What I learned one cold Wednesday evening in the 19th...

What’s one thing you used to do in your childhood that you tell yourself in adulthood you can’t do?

Paint beautiful pictures?

Write imaginative stories?

Dance like a maniac?

For me, it was anything musical. I’ve always loved singing, and I’m always quick to pick up a tune; but somewhere along the way, I got the message that I couldn’t sing well enough, I couldn’t read music, and rhythm and music was not a genetic trait in our family.

So I joined a choir, aged 52.

This Wednesday night, a cold, wintry, rainy evening that rightly should have been spent curled up on the couch, with a ‘blanky’ and the cat, watching Netflix, (I know - enlightening…), I ventured into an arrondissement I’ve never been before, across the other side of Paris, and stood in a circle with 10 other slightly odd-ball people I’ve never met, filled my lungs and sang!

Apparently, I’m some way between an alto and a soprano.

And I can read music.

The thing I am most amazed at is, in looking at sheet music with fresh, curious, adult eyes, how it tells a story that transcends culture and language with a bunch of universally-understood squiggles. I wish reading music had been presented to me in this way as a child. I might not have spent 45 years not doing something that makes me feel good.

Sure - it took some courage to venture out to the 19th, on a cold night, with complete strangers, to do something I thought I couldn’t do, and I remember enjoying - but it was so worth it! And let’s face it - I wasn’t climbing Mt Everest! It was everyday courage, and we all have that.

I absolutely CAN sing, and yet all these years, I haven’t done something I simply feel good doing because I had a story attached to it.

What stories are you attaching to things?

How are those stories stopping you from doing something you vaguely remember you used to love doing?

Get out and do them. You’ll find the stories are exactly that.