You’ll remember, of course, that Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz had a pair of ruby slippers that made her very happy because they took her back home. Here in the picture you can see a pair of extremely bright-orange slippers, along with a pattern, two types of fabric, and a black beaded top. So what’s their significance in my life? They’re all items that have to do with what we’re supposed to wear for the Cherry Creek Chorale concert coming up on Oct. 23 & 24. Can we just wear our regular chorale outfits? Oh no. That would be too easy. It’s a Halloween concert, so we have to wear Halloween costumes.
What does all the foregoing have to do with happiness? Two things:
1. I haven’t procrastinated on this. As I often discuss in these posts and in my book, procrastination is my middle name. Normally I’d be thinking, ‘Oh, I’ll drop by Goodwill and see what they have,’ and I’d end up doing it the day before the concert, find nothing, and end up with some kind of improvised thrown-together affair that wouldn’t be all that great. (Sometimes last-minute inspiration works out fine, but you can’t count on that happening.) But not this time. Our concert is still two weeks away, and I’ve already bought material to make two easy kimono jackets, one for me and one for my fellow female tenor, Lois. Hers is basically done; mine is well on the way. What a weird-but-nice feeling to have this project well in hand! And then, to top it all off, yesterday I visited not one but two Goodwill stores, both conveniently located along my route, and at the second one I found the SHOES. I had said that I wanted some orange shoes, but I didn’t think I’d actually find some. They fit quite well and cost about FOUR DOLLARS. Was I chuffed! The black beaded top was a bonus find, for only THREE DOLLARS. The pretty beading will look very nice peeking out from under my orange jacket.
2. I’m entering into the spirit and fun of the whole thing. Finding something to wear hasn’t been stressful; it’s been very enjoyable. If you have to do it anyway, might as well take a real interest. As soon as I find some cheap and gaudy earrings my outfit will be complete: black underdress, black beaded top, black and orange jacket, black stockings, orange shoes, and (I hope) some big pumpkin earrings. The whole silly ensemble will add to my pleasure of singing in the concert, because I’ll know that I’ve done my best to look the part. I won’t slink down the aisle, hoping that no one will notice how little effort I took. And I haven’t indulged in any of my usual eye-rolling and muttering, “Do we have to do this?” It’s taken me a very, very long time to realize how joy-killing that type of attitude is, for me and for everyone around me.
So if you have to do something anyway, you might as well take pleasure in it. There’s no point in saying, “Oh, I’m just not that kind of person” or “I just don’t like that sort of thing.” There’s a relationship principle about entering into the interests of others that applies here in somewhat altered form: Enter into the joy of an event. Don’t complain about the inconvenience. And for heaven’s sake, smile!
If you’ve been reading the posts on our upcoming concert, I hope you’ll enjoy the final one which should be up on Monday. (And if you haven’t been reading them, you have some catching up to do!) If you live anywhere near Bethany Lutheran Church in Greenwood Village, CO, do consider coming to one of the performances. I can promise you that you won’t be bored.