to make it a month of joy–and remembrance. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      Oh, Belinda, I treasure your words. I actually lit a candle to remember my mom tonight. It is bittersweet. I also made her chicken soup recipe, and that is another poignant connection. Thank you for your comment, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Judy, what a beautifully written post. It was worth waiting six months! You always inspire me with your words, music and artwork. You look so happy and beautiful in the photos, too. (I love the butterfly necklace.) You certainly have helped me through my journey, and I can’t thank you enough. Jayson, indeed, lives on through your music that touches so many. In fact, I feel like I know him! Happy, happy 62nd birthday tomorrow! 🤍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      Aw, Stacy, thank you!! I can easily write about music, but the feelings inside are harder to draw out. You have a way with tugging at them – with your aching words. As always, your comment gives me a giant smile!

      Like

  4. SHARON J FISCH says:

    Wow, Judy. This blog is indeed heart warming, full of passion for your talents, and your blessings. I totally understand about not talking about your grown adult children. I feel your pride regardless. You have come such a long way and love how you share your gifts. I will listen to your songs and music tomorrow. You are amazing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      Thank you for taking the time to write this beautiful comment, dear Sharon. I miss you. It helps to read your words about not talking about our kids. You totally get it!
      I am so honored how you have been traveling this amazing journey of insight with me from the very beginning. It’s over 10 years! Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to my music. I feel blessed by our enduring friendship!

      Like

  5. Judy I always find something to connect to your writing about your journey. Hope you had a great birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      Thank you so much, Allyson. It means a lot to me that you connect to my writing – you’ve been reading my blog for quite a few years now. Hope your children are doing well and you, too. It’s great to hear from you and I have had a very nice birthday so far!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. lorriebowden says:

    And what a fine moment it is!! 💜🙏 Dear Judy, the light of your soul shines through your photos, music, art, and your words! I know the grief you experienced and I am so proud that you have taken that pain, explored it, and gained such insight into your authentic soul! Today is a day to celebrate you!! I know that there are many who will celebrate…myself included. I am happy to see that you are on that list as well 😊
    P.S. The photo of you singing on the sailboat exudes pure JOY! Remember that feeling always!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDY 💜😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      Oh, you are spot on, Lorrie. I will never forget that joy while playing on the sailboat. It’s definitely a feeling to hold onto.
      Thank you for your warm and loving birthday wishes. I am so thrilled that we connected through the blogging universe. What a blessing that has been!
      I continue to celebrate every day of my life. I am very fortunate and you certainly understand my joy about being able to play tennis! Hope you are back to all your activities soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Cathy says:

    Judy, Your post is beautiful, heartwarming, and so inspiring. You look so happy and content in the photos. How fun that you did a music video on a sailboat. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      Oh, Cathy, when I saw your comment – it brought such a smile to my face. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. You are so welcome about sharing my heart. It uplifts me to write with honesty – a blessing in so many ways. I saw you subscribed to my blog. Thank you! You are very dear to me!!

      Like

  8. kegarland says:

    Judy, I was so excited to see your blog in my email! First of all, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope it’s been as fabulous as you are.

    Secondly, I think many of us are going through a season of letting go or being reminded to let go. It’s probably some sort of collective thinking.

    Finally, I listened to part of Healing Piano Melodies, Part 2. It was very calming for me, but your work typically is ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      Oh, Katherin, I am really touched that you checked out my latest Insight Timer track. Your support gives me a big smile!
      This is definitely a season of letting go; you are right about that. I think we’ve endured so many subtle losses over the last two years. It is time to reevaluate what is important.
      Thank you for your warm birthday wishes. Not much planned today, but I took my son out to lunch and it was definitely special! I have a lot of other girlfriend lunches coming up to look forward to, also!

      Like

  9. Melissa G says:

    Judy, thank you for sharing this beautiful, heartfelt post. The amazing music, beautiful photos and mind-blowingly spectacular artwork, along with you sharing so much of yourself and your healing journey. Thank you! Octobers have clearly been pivotal times in your life and I’m glad you’ve reached a place of such peaceful acceptance. Jason is the name of two of my ex boyfriends, so I’ve had time to reflect on the name and I’ve always loved how it’s an acronym for 5 months of the year. A reminder of the continual passage of time, and what is contained in each day, each week, each month, and how it all manifests in our perfectly orchestrated lives. No, you couldn’t save him, but he could save you, and that’s the journey he signed up for. ❤️ Sending you much love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy says:

      Aw, Melissa, thank you so much for your stunning comment. I’m really touched and honored by your compliments.
      I’ve seen that acronym myself for JASON, and I never articulated it in the beautiful way you did. Thank you for sharing that. I do know that I had no idea that the name Jason means “healer.” That was actually very amazing for me.
      Yes he did save me – he gave me a key to exit my prison of grief.
      Your comment was very profound – and I send you my love, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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