Every year, for the past decade or so, I have written a blog on my birthday, pausing to reflect on the past year of my life and contemplating the year ahead and what I intend for it.
This year, I feel like I’m in limbo, not because I don’t have that on which to reflect, but because I feel incapable of planning a future in a world that is so uncertain and unfamiliar.
So I’m doing the most logical thing one can do in such a situation – I’m writing a musical. Nothing says irreversible demise of the planet like bursting into song and dance…or flames, as the case may be.
Climate Change – The Musical.
I jest. My show has nothing to do with climate change, although, now that I think about it, it could totally work.
I did not start lockdown thinking I would be writing a show. I think, like most of us, I began lockdown merely hoping not to die from Covid. So far, so good on that front.
So here I am, one year older, and closer to the end of my first draft than the beginning, fully embracing the fact that nothing has come as naturally or as easily to me as writing show tunes. And for that, I have my parents to thank.
I think my mother was playing the cast recording of Funny Girl while I was in utero and for sure, my father’s love of Man of La Mancha set me on a life path of tilting at windmills long before I even knew what that meant.
This past year has been one of redefining myself, of exploring and learning new things and being willing to let go of previously held images and versions of myself.
While hibernating, I’ve remained woefully ignorant about shows to binge-watch, but I have finished crafting a course on self-publishing, started writing my next book, done monthly concerts on StageIt, begun to learn guitar, and immersed myself in a new software to sell all manner of my work online.
For those of you who don’t know me well, I am also the 24/7 caregiver for my 92 year old father. That is my primary job and focus now. Up until a little over a year ago, he was doing incredibly well, but then things took a turn for the worse, from which they have not and will not likely fully recover.
While it is an immense privilege to be with my father during this time in his life, it is also an excruciating journey, rich in moments of beauty and gratitude and heartbreaking in the certainty of future solitude. One day, I will have all the time in the world and that freedom will be agonizing.
So in an effort to find balance, those other projects keep me sane, productive and moving forward, while still in my house.
The year ahead is uncertain for all of us. No one knows the path this virus will take and how it will impact us. So I revel in what beauty there is in any given moment, on any give day. I savor the time spent with my father and with close friends.
Our time here is valuable, priceless, and brief. And I am so grateful that you chose to spend some of yours with me.
In the spirit of a true birthday celebration, please feel free to eat some cake, celebrate the moment, and occasionally burst into song and dance.
Peace and blessings to you always,