Archive for the 'music' Category


In career, events, music
19Nov 10

     For those of you who read my blog posts regularly, you know that the last post I wrote was talking about recording my 1st CD in 2005.  ( if you haven’t read that post, you can find it here )  It took a lot of time, money and work to get to the point where we were ready to record, and it was definitely a learning process for me.

     After all that work, there was, of course, a ” big night ”  where I was going to perform the songs from my CD, and release it to the public.  My CD Release Party was held on April 12th, 2005, at Bogart’s on West Broadway in Vancouver.  Bogart’s was an intimate venue, with an excellent menu and a fabulous Martini list.  The event was by invitation only, and we had family, close friends, co-workers, and some music industry people in attendance.

Scott Wheeler Introduces Heather Doré

Scott Wheeler Introduces Heather Doré

My dear friend and Acting Teacher Scott Wheeler was nice enough to play Master Of Ceremonies for me once again ( as he did at my Wedding ) and introduced me to the audience.
Heather Doré Watches Her Band Sing

Heather Doré Watches Her Band Sing

Not only were my musicians phenomenal players, they also had great voices for backup vocals, both on my CD, and during the live performance of it.
Michael Bublé's Dad Lewis

Michael Bublé's Dad Lewis

After seeing Michael Bublé perform at Babalu literally hundreds of times over a 2 year period ( when he was still relatively unknown ) I got to know his parents, too.  I had gone to see their son every week from the start, so they wanted to support me, and attended my CD Release Party. In the above picture, Lewis was giving me some words of advice as I signed CD’s for him and his wife Amber, and Michael.  It was very sweet of them to take the time out to be there for me – the whole family has always been so incredibly warm and kind to me.
My Buddy Ron Drew This Picture Of Me

My Buddy Ron Drew This Picture Of Me

Singing in front of people that care about me was a wonderful experience. I felt so much love and support from so many – it was a great feeling. One of the highlights of the evening for me was when a couple of my co-workers presented me with a gift. My buddy Ron is a very talented artist, and he drew a picture of me, which you can see above.  I was almost speechless, and it made me cry, it was so good. What an awesome surprise!
My Sister Leslie, Manager Beverly Delich, Her Son-In-Law Mike

My Sister Leslie, Manager Beverly Delich, Her Son-In-Law Mike

Once I had performed all the songs from my CD, it was time to celebrate with some delicious appetizers, and a few drinks.
Pauleen, Heather, Leslie

Pauleen, Heather, Leslie

The above picture is one of my favourites from the night. My dearest childhood friend Pauleen and my Sister Leslie both flew in from out of town to support me on my big night.  Neither of them would have missed it for anything, and that meant the world to me.
My Sweet Mom

My Sweet Mom

Despite having a massive stroke not too long beforehand, my sweet Mother was also there to help me celebrate – she sat in the front row, and cheered me on while I sang.  I was truly blessed that night to have so many special people there with me.
It feels like so long ago now, but my CD Release Party was an amazing night in so many ways. I got to do what I love most – sing – dressed up, surrounded by the people I love most … and it was just the most magical feeling.  I could feel so much love, and so many positive vibes – it was the best.  I am very grateful to all who came out to support me on this most important night, those who bought my CD, and told others about me.  Having you all there meant so much to me, and it was a night I shall never forget.
CD Cover Shot

CD Cover Shot

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     I have mentioned before that I used to have 2 big dreams ( more like wishes ) in my life, when I was younger.  The first was to meet ” Moondoggie ” ( James Darren ) from the movie “Gidget”.  If you have been following my blog posts for a while, then you already know that I did that, in 2005.  It was definitely something I will always remember fondly. 

     I guess 2005 was a big year for me, as it was also the year I made my second dream come true, and that was to record a CD.  It was all cover tunes of 1920’s – 1950’s Big Band/Swing/Lounge music.  I recorded it at The Sound Kitchen in Vancouver, in January of that year.  Paul Airey and his wife had  part of their groovy Studio set up like an old-fashioned Diner – very cool, and lots of fun. Paul always kept it well-stocked with candy and snacks, which my musicians and I greatly appreciated.

     I was, of course, very nervous, since it was the first time I’d recorded a full CD in a Studio.  I was terrified of making mistakes, ( which would mean time and $ ) and was not as relaxed as I could have been.  Luckily, the guys I was working with could sense this, and would do silly things to make me laugh, and relax a bit.

