Getting back to flow

Now that I can access the 'net at lightning speed, I can once again practice visiting other blog by people my age. There are so many sage, funny, educational, inspirational folks who are going through that next big change for boomers--retirement. It can be a real bitch, I can tell you. And I'm a well-educated, professional who worked all her life. Well, except for side excursions here and there...but that's another story or two.

Getting out of the fix that I was in within two months nearly killed me. I think I've mentioned that before, but it still holds. Harder than having a 48 hour labor and delivery at home, with friends and family. Up til now, that was the mammoth-sized labor of record. It's still very much touch and go and will be for the foreseeable future. But lots of folks are contributing in a number of ways, so I'll have a roof over my head. And as good a medical insurance as I currently have available.

So I was checking out the Midlife Crisis Queen, Laura Lee, and she asks "does what we wear really matter," which segued into inviting visitors to describe our most memorable outfit--that get-up that made us feel the most powerful, loved, loving person ever. Brought back some sweet and valuable memories for me. Remembering how to live simply as possible and still be creative, in great part, I think, because I have done this before and survived.

Any way, nice place to leave a memory--go check it out.



Friday collectibles

"Friday Roundup" is a commonly-seen post on many blogs. I can dig it. While paddling around the 'net, I often come across stuff that interests me, but not necessarily enough to write a whole post about it. It also gives some structure to a blog. This type of format may be a useful solution to pass along sites that I think might interest friends and rellies.

So let's give it a try.

Healthy Aging: Body, Mind & Spirit

Chock full of good health information for baby boomers!

The Wayward Irregular

Web and multimedia designer Matthew D. Jordan's wacky look at the world

Rolling Around in My Head

Power manifesto on how words can hurt by Dave Hingsburger.

Lateral Action creativity + action = success

Creative solutions for creative people by Mark McGuinness

Midlife Crisis Queen

Laura Lee is a hoot! Good info and lots of humor :)


Rehearsal notes - 9.14.10

OK, so I didn't post last week's notes til a few minutes ago. With the wrong date.

Lessons learned from last week:

Never ever attempt to drive in a hurricane again. Ever.

The roads will be flooded out at some point anyway, and it's too easy to get trapped, especially at night. High water is deadly.

Also got a nice note from Sylvia about rehearsal etiquette. Tonight's rehearsal was much more productive, and we sounded better. It makes all the difference in the world when we keep our ears open and our mouths shut, except for questions about the music. Laughing, yes, quietly sharing your marks from last week with a neighbor, letting off steam between pieces because this is demanding music and a real workout. I want us to blow their socks off. Imagine training for an athletic endeavor, like a marathon. I want to keep those pitches and chords and diminished ninths weaving in and out while I'm NOT singing. Which means I'm still listening to stuff in my head while processing Ryan's comments. Chattering drowns out those pitches. Kinda like driving in a hurricane.

Which leads us to tonight's rehearsal. New while I was on hiatus: folks bringing treats, sometimes  home-made. Drop dead gorgeous cake, Amber! The chocolate truffles with dark red velvet icing were insanely divine. And a perfect size for someone watching their sugar intake. I'll save up all week for that!

Other cool stuff from tonight's rehearsal...

  •  turning the circle--we set up in a circle, which means that Ryan has his back to one of the four sections. By shifting the circle, each section gets a good seat at least 3 out of 4 rehearsals. 
  • everyone using their ears tonight--the sound and pitch is calibrating to strike those overtones. Yay overtones. Yay being satisfied in my soul.
  • Ryan's good conducting--he knows his stuff and how to make us sound great
What I need to do for next week...
  • go over all markings, be sure they flow
  • wood-pile tricky transitions, intervals
  • hit the Russian! 
  • think about something I could bring for break that's healthy, but not too...
  • read through every piece at least once
-- 30 --

Rehearsal notes 8.7.10

What I need to fix or do: 

  • finish marking double choir lines
  • make sure all phrases over the page are solid
  • clean up Russian pronunciation marks 
  • NOT use the new sharpie pencil on music, but totally jazzed to write with it. Awesome.
  • invite my chorus mates to consider reducing talking each time the conductor stops us. When chatter happens, my flow goes out the window. Rehearsal time is precious. Very. It is deeply healing to produce beautiful sound with other humans. Practice throughout the week and take advantage of the time we have together to create a communal flow within the music. Put all that good energy from talking into absorbing the music. Make an old lady insanely happy.
  • marvel at the weather 
  • calm down from driving home tonight in Hermine, the Horrible Hurricane. Massive amounts of water. My car nearly drowned. So did I. Scary.
  • high five the altos for perfect attendance tonight
  • put concert schedule on calendar (thanks MLD)
  • load all music/concert-related stuff in Tricia's waterproof croc bag
  • locate folder. Which implies keep unpacking.
  • stop with the list.


September 1, 2010--the Indian Summer of my life

The Internet is full of "end of summer," "Indian summer," "first of fall," "back to school" posts and musings. Today happens to be significant for me because it is the first day of official retirement from working at an institution of higher education.

Not to be confused with ceasing to work for pay. I am also embarking on a powered-up freelance approach to paying the bills. Said I.H.E. paid 27% lower than comparable positions in the real world, so I have always supplemented my paycheck doing a variety of even lower-paying jobs--tape transcriptions for Ph.D. dissertations, writing/editing projects, blogging as "The Good Musician," guinea pig for various clinical nursing procedures (pap smears by newbie nurses), filling out surveys, and nearly a year in a local department store flogging infant and children's clothing (read: folding and re-folding, termed "refreshing inventory," ad nauseum).

All of which lumped together were exhausting and served only to bump me up another income tax level. I did make some neat friends and useful connections, most of whom will be getting an e-mail from me alerting them to my changed circumstances and probably asking for Linked-In recommendations.

September 1, 1939 is also the date Germany invaded Poland and triggered WWII. Not that I plan to conquer any countries, however. I do expect to become re-acquainted with living by my wits as well as by accumulated skills and knowledge. I'll be better able to focus on health and reducing stress, allotting more time to nutrition and exercise, and rediscovering the world outside academia.

The idea of Indian Summer has always appealed to me, a romance sparked by the Cherokee blood from both parents. I equate the autumnal equinox with nostalgia--the end of carefree summer (at least as a child) and a return to formal education; sadness and elation jumbled up like piles of autumn leaves. The inevitable seasonal changes--colors, textures, flora, fauna, blessedly-cooler temperatures, new school shoes and clothes--frequently new schools, and a return to large group music making. Enduring marching band and Friday night football half-time routines to blissfully tootle in spring concert band/orchestra, with occasional spikes of pure terror when challenging or being challenged for coveted first-chair seats.

I am drunk with possibilities. The freedom to choose among community service endeavors and meaningful personal projects. Meeting new people, traveling, exploring various fullnesses. 

I've always had to live frugally, and as long as the basic survival bits are covered, with a little for travel and entertainment and occasional computer upgrades, I'm satisfied. I've no doubt that hard stuff lies ahead. No stranger to that. The point is that at this moment, things are pleasant and I feel freer than I have for a very long time.