a turning leaf . . .

by mulberryshoots

How many times have you decided to start your life over? You know, the “this is the first day of the rest of my life?” kind of thing? Turning the page, starting a new volume of your life’s story, whatever phrases we want to use to denote our true readiness (this time!) to make big changes within and outside ourselves.

I smile as I write this because I’m not trying to make a joke about it. In fact, I think it’s one of the greatest benefits of being American and living in a country that believes in second, third and fourth chances. A populace that forgives people who transgress (think Bill Clinton); celebrates comebacks (think Hillary Clinton) and applauds those who hang on and make their way towards new careers and marriages (think Alex Baldwin doing two dozen pushups!)

As much as our heroes and heroines are pilloried in public (General Petraeus et al.) there’s an equally strong belief in what Ralph Waldo Emerson cheerfully admonished us about being true to ourselves:

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Hard to do when our culture encourages everyone to weigh in on, well, everything. One of the things I am resolved about today is to do what makes me truly happy, more of the time. For example, I was listening to a new recording by the British pianist, Paul Lewis, playing some short pieces by Schubert: “Moments Musicaux.” Some absolutely fabulous musical moments. It was so mild and balmy today that I drove around town doing errands with the windows half open, with this lovely piano music floating through the air. I marveled at how not over the top it was–not Chopinesque with its melodrama and emotional hand-wringing. This Schubert piano playing was simply beautiful music. It doesn’t take much to enjoy moments like this. But it does require remembering to do it. Taking a timeout in our busy spinaround day to listen attentively and long. Moments so touching, it’s hard not to notice how joyful it makes me feel.

So, turning a leaf over to listen to Schubert piano music (and deciding to play the pieces myself) was a treat for myself today.

What’s yours?