As I start this I remember recently reading an article about whether we are actually as busy as we think we are.* Whether maybe we know we’re not actually that busy but it seems important to society that we be busy, so we’re also not actually as busy as we say we are.
I googled “Are we really that busy?” and got article after article after article about how we’re NOT actually as busy, etc. etc. so it must be true.
But anyway. I’ve been really really busy lately. Usually this time of year I have lots of time to sit in the adirondack chair on my deck with a gin+lemoncino+tonic (a “lemony snicket” apparently) and a good book. Not so much this year.
We were very busy in April and May turning this:
Of course it helps that the world also turned green during that time span, but there it is.
We leveled 500 square feet of dirt, and then spread and leveled (with a carefully calculated 1/2″ per 8′ slope) 500 square feet 4″ deep in gravel, and then laid 5 tons of flagstone one piece at a time; and Husband built the pizza oven.
Lots of work. My back is still pretty pissed off at me, but there it is.
We also had to deal with the fact that Second Son’s car (my old Honda Odyssey) finally gave up the ghost after 13 years of service and 240,000 miles. We drove it, gently (the transmission was going, so there were to be no sudden moves), to the Honda dealer and basically gave it to them in trade for a 2004 Corolla with 96,000 miles on it (a significant improvement, nonetheless). After cleaning out bags of papers and food wrappers and water bottles, and, mysteriously, the steak knife that has been missing from our set for ~ 3 years (our driveway is “dark and creepy” at night, apparently the steak knife was to offer protection; thinking if someone were on the attack it would have been either useless or turned on him, but I guess it made him feel better, so whatchagonna do, especially since I didn’t know about it at the time?), Second Son stood in the parking lot and said his good-byes. I found myself “harkening” back as well — it was purchased in the week or two before Only Daughter (now 13+) came to us from her birth home (South Korea), and has seen us through a lot of life’s changes. More of my life looks different now than the same — divorced, bought a house and moved, remarried, children grown and graduated, different jobs, opportunities, friends. That van was a pretty significant material connector really to what I would call my “former” life. Maybe I should have stood next to Secondo and said a more formal goodbye as well.
He rescued his lego Ninja from the dashboard, we drove away.
This past week I completed my apprenticeship (hopefully) to become a member of the Royal Conservatory (of Toronto) Board of Examiners. This Wednesday I leave for a 12-day trip to the British Isles to perform with a choir for whom I play. Husband’s unable to come, so I’m traveling with the group and he’s holding down the fort, such as it is.
I find myself with new chamber groups to work with, new performance opportunities, job openings that I may or may not apply for, so the transitions continue.
Have you heard the expression: “You throw your anchor into the future you want for yourself and then pull yourself along by the chain”? The thing is, (or shall I say the things are):
- Do you really know what you want from the future? So often it doesn’t turn out the way we had expected.
- Have you ever found yourself dutifully pulling yourself along by the chain, and The Whole Entire Time nothing in your surroundings seems to indicate that you’re pulling on the right one? Like, “Now just wait one cotton-pickin’ minute. Whose chain is this? Am I pulling on the right one? Is that yours? Where was it this was going again? Who moved my cheese?“)
It seems that we can spend months and years if not longer chasing things, trying to form our futures into that Future; you know? The Future We Want? And then all of a sudden all of this stuff happens, seemingly out of the blue.
Now I realize that it’s not “all of a sudden,” that all of the things I’ve done and connections I’ve made and hours I’ve spent practicing and trying to be a good teacher and good collaborator have paid into these opportunities. But it still seems kind of random, and quite unexpected. Good, but unexpected.
Anyway, I’ve been really really busy moving rocks and practicing and pulling on those damn chains. I have a zillion ideas of things I want to write about, but it seems that my hands have been pretty full.
Thanks for sticking around.
I’ll post some pictures of really old castles and Stonehenge and this drink I’m supposed to try in Scotland (a crabby green something?) as soon as I can.
*Being me, I have absolutely no recollection of the source of this article; hence I am unable to link to it. My apologies.