where wildly different is perfectly normal
Home again, home again, jiggity jig
Home again, home again, jiggity jig

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

I’m back in town after being at a music convention. Actually, Tom was at the music convention. I stayed in the hotel room and did abso-freakin’-lutely nothing. I slept obscenely late, read books (READ BOOKS! DO YOU KNOW HOW BIG THIS IS FOR ME?) and literally felt my muscles relax one by one. You gotta understand, the convention was held at a 5 star resort, our hotel room was paid for, and my kids were watched by grandma, God love her. It was the first time I actually got to completely relax in 18 months. Strangely enough, that’s how old J is. Funny how that works.
I’m not good at lollygagging. I am Queen of Multi-tasking. I am fully unable to do only one thing at a time. In fact, right now, I have dinner in the crockpot (chicken tacos, couldn’t be easier), the dishwasher is running, and I’m blogging. Laundry did itself while A had his skating lesson (which, like everything else I’ve ever signed him up for, has become much more difficult than it needs to be). So Queen of Multi-tasking got a weekend off and became Duchess of Lollygagging and it was great.
I went to exactly one session at the convention, one on finding the soul in music. It was held by one of my favorite people, the professor I went to CU for. He is truly one of the best musicians I know, and I’m proud to have played for him and his ensembles. And I realized, sitting there in the session/concert, listening to the incredible ensemble I used to be a part of, that my musical soul is hurting. It is actually numb with pain. I have a theory that stress inhibits creativity, which is why I do so few scrapbook pages when I’m under a lot of stress. It took me until this weekend to realize that stress is hurting my musical soul. A, our oldest son, is a handful. Anyone who knows him knows this is the case, and that “handful” is the nicest way to put it sometimes. He is outrageously intelligent, stubborn, active…and many more things that is an entirely separate post at a future date. But he has been a challenge since the moment he was born almost 5 years ago. Stress inhibits creativity. Almost five years ago I pretty much stopped playing my flute, other than teaching lessons. Not a coincidence. Stress inhibits creativity. I’ve said that our second child is so much easier than the first, and I figured it was because my soul had calloused over in the preceding years, so things hurt a lot less. Yes, things hurt less, but I also felt less. And I play my flute with less emotion, which is painful to me as a musician, so I play less. Stress inhibits creativity. Making the realization that music is painful to me because I’ve calloused over my soul to survive childrearing was painful. I read somewhere a quote about music that (although I don’t think I have this correctly) really sums up how I feel: My children are the work of my heart, music is the work of my soul. I had pretty much decided to call it quits on flute teaching after this spring; I only have 4 students and no prospects for more. I don’t know if that would be a good idea for me, I have a feeling if I did that I’d be slamming that door behind me and sliding the bolt shut. So I’m in a quandry. I want my soul back, I want to feel again, I want to play my flute and mean it.


  1. Karin

    Jen I know what you mean. Even though I sing every week at church, I miss singing in a choir and taking lessons and really challenging myself musically that way. If you love music that much I think you need to find time for yourself to be creative. Maybe start a flute duet/trip/ensemble with someone that you know and play at weddings or (if you go to church) see if they need a flute player or just joing the local community college orchestra – something that lets you do what you love and have a little time for you, because you really do deserve it. 🙂

  2. Jen

    Nah, flute music is a trip. 🙂

    I played at church for years. Then we got a new music director and he doesn’t…well, appreciate isn’t the right word…he’s very strong with the choir, but he lost all of his instrumentalists. Unfortunately, it’s his loss. And we’re having difficulties with nursery attendents, so I can’t be guaranteed that someone could watch my boys. So I’m not playing at church right now and I miss it terribly. As for starting an ensemble, it’s hard, everyone is so busy. Joining a local ensemble…you just about have to wait for someone to die to get a seat. Pretty sad. I see a light at the end of the tunnel; when A is in kindergarten this fall I should (HA!) have more time for me. Thanks, Karin.

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