Wednesday, December 30, 2009


As with every New Year we all ponder what it will bring and try to make little promises and resolutions to start anew with a focus on succeeding. Then BAM! Life happens and you can get off track with only one crazy setback that creates a series of setbacks. You then seem to be right back where you started and the next year comes around and your promising yourself to change the same things that you did last year but have added additional things to the list. How could anyone achieve that amount of change? Why would you want to set yourself up for failure, time and time again? Be honest with yourself and realize that everyday should be a resolution to just complete the day with a positive outlook. If you take the time and react and complete one thing on your mind list to do everyday your New Years resolution list will have disappeared and you will not have to waste time promising yourself the do the things that should be done when your mind reminds you. Those little mind blips are your tickets to a calm peaceful ride on your destination plane. Feel the ride and make it smooth. Don't create more turbulence for yourself.

Being frantic was my middle name and there was never a time that did not feel uncompleted. I was always chasing after something that I never seemed to find and still find myself peeking around every corner expecting it to be there. My resolution list was so big every year it made the novel War and Peace looked like a short story. The more I tried to accomplish the more I added to the list to do. Never enough time in a day it seemed. Or so it seemed.
As the summer of 1961 approached my neurosis began to bloom with the next bout at the youth center and all it had to offer. The desire to be crowned the winner again in the summer talent show was all consuming. Returning back that year, I received accolades from the counselors who told me they were looking forward to seeing me at the show and happy that I returned for the season. Well, what were they to say, ................Cripes.....the little neurotic kid is back and more hyper than ever. They were there to watch over us and I certainly made sure they did their job. That summer I bonded with a bunch of kids who were like groupies and all wanted to help in the upcoming show of talent. I became the leader of the pack and led us all astray more than once, yet they never deserted me. I fondly remember all of those people and all the fun that seemed to never end on those long summer days. The more I became friendly with the staff the more freedoms that I got for our pack. We always got into the pool area first and had our affair with the soda machine and all the free refills. Status had its perks and I was keenly aware of that fact and made sure that we used all of them as often as possible. I was offered the opportunity to become the person in charge of music in the youth center. It was the music that you heard inside the huge facility as well as the outside speakers. I soon learned the music tastes of all in charge and was applauded for my spin choices. Contrary to popular belief not everyone wanted to hear Brenda Lee all the time. I always slipped a few in between the stacks of music that they had in the library. I conned the jukebox man into putting more Brenda on the jukebox and he willingly obliged, much to my happiness. My new troupe and I would secretly leave the center from time to time and sneak off to the closest shopping center where we would spend a lot of days shopping. I would become lost in the local record store, keeping an updated charge account that I eagerly paid off each week. I was a vinyl junkie and one habit that I would pass on to my pack of friends.

Mr. McClellan loved us kids as we were his best customers. He would hand over his Billboard magazines to me when he was finished with them and every week I would just revel in the information located on those pages. I would always impress the counselors with my music knowledge courtesy of Billboard magazine. It would become my bible. It held the chart positions of every song out and gave me the insights to what would be happening next for all my favorite singers, and there were many. There would only be one, Number One singer for me. She still is Number One to this day......nothings changed in that area.
I always felt like I needed control of most things that and that did not come without a price. When you take on a controlling interest make sure you know what you taking on. The responsibility is overwhelming and the fall from a failure is devastating at that age. The kids in my circle gave me the reins to run them and that I did with total intensity. Every day would be planned and hourly scheduled until we were picked up at the end of the day. We were an exhausted bunch by five pm. The days folded into one another with ups and downs. My eyes stayed focused on the talent show and my resolution to win the coveted trophy again. Only this year there were others with that same attitude. I did not like thinking I might just lose. I would not allow that thought to come around as it was self defeating. I would just have to do it better than last year. I needed a strategy and someone to help me with bigger ideas. Enter "Ann's Dance Workshop".....they used the center in the evenings for dance classes. Lucky for me that I going to be picked up very late one evening and they arrived to begin their classes and I became a spectator. As I sat there watching, the light began to brighten and by the end of their first hour I had made my decision to ask "Miss Ann" for any suggestions to make my upcoming performance spectacular. She took my info and music and said she would give a listen and get back to me the next evening. She was sent from heaven and helped me create my performance, with aplomb and grace. I still had the two numbers to rehearse and took each critique from my pack of friends and paid attention to the things that each friend told me. It would help greatly. My competition was not an issue anymore.
In hindsight the only competition was against myself as I was my own worst enemy. It was so easy to second guess just about everything. On the day of the competition one of my friends who was part of my number was ill and could not make the performance which sent me out of control. I had to scurry and find a replacement and the choices were slim. The very one that I had the most uncertainty about was my only hope for success. The lack of faith I had in her was obvious but she prevailed despite my ranting. When we had our moment, with trepidation, I went out there fearing the worst and then she magically came alive and took control and we played off each other as though she had been rehearsed from the start. I came alive on "Crazy Talk" and with her help, we pulled it off to a rousing round of applause. There was hope yet as we made it to the finale. After being excited about her performance, I happily thanked her and she confessed to watching us rehearse and had secretly practiced at home and wished it was she who was doing the number and not our other friend. Her wish came true and to this day she is still a performer. Hopefully I helped her, if not for that one moment. The competition narrowed greatly after that and we just had to get through the second number. We CONQUERED! My happiness soared and I could see my Mother applauding with gusto. When the moment of truth was announced I was living a reality from a previous dream, I put my hands over my face to hide the tears. They were tears of joy and relief, I had one less problem to worry about. I shared my triumph with my understudy she helped pulled off a great performance. We were the talk of the center for the last few weeks of summer. I keep going back to the memory of the feeling I had as they called my name as the winner and I knew that I had lived that moment over and over and over again and stayed focused on the end result totally by obsessive thinking. I had no idea that I was asking my genie for such a grand wish, I just wanted to prove I could do it myself. I did just that.
I have to believe that on the eve of New Years 1962 my new word "resolution" defined by my Mother was the motivator. While I had put a million and one things on my resolution list I kept that talent show my main objective and planned it out a thousand different ways and all results ended me coming out the winner. It was not the trophy that I won on that day but a realization that whatever you desire strong enough you will achieve. You must believe it in order to get the happiest conclusion. So relax on this New Year.....think about what you really want to change in your life and just do it. Dismiss the list and take it one day at a time. N O W is your objective.


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