     It was quite a learning experience, in so many ways.  We were all pretty happy with the end result. Paul Shatto did a great job making everything sound its best, and he was always there with words of encouragement.

Piano Player/Bandleader Doug Balfour Watches Paul Shatto Work His Magic

Piano Player/Bandleader Doug Balfour Watches Paul Shatto Work His Magic

Gary Mussatto Drummer Extraordinaire

Gary Mussatto Drummer Extraordinaire

Heather Doré at Sound Kitchen Studio

Heather Doré at Sound Kitchen Studio

 
Heather Doré and Gary Mussatto - Amazing Drummer

Heather Doré and Gary Mussatto – Amazing Drummer

Heather and Beverly Listening To Playback

Heather and Beverly Listening To Playback

I was fortunate to have a wonderful group of musicians working on my CD with me:
Doug Balfour – Piano ( and Bandleader )
Gary Mussatto – Drums
Karlis Silins – Bass
Ron Thompson – Guitar
Bill Abbott – Saxophone
Derry Byrne – Trumpet
Glen Tremblay – Trumpet
The kind and talented Neil Weisensel did all the arrangements of my music, and made sure things ran smoothly for me at all times.
Beverly Delich was in charge of everything, and gave it her all – she arranged for me to have the best people possible to work with- I felt so honoured to be surrounded by such talent.  It was great to work with not only such accomplished professionals, but really great guys, too.
Now it feels like such a long time ago, but at the time, it was a huge deal to me .
2005 was definitely one of the best years of my life for dreams coming true.  Maybe it’s time to think up some new ones …
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In events, life, music
28Sep 10

     This past Saturday night, my husband and I made the long, winding drive up The Sunshine Coast Highway to the Garden Bay Pub.  It was dark and windy, the rain was pelting the car much like a tropical rain, and the road was slick.  We giggled more than a few times as our headlights caught many frogs jumping across the highway, as we made our way to our destination.  As always, we saw quite a few deer, as well, but luckily, they stayed at the side of the road.

     Normally, we wouldn’t go for such a long drive in those kind of conditions, but we had a very good reason – my dear friend Brandon Isaak was playing with The Twisters at the Pub that night.  If that name sounds familiar, you probably read my blog post entitled “Yukon Buddy” that I wrote last year.  Last time I saw Brandon was Sept. 6th 2009, when he and Harpdog Brown played there – another rainy night.  The last time we’d seen Brandon play with the Twisters was when we still lived in Vancouver – I think it was Sept. 7th, 2007, if memory serves me correctly.

     The drive up the highway is always an adventure, especially this time of year, in the dark and the inclement weather, but once again, we were well rewarded for our efforts.  It is such a treat for me to see my old friend even once a year now ( after being out of touch for more than 15 years ) as it is so good to have a chance to chat and “catch up”.  Seeing the Twisters play again was nothing short of amazing – they were even better than I had remembered. Not only are they phenomenal musicians and vocalists, but they have so much energy and enthusiasm that you can’t help but have a huge grin on your face the whole time they are playing.

     The audience was appreciative – they know good music when they hear it up here on the Coast – people were swaying, toes were tapping, hands a clappin’, and every face had a smile on it.  Yes, my friend Brandon is in this band, so you may think I’m a little bit biased, but the Twisters are one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen.  They are so incredibly entertaining – you just don’t want them to stop. The most difficult part of watching them in a smaller venue is the lack of a dancefloor – it is pure torture not being able to dance to their music! ( That didn’t stop a few people, though! )

     We met a couple of our friends there, who had never seen The Twisters before, and they loved them, as well!  All in all, it was a fabulous night out with great people, and awesome entertainment. 

Twisters and Heather Doré

Twisters and Heather Doré

We were able to have a good visit with Brandon in between sets, as well as after the show, so we had to get our obligatory yearly pics together.  I wish we could see each other more often, but am just glad the last few years it’s been more frequently than before.  My husband always takes a few pictures of us, so this time, Brandon challenged me to an arm wrestling match – something we often did in the Yukon years ago – sadly, Brandon lost.
Heather Doré Takes On Yukon Slim

Heather Doré Takes On Yukon Slim

I am so glad we made the drive up to Garden Bay that night.  Everyone had a wonderful time, we were thoroughly entertained, and I got to have a nice visit with my friend.  I guess I’ll look forward to next year – I bet it will be September, and I bet it’ll be raining.  One thing I know with absolute certainty – it will be well worth it.
Heather Doré and Brandon Isaak

Heather Doré and Brandon Isaak



     In October of 2009,  I wrote a blog post about my re-make of ” I Want To Know What Love Is “.  It had taken a long time to get my song on iTunes and other music sites – over a year, in fact, and I was very excited that it was finally available online.  It is not easy as an Indie Artist to get music on the “big” sites, so it is always a big relief when it actually happens.

