I don't put in the work that I could and should. If I put in even just fifteen minutes a day I would be far more confident. Instead, I hit it for 20 - 30 minutes a week, total, shameful. I've been feeling quite bad about this but have not changed my habits.
I sit next to L, a stalwart in the community. Especially the "giving" community. Her name is on boards and walls all over the place, along with her husband J, who is also in the chorale. The two of them also take individual voice lessons. They are probably in their sixties now, have been with the chorale probably since it began.Very nice people all around. What I have discovered, to my amazement, is that she is possibly even worse than I am in her mastery of this music. I was so sure that she would have it all down that when I finally accepted that she was struggling at least as much as I am I had to admit to a certain amount of relief.
Last night the woman in front of me whispered, after a particularly fast piece, "I didn't hear you back there". I said "I wonder why," an allusion to my struggle. I said "I used to have it but I seem to have lost it," which was true, because I really had that piece down but I couldn't find my place with a compass and a map. She said "Get it back! It's so much fun!" which really is true, and is the crux of it all at times. Some of these pieces are so much fun to sing when I finally have them down that I carry that delight around with me. She offered to stand up next to me to give me something to hear. I declined, said I'd keep at it. The next time we ran through that one I was much more on track and feeling better. This little episode, though, made me think about C, the woman who had made the offer, the woman in front of me. How she may think of me as one who "usually has it". Some people, I know, see me this way. That may be because when I know it I land it rather well. I used to worry that I was singing off-key but now it is mostly a matter of not knowing the notes or of losing my place. When I'm in the right ballpark in the right inning my notes are solid.
When I came home last night I stayed up a while, watching television with Paul. My eyes were no doubt bloodshot and I know they hurt, my whole body hurt. My back ached, my knees felt like giving out. I thought of drugging myself for sleep but I didn't. I woke up at about 5:30, still tired but awake. And now I am so tired. I don't want to swim. I don't want to do anything but go home and sleep. But I know I'll feel better if I swim, if I talk myself through it, one length at a time.