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Year Three, Day 224: The Little Drummer Boy or Third Time's a Charm!

Today was my third and final homeless holiday meal performance. And it was the best yet!

A jolly good time was had by all!

But my morning started out with a rude awakening. Or perhaps I should say a late awakening.

Call time for our concert was 10:00 a.m. I had set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. I had planned on hooping, practicing piano, praying and grabbing a cup of coffee at Starbucks before our concert.

But I slept like a log last night. I don't remember any coughing. I woke with a start and grabbed my cell phone. It was 8:33. My heart began to race. The bus did not come down my street on the weekend. So I had to walk 3/4 mile to the next bus stop. I usually allowed an hour and a half to any destination to allow for the bus schedule. If I didn't hurry, I would be late. I jumped out of bed and got ready in record speed.

Then I calmed myself. I took a deep breath. Call time was 10:00, but we weren't scheduled to play until 11:00. I could call one of the other musicians and tell them I was running late. I decided I would still do a quick hoop workout and then get ready.

Amazingly, I caught both buses with only seconds to spare.

I made it to the church at 9:57 a.m. I was the earliest of the musicians!

I remembered one of my spiritual promises that I had written yesterday: To be my unique self while being kind to others.

I walked into the church smiling. I located the lady who was in charge of the volunteers. She remembered me from last year. I got a cup of hot tea and organized my music. I chatted with several of the volunteers before the rest of the group came.

It was a fabulous experience! I felt like my positive attitude helped elevate the experience for everyone.  We spent the next 45 minutes running through the music and putting it in order.

The church doors opened, and we started to play. After each piece, we received enthusiastic applause. I smiled and waved, thanking our audience.

We had some humorous moments that led to a relaxed, happy performance. I told the group I would happily play any piece except for Silver Bells. It became the joke.

"What's next on the program, Zita? Perhaps Silver Bells?"

I would shake my head and pretend to gag. Everyone would crack up.

There was so much joy amongst us. And it spread to our audience.

The others were worried we didn't have enough music to fill the hour. The flute player turned to me and asked if I had brought any Scott Joplin rags.
(She was at the last concert. Where I felt like such an inferior musician.)

I told her I did.

After I played ("Weeping Willow"), I got whoops, hoppers and thunderous applause from the crowd. A sweet older gentlemen at the table closest to me said, "Now THAT'S how Joplin should be played!"

"Scott Joplin is my man!" I shouted back, pinching my right fist in the air.

The other musicians laughed.

"Who am I?", I thought. This is not my usual shy, self conscious self.

One of the other musicians asked if I had brought more Scott Joplin rags. "They really liked it!", she said. I was thrilled. I told her I had more.

I did play well. I practiced my focussed breathing, to keep myself on the musical moment. I felt included, accepted and liked.

I want to remember this performance. I do believe I will. The major difference between this performance and the last two was me. My positive attitude.

I headed out to catch the bus afterwards feeling like I was floating. I checked the bus schedule and then sat on the bench with a happy sigh. I had ten minutes to reflect until the bus arrived.

How nice to feel successful! I opened up Facebook and discovered the following post by "Begin With Yes", the name of a positive thinking book. I follow the author's page. He inspires me daily.

"Other people may try to manage you by suggesting you should meet their expectations about who you should be.  It’s just not true. The best way to be a loving and kind person with healthy relationships is to stay focused on what you’re about, what you want to have happen, and what’s important to you. It’s not selfish; it’s authentic. And isn't “authentic” what you want to share with partners, lovers, and friends?"❤ (Begin with Yes.)

I was amazed at how this reflected what I had just been through with these last three performances.

I put my phone away. An older gentlemen approached me. He said, "You were that fabulous pianist at the luncheon!"

"That was me", I smiled. "And thank you for calling me fabulous", I said.

We chatted on the bus all the way to the Hollywood Transit Center.

He was from Queens, NY.

I felt such a wonderful connection with him. At the lunch, he had asked if we took requests. "What would you like to hear?", I asked.

"Little Drummer Boy! It's my favorite", he grinned.

I then realized he had been at the lunch last year and asked us to play the same song. We didn't have the music with us, but I played a bit for him by ear. I promised him I would find an arrangement for next year.

As the bus pulled into the transit center, he held out his hand. I grasped it in both of my hands and wished him a Merry Christmas.

I told him I would see him next year. "With the Little Drummer Boy!", I smiled.

He smiled and asked me my name. I said"Zita, and yours?"

"My name is 'J'. You are a remarkable lady. God bkess you", he let go of my hand and we went out separate ways.

And you know what? God did bless me today!

And I must remember another one of my spiritual promises: To pray to God instead of worry.

And now I need to add another spiritual promise: To thank Him.

Talk to you tomorrow.



P.S. Here is today's hoop video. I am so glad I did not leave my hooping out!

P.P.S. It is 11:40 p.m. I am at my daughter and son-in-law's house. Gracie finally fell asleep. My turned on the radio softly. As I finish this post, "The Little Drummer Boy" just came on.

I have goosebumps.

Good night!


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