Welcome to day 8 of sickness and cancellations here at the Aviary. Let me take you on a little tour of the nonhappenings of the Birds this week.
Last Friday – One year old Lil P was coughing pretty bad so I stayed home from teaching to tend to the girls so that Nathan could keep his teaching appointments.
Saturday – I only went to the first of two ballet classes for which I usually play piano on Saturdays. The second one coincided exactly with Nathan’s first rehearsal with the chorus for MN Opera’s Hamlet, and the girls were both seeming sick at this point – didn’t want to truck them around and share the yuck with sitters. Also in the afternoon Nathan cancelled an in-house rehearsal with the quintet he has put together for the April program for Covenant Retirement Communities. He scheduled more than needed for this very reason, but still it was a bummer to cancel.
Sunday – We all stayed home from church and cancelled the piano duet sight-reading party. This was to be the first of our Arts at the Aviary gatherings so far this year. I miss doing every Sunday, but since I’ve been back at work six days a week we have been more reluctant to fill our Sundays. I’ve been meeting more local pianists to include in the group and was so looking forward to a fun round-robin style duet marathon. Starting tomorrow Nathan will have Sunday rehearsals with the opera, so it may be a while again.
Monday – Somehow I managed to get through 10 piano lessons – thanks to gallons of water and lots of cough drops – but Nathan cancelled his voice teaching schedule and again spared the babysitter. Since she is also in the opera chorus he didn’t want to take any chances starting a MNOp pandemic. Probably not such a great networking strategy.
Tuesday – Once again I survived an afternoon of teaching piano lessons, and once again Nathan stayed home from rehearsal to watch the sick kiddos. At this point I thought I was escaping the worst of it and would only get better from here.
Wednesday – This is the girls’ weekly day with Grandma. Nathan drops them off enroute to his day of teaching voice lessons at a high school about an hour west of us. Thirty minutes before heading to the bus for teaching, I realized that I felt miserable and had a coughing fit such that my chest tightened up and I had flashbacks to pneumonia of 2008. so, instead of teaching I was zonked out in bed for the same time as my teaching shift.
Thursday – My cough was still something fierce, preventing me from speaking a full sentence uninterrupted, and Nathan’s ears were really bugging him. No teaching, and no visit from mom who has been coming on Thursdays for a piano lesson and purchase of my homebrewed kombucha. Thanks for going without this week, Mom, we all have appreciated having a little extra of the tonic around here. (By the way, black currant ginger kombucha is A-W-E-S-O-M-E.)
Friday – By yesterday the girls seemed to be on the mend, but Nathan and I both still felt pretty awful. No teaching for either of us, and no visit with my cousins for the girls. Between coughs, my 4-year-old said, “Hey, it’s Friday. We go to somebody’s house today!” Yeah, sorry, not so much today, girlie.
Saturday – and here we are today. I managed to make it through both ballet classes, though I felt like I was running a temp during the first one and was in such a mental fog that I’m not sure I played any of the intros very clearly. Sorry ladies. Hope you all don’t start dancing with a limp because of me. Hopefully today was the last of the chorus rehearsals that Nathan will have to miss, and the last quintet cancellation for a while.
Last night we actually did not sound like a TB ward in our house. That was refreshing. I still can’t talk much without coughing, and my tastebuds are fully unfunctional, but with another day of rest tomorrow I am thinking I’ll be ready to start another week on Monday.
Here’s the thing…
I have spent much of the past five years in a cloud of depression and discouragement – about money, about work, about health, about family, about why God isn’t working things out better and faster. Yet, as we have progressed – or perhaps regressed is a better term – through this week of acute discomfort and misfortune I have had a nearly constant sense that things will be resolved, somehow. We aren’t being punished, or even necessarily taught anything specific. We’re just experiencing life – a particularly crappy phase full of phlegm and coughs and infections and hearing double double.
Sometimes it helps one to wander down the path of “it-could-be-so-much-worse”-ness. It’s not cancer that we’re fighting. It’s not foreclosure that we’re facing. It’s not death that we’re mourning.
For me this week though I have moreso been driven by this growing sense of there being a big picture that extends far beyond my present troubles. I don’t know how the world started. I don’t make the sun rise in the morning. I’ve never seen the source of light. Or the source of darkness. Or the source of the wind. I don’t make it rain or snow. And I most certainly, definitely, absolutely, do not make the birds fly. This sense of the bigness of the world and the vastness of the unknown has brought a perspective that has grounded me. I guess what I’m realizing is that my not knowing the big picture is the very thing that can help me survive the not doing in the small picture.
This is a huge difference from past versions of myself that could only see a spiralling tunnel of doom and hopelessness when things were hard. That fact alone – the fact that I am responding now so differently than in the past is, well, pretty cool.
Peace does not prevail in my mind all the time, but It has become a more frequent visitor.