JUST DO IT

Kids not only say the darnedest things … they are also usually right.

The other day, I was in the car with my two girls. My radio is completely broken, so we have to listen to our iPod via the stereo. On my iPod, I have a few songs where I’m singing — some random lullabyes, my favorite all time karaoke songs, etc. And, without paying attention, one of the songs I have on my iPod burst through the speakers.

From the back seat, strapped in her pink “Princess” car seat, my younger daughter loudly screams to me, “Mommy!? Is that you singing?”

“Yes, Jade. That is me.”

“WOW! Are you a s-i-n-g-e-r?” her big brown Asian eyes like saucers.

“Well, I once was, a long time ago. I thought I was going to be a singer when I grew up. Isn’t that cool?”

“Well, is that your job? To be a sing-ger?”

“No. It’s not my job. But, I’ve always wished it was my job.”

“So, why don’t you make it your job?”. If you know my daughter, you know that girl doesn’t give up.

“Well, Jade. It’s not that easy. It was always my dream to be a singer, but I have a different job instead.”

…a rare moment of silence …

“So, Mommy?” she asks.

“Yes, Jade.”

“So, then do you want me to give up on MY dreams, Mommy?” asks my smarter-than-she-knows-what-to-do-with-it-4-year-0ld.

…. crash… boom… slam… dang. Did she just go there??….

“Mommy? I’m just asking because if you give up on YOUR dreams then I’m gonna give up on MY dreams, too. Just. Like. You!”

Shit.

**********

Why DID I stop singing anyways? I always ask myself this. When I’m in the car and the iPod is on, I’m always singing along, making up parts, finding the harmony where there isn’t one in the thinly composed pop song playing through my car stereo. Measures before a song even starts, I begin singing it, in key, completely on pitch, and without any intro notes or music to get my bearings. I used to sing. I used to live to sing. And, I’m pretty sure I’m good at it. I dream it. I doodle it. And, in a weird way, I write it. Even when I’m giving workshops, keynotes, or just facilitating a conversations, I can hear myself singing the words out of my mouth. I know the chorus long before the verse has started, and I always find my way to a transition even before I’ve figured out the end.

Yet, the stage is now my shower. My tour bus is my Ford minivan with the green paint rusting off of the top and the front. My tour groupie is a 15 month old boy and, on occasion, the audience is myself when I’m out running. But, I’m not singing in stadiums, I’m not selling out shows. I’m not even in a coffee shop. I’ve given up on the dream, but I haven’t given up dreaming about it.

*************

In a funny way, Jade is also my master teacher. Yesterday, I went and got a sassy new haircut. It’s uneven, kind of choppy, and completely funk-tastic. This is not your average bob. When my daughter, @SassyJadaSays, (yes, she has her own Twitter), saw it, she looked me in the eyes and said, “Mommy. Nice haircut. It makes you look sassy. Like me. Do you want me to teach you how to BE sassy?”

“Yes, please, Jade. What do I need to do to be Sassy?”

Sassy 101: Life According to Jada (as told to Mama)

Rule #1: Sometimes you have to forget your manners.

Sometimes, says Jada, people are rude. And, if you are sassy, you need to show them what rude really is.

Rule #2: Cry. Loud. But if your mom tells you to stop. Stop.

Enough said.

Rule #3: Some people dress sassy, but that’s not really sassy. You have to have some attitude to go with your dress.

True.

Rule #5: …. Jada, you forgot Rule #4 ….

Mom, sometimes, if you’re sassy, you make your own rules.

Okay, Jada.

Rule #5… (before she was interrupted)

If you wear a bathing suit, sometimes grab the bathing suit on the straps.

Jada, why is that sassy?

Because, Mom. It just is.

Rule #6: .. does 6 come after 5, Mom? …

Play with something that is not yours. But, be careful. Someone can do that back to you and be sassy to you. Then, you aren’t the only sassy one. And, you always want to be the only sassy one.

But, Jada, that’s not nice.

Right. Sometimes being sassy means not being nice.

Rule #7: I’m done with this. Bye, Mom.

Jada, you’ve put a lot of thought into this Sassy business.

Mom, you don’t think about sassy. You just do it.



******************

While the month of July has been a very lazy “Marathon b4 Mastectomy” running month (sans the 10k I ran on July 4th), I have organized a 3- mile group run on Saturday. There are a number of new folks joining in, which I’m incredibly excited about! It was going to be a fundraiser for the Retinoblastoma New England group I founded, but that didn’t quite work out. So, this Saturday’s Group Run is really about taking the first step towards health. It’s not a competitive run. In fact, it’s the anti-competitive run. It’s all about support, encouragement, cheering, laughing, loving, and friendship. It’s about embracing the physical privilege, the feel of your body moving, working, and being a support for your mind and soul, and being thankful for all that we can do on any given day.

I’m proud to say I’ll be joined on this Group Exercise by Tikola, Kelly, Kristen, John Ross, Frank, Randall, Jacqueline, Donna C., Kelly M., Cristine D., Tamara and friend, and possibly Joli! My awesome hubby has agreed to be the water stop man, and I’m sure he’ll be the cheering squad, too! A few camp sunshine volunteers will be on hand as well! I’m sooooo excited!

So, thank you to all the folks who are taking this first step towards a renewed health. It’ll be fun — don’t worry! :) The best commitment is one in which you just do it.

Peace, love, and gettin’ it done,

Liza

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7 Responses to JUST DO IT

  1. Olivia says:

    This cracked me up! Jada needs her own reality show!

  2. Tracey Petitto says:

    It’s never too late, Liza! In your oh, so spare time, I know of some opportunities to sing professionally (usually around the holidays) in quartets. Money is decent…take gigs when you are available….I can vouch for your abilities….I have for others….then you can tell Jada you are, in fact, a singer, too! Email me if interested!

  3. Meredith says:

    Girlfriend is wise. And I wouldn’t call it giving up on a dream – a person can have more than one dream, and can follow them sequentially.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I left a good job/career to pursue art which is what I’ve always secretly wanted to do. Was it the safe move in this economy? Absolutely not, but my gut kept telling me to “just do it” and so I did. And I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. And you know what, things have taken care of themselves. I’m home all the time, I work my own schedule, spend time with my family and I’m actually making money. Sometimes the universe just puts moments of inspiration and/or opportunity (a la Jada) in front of you to get you to see the things you’ve been avoiding/putting aside; perhaps you should listen. Safe, no. Personal fulfillment and happiness? Perhaps. Check into it…
    p.s. GREAT look! ;)

  5. Sean says:

    Bless you and your family, Liza!

  6. Pingback: UNLESS YOU TRY | Mastectomy Recovery

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