     I had received a lot of positive feedback from family and friends on that particular song, so was naturally eager for it to be easily accessible for people. My only disappointment was that I could not secure a license to sell it online in the U.S.A.  I have a lot of friends and fans in the States, and many of them weren’t pleased that they couldn’t download the song.

     The reason we had such a hard time trying to sell it in the U.S. is, to put it bluntly, because the songwriter does not know who I am.  Since I am not famous, my Producer’s requests ( and there were several ) were never responded to.  I remember hearing Mariah Carey’s version of the song on the radio one day, and thinking to myself, “I recorded my version many months ago, but because she is famous, hers gets on the radio months before mine does. ”  I have no problem with her, I just found it funny at the time that I was still waiting ( for over a year ) after I’d recorded it for it to be available online, then when it finally happened, it was a little anticlimactic, as a huge star had already released a version of it recently.

     Anyway, the purpose of this post is to let my American friends know that I received an e-mail from my Producer Jarome this morning, stating that they were finally able to find a way to secure a license to sell a limited number of copies of the song online.  So, we have the actual license, we now just have to make it happen.  I’m not sure how long this will take, but the minute it is available, I will definitely let you know.

     Thankyou to everyone who has already downloaded my version of the song, and a special thanks to my friends in the U.S. who have expressed an interest in purchasing it.  Your patience is appreciated, and so are all the kind comments you have made after listening to it on my website.  I will keep you posted.

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Heather Doré’s First Guitar

Posted by Heather
In career, events, life, music
3Aug 10

     As some of you may recall, in the Spring of 2009, I started talking about wanting an Acoustic Guitar.  My Birthday is in June, so when people started asking what I wanted, I mentioned that contributions towards a Guitar would be much appreciated. It really was the only thing I wanted.

     I had played Guitar once before in Highschool, in Ontario – my friend Sandra had spent an afternoon teaching me a song I really liked. I wasn’t interested in learning chords or anything – I just wanted to learn that song, that day, and that’s what we did. She played a few notes, I copied then, we strung it together, and that was that.

     Since I moved up here to the Sunshine Coast of B.C. 2 years ago, I figured that I needed to find a fairly portable instrument to accompany myself when singing.  ( my piano isn’t portable ) When I was in Vancouver, I had some Musicians I played with from time to time, but up here, I don’t know very many yet.  I figured it was up to me to find a way to be able to sing, without having to rely on anyone else. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play Guitar, so figured this was the perfect solution.

     Not knowing anything about Guitars, I asked a friend from Highschool, Tal Bachman, for some advice on buying my 1st Guitar, since he has a lot of experience with them.  He was very kind and patient as I asked a ton of questions, and even broke down what kind of strings, picks etc. would be best for me.   I started out only knowing I wanted a black acoustic, but by the time we had many discussions about it, I knew a lot more.

     It was decided that I would get a Yamaha FG 720S ( all black) , Jim Dunlop ( nylon ) .60 mm picks, and .10 or .11 gauge ( but no heavier ) strings.  Tal felt the body size of that particular model would be good for a woman. 

     We had been talking about it online for a couple of months, so when June rolled around, and my husband and I were finally able to get into the city, and to Tom Lee, I was very excited.  My husband wanted me to actually see the Guitar, and hold it, to make sure it was what I really wanted, before we got it.  Of course, I was distracted when I saw a gold glitter-covered electric guitar hanging from the ceiling – and swore it would be my next guitar, after I mastered the Acoustic.

     I looked at the guitar I wanted, saw that it was shiny and black, picked it up,  and liked the way it felt.  I pulled out Tal’s checklist, found my strings, picks, and a strap, and the guy threw in a book for good measure.  We got a soft case for carrying, and walking down Granville St. for the very first time with my new guitar in hand, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

     Fast forward just over a year, and my Guitar has had a long sleep.  It still has the paper on the strings. I have been thinking about it a lot lately, wishing I had time to learn to play it … and now I am determined to just do it.  It’s so easy to let the fact that you work full time, have errands to run, a house to clean, want to spend time with friends and family make you forget that sometimes, you have to make time to do things just for you. This is important to me, it’s something I really want to do, and I’m going to find the time, somewhere, somehow.

