Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Orchestra Adieu

Last night I handed over my music to a fellow cellist so he could return it for me. I went to one rehearsal a couple of weeks ago and had to call it quits. I didn't play in orchestra all last year, having had a new baby and all. I/we thought it would work out for me to play this season but it just doesn't fit right now. After the first rehearsal I expressed to Eric that my heart wasn't in it and he said that while I was gone he was thinking that I shouldn't be in in group if I didn't really want to be doing it. He would never tell me not to play, he has encouraged me through every concert. It was interesting that we had the same thoughts about it. I thought I'd make it to one more rehearsal and re-evaluate afterward but that just didn't work out.

I had to bring the kids to the first rehearsal, not for the entire time but just with me so Eric could meet us there from his late meeting and take them home. I brought them into the building, we rehearse in the basement rec room of a local church, and the boys promptly started exploring while I removed my cello from its case. This wasn't really a problem until they started chasing each other. I was catching up with a friend and then I saw Ridge dodging between chairs. I was frozen, do I yell in this place with all these people quietly situating their instruments? Do I wait for them to get to me and then drop the baby and grab their arms and point them out the door? But the principle violist got to them first, stopped Ridge in his tracks and told them to stop running as there are fragile instruments about the floor. This woman is also the principal of a local Prep Academy. The boys came quickly in my direction and I marched them up the stairs and out the door sharp muttering in their ears all the while and feeling quite mortified. Yes, they should have known better but I was the one who had said we'd just run around while we were waiting for dad to show up. I didn't clarify that the running would be done outside the church on the grass next to the parking lot after I had set up my cello.

So out we went and the kids ran crazy and I regained the normal color in my cheeks as they were bright red from embarrassment -- the italian word for this is vergonia (vairhgohnia) and it just sums up my feelings so much better. Eric came and we switched keys and I slipped in just in time for tuning up with the group. And while I enjoy orchestra and the associations of the wonderful people in the group, I just came home with this feeling of I don't have time for this right now. The group has improved a lot since I first joined 6 years ago and it deserves more of a practice commitment from me than I can offer it right now.

So after I had made this decision I got an email from the conductor, a genral email to the group, explaining that we need to let the attendence person know if we'll miss rehearsal and that while she is absent two other members would be retrieving those messages for her, and he noted that these two are probably the busiest in the group one being the Prep principal (who, I need to sidenote, has 5 grown children of her own so she has been-there-done-that with my situation and somehow has the degree to run the school) and the other a University faculty member and other titled job there. So I felt sheepish again and it was hard to justify to myself that I didn't have the time for this group when they who are so busy have the time and the time to volunteer as well. But just because I'm not paid for my 24-hour, non-stop job, doesn't mean it isn't important. So that's it for now, I have to let this go, I've justified it to myself (harder to do than I thought), maybe not to anyone else. In another six months, maybe next year I'll ask for a chair in the back of the section and try again. And that's okay.


Tricia said...

Good for you Paige. You have to go with what your heart is telling you. It sounds like you made the right decision for you--and that's all that matters.

Platteborze Possy said...

It is awesome that you listen to the inner voice (maybe the spirit)inside you. I have regretted the times that I do not listen and my family suffers for it. Your family is blessed by having you in their lives...way to go!

mindy said...

I always enjoyed going to your concerts, you are a wonderful cellist and I am sure you will return to it one day when you have more time.
I think one of the hardest things about having small children is realizing that for a time we need to sacrifice our own desires to help them realize some of theirs.
You are a great cellist but you are even a better mother.

Torrie said...

i'm glad you made a choice that makes you feel right, maybe if i said no a little more often, i wouldn't feel so bad all the time about the things i do miss that matter to my family most.

Paige said...

Mindy, you always were my biggest fan.

Thanks for the supportive comments. I'm blessed with good friends to rally behind me.

Lark said...

That is a good choice and it makes me feel better too (I'm so selfish right now, aren't I!?). It is hard to sacrifice EVERYTHING when you have kids. I'm glad that you felt good about your decision - I can tell it was a hard choice.

kelly said...

i've always been SO amazed that you were able to fit this in with all the kiddos. this is just a short chapter in your life. you will enjoy your passions again soon.
just another reminder of the sacrifices mothers make.
and so worth it.