While I have no regrets, I believe that with less time ahead of me than I have behind me, I’ve fallen short in my life in many ways.
I’m an artist. I never achieved the level of talent, fame and renown of Picasso or Peter Max, but I am an artist none the less, and I enjoy expressing myself through many media. I paint, I draw, I sculpt and I am fully immersed in the art of mosaic. Never intending to make a living with my art, I’ve actually been commissioned to do several pieces, and I’ve sold a few others for materials costs, but I generally give everything I make away as gifts.
I love music. I’m no Billy Joel on my piano, or Eric Clapton on my guitar, yet I love to lose myself in the sound of them. With no formal training, the only end I seek is to achieve a different spiritual plane than the one in which I exist on an everyday basis.
Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be Barbra Streisand, on many levels. I had learned so many of her early songs and entertained at my mother’s bridge club or dinner parties, classics like “Second Hand Rose” and “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long.” I wanted to be “Funny Girl.” I had the sense of humor, buried deep down inside me, and the music from that show energized me. My goal today is simply to evoke a smile… either with a joke or a melody.
Cooking is another way in which I lose myself. Watching Julia Child as a young girl, I was delighted at the advent of the Food Network. Much of what I learned in the kitchen came from my grandmothers, including traditional dishes emanating from my heritage, as well as the ability to cook in large amounts so that I can entertain. One of my grandmothers was, in fact, a cook in the army. I always told my family it was a cheap thrill for me to cook and get complimented. Nothing made me happier than to serve a meal, hear only the clacking of silverware for a short while, and then have everyone tell me how much they enjoyed the food. That must have come from my Jewish background.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve met many people who have been wonderful role models for attributes I didn’t even know I desired. I imagine that happens naturally as we grow older and out of that self-absorbed and idealistic period in our lives, known as young adulthood. These are not necessarily famous people, but just good people, who live their lives righteously, with grace, honor and integrity.
When I was young, I had no real career aspirations other than to grow up to be the next Barbra Streisand. All I really wanted was to be a mom. I believe, in my heart of hearts, having had such a brilliant example myself, that I may have fallen short there, too.
My mother set a tone of love and tolerance, discipline before reward, and most importantly, encouragement. If anyone were to question this description, all they would need to do is see is the legacy that she has built with her family, having raised four children, who bore her nine grandchildren, and two great grandchildren, so far. Her entire family is very attentive to her. She considers herself lucky. But she, herself created that. I only hope that in time, I can boast of the same.
With all that being said, I can say that there is one area where I have achieved the pinnacle of success. There is NOBODY that can do a better job at being me. With all of my talents and shortcomings, attributes and flaws, I am Judy and I certainly didn’t fall short there!