My First Guitar

My First Guitar

So, tonight was the first step – I pulled her out of her case, and looked at all the accessories I have to go along with her, flipped through the books again, and held her, imagining how cool it will be to one day, know how to play her.
Books, Strings, Picks, Strap

Books, Strings, Picks, Strap

I can’t wait to get started playing my new Guitar.  I’ll have to shoot some video when I finally get around to removing the paper from the strings – it’ll seem like a momentous occasion, after waiting over a year …
I’ll keep you posted with my progress, but first things first, I have to find a name for her.
Thanks again, Tal, for all your help and advice – it is very much appreciated.

In career, events, life, music
13Jun 10

     I have been going to Karaoke nights at the Sechelt, B.C. Legion for several months now, and I have to say, it is always a really fun night out.  Every week that I go, I am amazed at how friendly and supportive everyone is, regardless of what style of music you sing. If someone sings a song that people like, the dancefloor gets packed.  Since singing and dancing are two of my favourite things to do, I always look forward to my Karaoke nights.

      Recently, it was announced that they were going to have a ” Sunshine Coast Karaoke Idol ” Contest at the Legion.  I have been to enough Karaoke nights there to know that there are some extremely talented singers around, so I didn’t think I would try out.  I also don’t really like competition, or being judged in public, so was definitely shying away from the prospect of auditioning for the Contest.  They held 3 weeks of auditions – the first week slipped by, then the second, and I still didn’t go.  I was worried that the “good ” feeling we all had on our Karaoke nights, that warm, encouraging feeling, may disappear in a competitive setting.  I didn’t want things to change.  I probably had at least 10 reasons why I shouldn’t audition. ( in my own mind )

     I thought about it long and hard, about how much I love to sing. I have been up here on the Sunshine Coast for just over 2 years now, and haven’t really ” put myself out there ” musically, yet.  It was so easy in Vancouver – I had lots of contacts there, knew a lot of musicians etc, and there were always places to play.  Being still fairly new to the Coast, and quite shy, I hadn’t really talked to very many people about my singing.  I decided that it was time to at least try and get myself heard a little bit.  I had to start somewhere, and what better place than a friendly, familiar environment?

     So, on the third week of auditions, I gave it a shot.  I made it in, and at the end of May, our Contest began.  I met some wonderful ladies along the way – all of whom clearly love to sing.  It was so nice to get to know them, and see the joy in their eyes, and the beautiful smiles on their faces, as they did what they love best.  There is nothing quite like watching someone doing what they are truly passionate about – it is an amazing sight to behold. 

     The weeks went by, we sang different genres each week ( which challenged us, and helped us grow as vocalists ) and we all helped each other get through our nerves, which were aplenty throughout the Contest.  This past Friday, June 11th, it was down to 3 of us, and we had the Finale.

 

Laura, Heather and Krystal

Laura, Heather and Krystal

I would like to thank everyone involved with the contest for making it so much fun for all of us.  It was great experience for us in front of an audience, and it helped us try new genres we may not have otherwise attempted.  A lot of hard work and preparation went into getting things running smoothly, and everyone learned a lot along the way.  Richard Lachance deserves a special ” Thankyou ” for running the show, and encouraging us all to try out – nobody worked as hard as he did at making this thing happen.  It is because of him that we’ve had so many fun nights out at Karaoke over the months gone by.
Jac, Dani and Bob

Jac, Dani and Bob

We had great Judges ( see above photo ) who all had good advice to give us, and we all appreciated their honesty.  We even had a couple of last minute judges have to step in on occasion to fill in, and they did a wonderful job, as well.  There were several other people involved with the event, helping things go as planned, videoing for us, and all the way through, giving us encouragement.
The next picture is the 3 of us anxiously awaiting the results of the voting.
The Ladies Wait For The Results

The Ladies Wait For The Results

Thankyou to all of our friends, families, co-workers, and even complete strangers that came out and supported us with their clapping, cheering, and votes.  It really meant a lot to us to have so much love and support from all of you.  As I mentioned earlier, we were all quite nervous, so having so much positive energy around helped us a lot !!!
Top 3

