“It is normal to give away a little of one’s life in order not to lose it all.” Albert Camus
I don’t feel like myself and am sure you don’t either. Nothing is like it’s supposed to be. The rhythm of our days is different, what we wear is different and what we DO is different. We don’t see our friends or colleagues and we don’t see many of our family. We’ve not been able to go out to dinner for MONTHS or to see our hairstylist. Doing our weekly errands to the grocery store or hardware store takes planning and we need to wear a mask to do so. When we get to the store, we may not be able to purchase everything we need. Most of us hunkered down initially and tried not to whine or complain about any of this but we are wearing out. This different way of life is lasting a LOT longer than any of us ever thought.
I realized only a short time ago, that the reason I don’t feel like myself is because this is a NEW version of myself. But, unlike the previous newer versions, I had no choice in the matter. Becoming a college student or conductor or a girlfriend and later, a wife and mother, were all things I wanted and chose to become. Starting a new job at a new place, with new students and singers, was something I wanted when I applied for the job. Moving to a new house or founding my chamber choir were things I WANTED to do, and they felt part of me, though they were new endeavors.
The new normal is not helping me feel better about anything, and I certainly don’t feel like myself. In fact, most days I don’t want to get out of bed. The news, and the prospects in the near future for of our profession, is dragging me down. I never realized how much planning and programming, besides the actual singing and rehearsing, are a PART of me and that part of me isn’t being used.
A few weeks ago, I WAS feeling sorry for myself, really sorry. Then I had a bit of a wakeup call and realized my inconvenience is not the point. My spouse is a physician and while he is not usually taking care of COVID-19 patients, he does go into his hospital quite often. Around the time of my Pity Party, he saw a patient in the hospital and as he was leaving, a Celebration happened, with a sort of parade. Everyone stopped EVERYTHING and clapped while a patient was being wheeled out in a wheelchair. It was a COVID-19 patient who had been in the hospital for over 40 days and his hospital Celebrates Them Out when they are finally able to leave. She had a mask on and when she turned, looked at him and called out; she was one of his regular patients and recognized him. He was shocked to see her and has since seen her in his office; she doesn’t know where she could have picked up the virus.
My inconvenience and your inconvenience are not the point; people’s LIVES are the point. We can complain, be unhappy we can’t go about our business of making music and singing together, or we can try to make the best of it. No one wants this, but what choice do we have? We can all find ways to survive, to create our art and to remain fairly healthy, both physically and mentally. In order to help myself function; I am trying some things to get me feeling more like myself so I can function better in this Never-Never-Land.
ChoralNet has a new Blogger, Dr. Ramona M. Wis, who will be blogging about Yoga and think I will become a regular reader. I will also be giving myself a daily Ballet Barre and get back in touch with my former life as a dancer. I will consciously try to get my sleep/wake cycle close to what it has been for years. And I will be dressing more as I usually do instead of the jeans and tee-shirts that has become my Uniform. Today, I am supposed to have my first haircut in three months, and I can’t wait!
I hope you will also try things to help yourself feel better in this strange time. 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!