Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Day 2014

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you are the recipient of many hugs and much chocolate. In my life are many prominent couples: my grandparents, my mom and dad, my brother Ace and his fiancee, and my youngest brother and his girlfriend. These couples are horribly sweet, and I love them very much.

That being said, there are some pretty awesome singles in my life too: my three oldest brothers (as far as I know), my wonderful older sister, and some of my close friends. Some of those said friends are rather proud of being single and celebrate the fourteenth of February as Singles Awareness Day. I don't quite think that the word used should be awareness though. Celebration, that works better. Awareness is most often used for diseases. It makes it sound like we're going to die unless we get boyfriends (or girlfriends as the case may be). Please, enough with the melodrama. Being single is actually pretty awesome when it's all said and done.

  • All the chocolate you buy can go to you (and deserving friends, but they don't have to know that you have chocolate, and what they don't know won't hurt them).

  • So much time is freed up when you don't have to be in contact over text or social media all the time, let alone actually being with someone.

  • You don't have to shave (to be quite frank that does apply to both genders).

  • Money spent on gifts and dates can be spent another way, say books, video games, car or truck, or even chocolate. (There's no going wrong with chocolate.)

  • You don't have to check with the boyfriend before you schedule something. It's really all about spontaneity.

  • You can drop off of the grid of communication for a full week and no one would make a fuss. 

  • Bacon.

  • You can be as geeky or crazy as you want. No one will restrain you.

  • There are no friends of the boyfriend that you really dislike that you have to put up with, when there is no boyfriend.

I thoroughly enjoy being single, but I won't bash couples. They have the gift of one another. Please don't complain about them being happy together. That doesn't speak well of you, even if you're otherwise awesome. 

So, happy Valentine's Day, dear couples. Enjoy each other. In your loved one you have a constant comfort and (hopefully) entertainment.

Happy Singles Celebration, dear singles. Don't worry about being a third wheel. Be a unicycle! Those are really cool and take a lot of talent.

Much love,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Olympics, Singing, and Life

I generally curl up with a book if someone decides to watch sports. They bore me for the most part. However, I do have a love for the Olympics, winter and summer. I'll cheer for pretty much any country, especially the Europeans and Canada. It's not the competition that draws me to it. If that were the case, I'd like the usual sports more. It's the athletic heights that the athletes reach, their amazing ability and grace. I love it.

My favorite winter Olympic sport is figure skating. I've loved watching it since I was little. The skaters are so graceful. There's something in a skater's posture and face when a routine is done well, something that beams a mixture of excitement and relief. I've always thought it was one of the most beautiful parts.

As a high school student, I would go to choir competitions. I liked listening to the sound of a choir wash over me. I especially enjoyed listening to solos and small ensembles. There, like in the Olympics, I could focus on an individual. At the end of a song well sang, the singer's shoulders relax and a small smile emerges. It reminds me of the skaters, their excitement and relief rushing out and blending together.

Occasionally, I'll even listen to the reporters during the Olympics. Sometimes you hear them say that an upcoming part is difficult for the particular athlete. When I heard them say that about one of the skaters this year, I realized that in a way singers are more like traditional athletes than we tend to think. There's always that one part of a good song for a singer, that one part that is tricky, a jump in notes or change in rhythm. Sometimes we mess up obviously, even enough for those who don't know the music to tell. Just like the figure skaters who fall, we have to jump back in and finish like nothing happened. It's a lot like life too, now that I think about it. Figure skating, singing, and living are all art forms. We push the boundaries that we think are there. We break the mold and shine, just like Christ intended us to.