Top 3

I would like to thank all the Contestants as well, for sharing their talents with us, and being so much fun.  It never felt like a competition ( thank goodness ) as everyone was there for the same reason – to have fun, and do what they loved to do.  We all cheered for each other, and felt the ups and downs as each of us had good or bad nights over the last few weeks.  I am so glad to have met all of you ladies – not only are you very talented, but you are very sweet, kind people, as well, and I hope we will stay in touch.
A big thanks to the fabulous Community – spirited photographer ( and so much more ) Duane Burnett, who showed up at the Finale to take some pictures of us on our big night.  You can always count on Duane to be there for any special event on The Sunshine Coast.  You can see some more of the Finale pictures here.
All in all, competing in this contest was a really great experience for me.  I overcame some fears, forced myself to do things I was uncomfortable with, and eventually, even got over my nerves. ( even if that only happened on the very last night. ) Most importantly, I met some wonderful people along the way, whom I hope to sing with again some day very soon.
Thanks again so much to everyone for supporting us in our love of singing !!!

Life Becomes Lyrics

Posted by Heather
In events, life, music
4May 10

     When I was a young girl taking piano and singing lessons, my teacher encouraged me to write songs, as well.  I had always written a lot of poems, short stories etc., and was fairly certain of my ability to string words together.  I have always been a very meticulous person in pretty much all I do, and writing is no exception.  ( thus, brevity is not my strong suit, as anyone who knows me well can tell you:)   I like to be extremely descriptive, and not leave out even the slightest detail.

     As a teenager, I wrote a lot of poems, most of which, admittedly, were about boys.   ( and mostly concerning unrequited love )  I found that by far, my best writing came about after some boy had broken my heart.  Probably the only thing I miss ( emotionally ) about being a teenager, is the ability to feel so deeply.  Everything seems so incredibly important, symbolic, life-altering, at that age.  When the one you adored left you, ( or showed no interest to begin with ) it seemed as though you could never possibly feel that way again, ever, in your entire life.  Ah, the drama – it’s nice to be able to look back on it now, smile, and shake my head…

     There is something to be said for taking raw emotions like sadness, hurt etc. and turning them into powerful lyrics.  Songwriters have obviously been doing it forever, which is why, to this day, a favourite ballad can tug at our heartstrings.  When I wrote as a teenager, the intention was purely therapeutic – it was my safe way of letting go of my sadness, and I definitely had a lot of that, which meant I wrote a lot.  I still have an old folder full of all my poems and stories, which I found when I moved almost 2 years ago.  I found it fascinating being able to read them, thereby “climbing” back into my own teenage brain, and feeling so many intense emotions .  It was kind of cool, actually.

     I have always been a pretty private person – I like my privacy, and respect that of others.  I don’t think I ever intended on letting anyone else read the things I had written – they were just for me, to try and deal with disappointment, and any other negative emotions I may have been feeling at the time.  I firmly believe that incredible things can happen if you have the ability to harness any negativity you may feel, turn it around, and redirect it into something positive, and powerful.  I would like to do that with some of my words from the past, and even some from the present. 

     Doing cover songs is always fun – you get to sing songs you know well, and love, but as an indie artist, a vast amount of time and expense is required to cut through all the red tape to get yourself heard that way.  My last single took us nearly a year to get on iTunes, and even then, we still couldn’t get on U.S, iTunes, due to licensing agreements specific to the songwriter.  In short, if you are not “famous” already, few care to give you a chance.

     Anyway, my point is that, although I wonder if anyone would really want to hear what I have to say, I am going to get back to writing some lyrics this Summer.  Worst case scenario – I work through some negative emotions … best case, I write about something real that someone else can relate to, and maybe even dance to.

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Rehearsing My Next Song

Posted by Heather
In career, life, music
26Mar 10

     As I mentioned in my last Blog post, my producer Jarome Matthew has been away for a couple of months, travelling, and working with some other Pro Soul Artists.  Jarome always keeps in touch with me while he is away, letting me know what’s going on, and when he’ll be back in Vancouver.  Well, he’s home now, and we’re anxious to get me back in the Studio to record my next 80’s – inspired song.

     This next track we’re working on is a dance track, and I’m hoping we’ll get some airplay in some of my favourite Vancouver Clubs eventually.  The song was written by the incredibly talented singer/songwriter Darryl Kromm ( of Canadian Band Strange Advance ) and it will be our second time working with him on this 80’s project.  Darryl was kind enough to do backup vocals for me on my cover of Human League’s ” ( Keep Feeling ) Fascination ” a while back, and now he is allowing us to use one of his original songs that the public has never heard. We are thrilled ( and extremely grateful ) to be working with Darryl again, and very excited to have such amazing material to work with.

