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Letter from The Publisher

Tracy Patterson

I’m sure we’ve all thought about a pivotal point in our life where if we had taken the other path our life might have turned out quite differently. For some reason, I always think about this particular memory at the start of a new year, likely because the moment took place around that time many years ago.

To give you some background, I was a teenager working as a coat check girl at a college that had banquets every weekend throughout the winter. It was a great job for a young person—especially for me and my friends, who were all night owls and had no problem diligently babysitting coats until the wee hours.

One of the large banquet rooms, called the Forum, had a dance floor at the bottom, tables tiered up three sides (layered, so you could look down at the dance floor) and a stage on the fourth side where they had live music.

On one occasion, after all the coats were gone and the place was pretty much empty, my co-worker and I meandered onto the stage to check it out. The sound system was still on, and there was the microphone, front and center. I loved music—played the piano, sang in the school choir, danced constantly, you get the picture.

I was itching to pick up the microphone and belt out a tune but had never done such a thing. I was terrified, partly because people might still be around and hear what might turn out to be an embarrassing solo voice, and partly because I might get in trouble for using the equipment (and my mother was my boss, so that made it extra scary!).

Well, I gave in to the fear and didn’t sing my song. And that was it, the pivotal point. Would I have become the next Barbara Streisand (whose songs, by the way, were the ones on my mind that night)? Perhaps not, but would it have gone a long way to strengthening my ability to face and overcome my fear of the stage (and perhaps other lurking fears)? Absolutely!

Don’t get me wrong, I have been relatively good at trying new things throughout my life, even if they are scary, and I realize that we shouldn’t live in the past, but at this time of year, I always find myself pondering some of these pivotal moments.

If nothing else, it helps to keep an eye on the yet-to-happen pivotal points moving forward. I think it’s important for us to learn how to recognize them, so we might be more inclined to take the leap and break through the fear, whatever it happens to be.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year, and a healthy, happy and prosperous year!




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