“Oh, I am very weary, Though tears no longer flow; My eyes are tired of weeping, My heart is sick of woe.” Anne Bronte
I am worn out. Tired; sick and tired and needing to rest. It’s been difficult for me to rest in this transition time, as things are looking up, and I am exhausted. I’ve finished choosing repertoire for fall and it seems like most of my singers are on the way to being vaccinated. I get my second jab next week. But even as things seem better, resting and recouping has not been easy. I am not the only person who has felt worn out.
Magda* tells me she stopped listening to the news last summer because it stressed her out so much. She now binges old British comedies or mysteries in the evenings, so she is not tempted to watch her favorite news channel. Her partner listens and tells her if there’s anything she needs to know. She consults with her Clergy boss about what she needs to prepare for Sunday services but stays off Facebook and Twitter and other social media, other than for announcements for the congregation she serves. Magda talks to her parents once a week; they do not share the same views about the Pandemic, so any more than that is stressful. She’s made her share of Pandemic Banana Bread and has perfected her favorite comfort foods from childhood. She has learned if she wants to survive the Pandemic, she needs to limit her exposure to stress inducing information. And she feels much better than she did last year.
Tony* also has learned what he needs to do to feel better. He’s always been athletic but spent the first three months of the Pandemic in his small apartment doing nothing. He ordered his groceries and other necessaries, having them delivered, so he didn’t have to go out to run errands. With Zoom, he’d been able to teach and have rehearsals in his living room, so he truly didn’t need to go out for anything, and he felt awful. In June, some restrictions were lifted in his community and he went out for groceries. He suddenly felt better, with more energy, and was able to sleep better that night. He began to slowly do more things outside of his apartment, such as weekly shopping and a regular walk through a local forest preserve. He follows his community’s protocols but makes sure to get fresh air and exercise in some way every day and that has made a difference.
Danny* was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Right around Christmas, he decided he better do something, or he would be stuck in this funk for the foreseeable future. He began contacting family, his choir members, and close friends on Facebook messenger with a suggestion they each share some “good news” once a week. Most agreed, and he created a texting group. Their good news varies, and nothing is too small to share. The Good News Group has shared engagements, COVID-19 negative tests, and the best darn Banana Bread recipe ever as well as first visits from the Tooth Fairy. Danny’s Mom has really enjoyed it and hopes they’ll continue it once restrictions have lifted. Danny feels so much better and thinks he WILL continue with his Good News Group.
My own solution for the Pandemic has been, if you’ll recall, to do home improvement projects. Our basement is finished and so is the kitchen and for the first time in DECADES, I don’t have a concert to get up and running this spring. The biggest obstacle for me is just to RELAX; I’m so used to doing something, planning or arranging something it’s been hard not to do so. It looks like our fall concert will happen, so every week or so, I do something toward preparation for those rehearsals to begin and that’s helped.
What are YOU doing to keep going during this stressful time? Please share in the comments below.
Until next week, be well and be safe!
I am taking my Choral Ethics Blogs to my chamber choir’s Facebook page for the foreseeable future. Please join me there this morning! https://www.facebook.com/themidwestmotetsociety/