     Now that Jarome and his lovely wife Felisha are back from their travels, it’s just a matter of setting up a time that works with both our busy schedules  – I can’t wait to record this very cool song !  I will continue to rehearse it for the next little while, but am sure we’ll be in the Studio with it before Summer.  I’ll keep you posted.

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iTunes and CD Baby

Posted by Heather

          When people find out that I sing, they often ask me, ” Where can I get you music ? “.  Many people prefer to download their songs now, so everything I’ve recorded so far ( both the Jazz stuff, and the 80’s tunes ) can easily be found on iTunes. 

          If you would rather have an actual CD to play, and if you like Big Band/Swing/Lounge Music from the 1920’s – 1950’s, then CD Baby is where you can order my CD called “I’m Beginning To See The Light “.  There are not many copies left, so if you’ve been thinking about getting a copy of my very first CD, then the time is right …

           I am so grateful to all of you that have already purchased my CD, and/or downloaded some of my songs.  It really means a lot to me to have your support, and your feedback is always appreciated, as well.  Some people seem to like the older music best, while others dig the 80’s songs.  It is always great to hear what you like most, and why.  Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on my music – I’d love to hear from you !

          Right now, I am rehearsing a new 80’s style song, and will likely be recording it in the Spring, now that my Producer Jarome Matthew  is finally home from a busy trip away, working with various other Pro-Soul  Artists.  I am looking forward to getting back into the Studio and recording, as well as hearing all about Jarome’s trip, and all the amazing music he produced while travelling. 

          My last two 80’s songs were cover tunes, but the one we’re working on right now has never been heard by the general public, so we are very excited about it.  We’ll keep you posted …

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All We Have Are Moments

Posted by Heather
In career, events, life, music
16Mar 10

     I was talking to a friend of mine a few years ago ( who happens to be a very wise woman ) about the fact that I was tired of life being such a struggle, full of disappointments, and basically just so difficult, at times.    I had recently lost several good friends  – most in their 40’s – to various things, such as heart attacks, and cancer.  A close relative had a stroke, and a couple others were ill, as well.  I was unhappy with the job I was at, and tired of the routine – working hard to try and pay the bills, and having little time or energy left over for much else.

     I told her that I didn’t feel very hopeful at the time, since I was surrounded by so many sad things.  I felt as though I couldn’t cry any more, and it just didn’t feel like there was much to look forward to.

     Earlier that day, as I was walking to her place to visit her, the sun was shining on my face, and it made me feel kind of giddy. ( I love the feeling of the warm sun on my skin – it always makes me feel good. )  When I told her that, she looked at me seriously, and said ” All we have are moments “, and I didn’t quite “get” what she meant, at first.  She was referring to the fact that life is not one long series of wonderful events without anything negative – that is not reality.  Life is hard – sometimes extremely difficult – but real joy comes from recognizing those ” moments ” that make us smile, make us feel good, make us laugh, whatever.

     We need to focus on those moments – even if they are rare, and brief – instead of all the other sad, disappointing , unfulfilling things in our lives.

     I remember telling her at the time that I only had those kinds of moments maybe 3 or 4 times a year, and she thought that was sad, if it were true.  She pointed out that the way the sun on my face made me feel was one, the way I felt when I was on a dancefloor, ( so free ) the feeling I got when a friend hugged me … and it started to sink in.

     It has been several years since that conversation, and many things have happened and changed in my life since then – both good, and bad – but I have come a long way in terms of how I view life.  Yes, life is still difficult, and things certainly don’t always turn out the way you think/hope they will, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it.  I am much better at recognizing the ” little things ” that often go unnoticed, or get taken for granted – the things that genuinely bring a smile to my face, or make me feel good.

     For me, it can be a breathtaking view from a cliff overlooking the water, after a long hike, or the feeling of a friend’s arms around me whom I haven’t seen in months.  It is anything that brings me joy, warms me, makes me smile for real – simple things, unplanned things.

     Life may not be everything we want it to be all of the time, but if we are open to it, pretty much every day has at least one ” moment ” worth noting.  Those are the times I now focus on, and enjoy – and it helps get me through the rest.

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