Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Don't Let a wall of snow hit you on the way out!

Now that February is nearly over, I would just like to say to it, "good riddance."

The second month of the year and I have a history of not getting along. I don't think I'm really unusual in this respect. Most of the people I meet here in Illinois complain about the weather these days. The rest are currently in Florida, or Hawaii.

It's cold; it's dark; it's dreary. Christmas was over a long time ago. We societally binged on that chance to ameliorate the gloom with lights and cheer before we even felt the need (we're a little challenged in the impulse-control department) and now the snow is no longer a novelty, and the cold has nothing to do but to better its records (minus 4 so far tonight as I write this; that's in Fahrenheit), and the darkness, while technically diminishing each day, is not making the days noticeably longer just yet. I don't imagine I qualify as having Seasonal Affective Disorder, or Depression, but these days are just harder to live through. My overloaded schedule is making me tired, and I'm not feeling very ambitious.

And yet I've managed to record both Schumann's Scenes from Childhood and Satie's Sports and Divertissments this month, along with a delightful set of Rameau pieces, and a handful of pieces for the organ, including a few improvisations and have been practicing a few other things on the piano. Despite this, I feel like my productivity is down. It may be, or it might be an impression.

That's the first thing I do to combat these feelings: recognize that reality and my perceptions about reality might not be the same thing, particularly when it is cold and dark all the time. Other than having a few valid reasons for somewhat elevated stress, life isn't really any worse. I know what's causing this: it's the weather. I can't do anything about it, but it will change eventually. And when it does I'll have survived another February. Some years are harder than others.

There have been a few days when I haven't been particularly productive at all, but these tend to be on Mondays after weekends packed with extras--4 church services and a choir rehearsal always, but sometimes a late-night gig or a marathon rehearsal into the bargain. In that case, I forgive myself for not pursuing projects I would like to; get some rest, write some blogs, and get on with it the next day.

But it's February's final week, now. I'm taking a little hiatus from practicing this week, which is the only thing I really can take a haitus from (I can get away without voluntarily touching the piano and organ for a few days and still manage to sound fine at rehearsals and services). I'll be back by next week, I'm sure. Right now, I'm simply acknowledging that I need a break, and since I'm not going anywhere once again, February and I will have to do battle alone. But I've been watching the calendar and it hasn't got much time left. Soon it will just be another discarded page on the calendar. Take that. February!

And don't think you can get out of your impending doom by sending us more snow. It's pretty, but unless there's an avalanche I think we'll survive it just fine. But thanks for trying. It's given me a chance to make another hot cherry pie, and stock up on the cocoa and chai tea.


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