So, after my grumbling and whining in the last entry, I feel obliged to say that things did get better. First of all I am feeling better physically (of course I knew the nasty period couldn't go on forever, like the cycle before it, but it did feel like it for a while). Also feeling better in spirit. All the sympathetic comments helped. (Incidentally, I do like precise descriptions of disgusting things. I profoundly dislike euphemisms and evasions. I'd much rather revel in the beauty of the world, don't get me wrong, but when there's something truly awful to be described, I'd rather tell/hear it like it is. Somehow that helps put said awful thing in its place, I find. Anyway. Enough of that for now.)
I mentioned in last entry that I was getting ready to start a summer band program. My city has an amateur adult music education and performance program, and I've been a member since 2006. I started playing music as an adult with absolutely no experience (although I have danced since early years, off and on, and I've always enjoyed listening to music.) It has been life-changing to learn and perform music with a group as an adult. It's never too late to learn something new! I met a fellow who started learning trombone in his late 70s! (He and his wife became good friends of ours. People who live life so passionately help make me less afraid to grow old.)
After 6 years learning and playing euphonium, I started learning percussion as well, which is tons of fun because you get to play many different instruments, sometimes in the space of one piece of music. I've done that for 3 years now and hope to continue on. The past year I took a break from my horn and focused on the percussion. I was starting to feel overwhelmed with so many hobbies besides a full time job and other things like trying to keep our house sort of clean, cooking at least twice a week, keeping up with friends and extended family, and oh yeah, TTC.
TTC has sapped my enthusiasm in the past year for my hobbies, including music. When we first started, naively optimistic, it made no difference, but when it became clear things were not going well in the TTC department there definitely was an affect. Obviously I was spending time researching and wondering what was going on, but the real consequence is more subtle I think: it's like my life energy is always being diverted somewhere else, and I'm just left with less motivation and energy to do things that I usually love. Which means I end of feeling like I have less energy in general. I've found in the past few months that I really have to make myself do fun things. I do enjoy them when I do them, but I don't look forward to them and I practically need a regular schedule to motivate myself: "Email friend on Monday. Then go for walk. Then go to dance class." This is especially bad for music because it's necessary to work on it regularly (i.e. practicing.) I typically really enjoy practicing, but when I lack energy, it starts to feel like a chore.
So it was a great surprise on Thursday, going to my first summer band rehearsal, to realize how incredibly good and energized and full of life I felt. Even though I was a bit rusty after more than a year away from my horn I felt so happy to be there and so passionate about playing music. And in the days since I can't wait to pick it up and play some more. I'm hoping I can keep this up over the next few weeks and into the fall as it feels like wonderful medicine.
It's so important to have life-affirming projects and plans to focus on every day!