Wednesday, May 24, 2017

20 Reasons to Be Sad

That’s what I was thinking about driving to school. In general, I feel that I have been fortunate to receive countless blessings in this life and I don’t take a single one for granted. But like every mortal being, I have my share of sadness and sorrow and mild misfortune and doubts and disappointments and they all came swarming in this morning. A heaping teaspoon of self-doubt and three cups of worry and concern about friends and family members and a gallon of political insanity make for an unappetizing dish, but the kind we all have to eat once in a while.

So I listed them, gave each one a name and put them out on paper and looked at them and thought, “Okay. There you are. I see you, I feel you, I know how and why you make me unhappy. Taking you out of hiding helps me bear up. You have power over my vulnerable heart, but only up to a point. Because on the other side of the paper are 20 Blessings and they are as real as you. And, by the way, it’s not a math contest, One blessing can cancel 20 disappointments, one sorrow can overpower 20 blessings. It’s just a question of who’s visiting today and how much we open the door to them.”

It’s Spring Concert time and the stress and pressure of getting 200 kids on stage over two nights is what cracks open the armor of “all is just fine.” All my doubts about myself as a music teacher, teacher, musician come roaring out and assaulting me and since I’ve built my identity on all three, it’s not a lovely feeling. And it doesn’t help to be next to two ferociously hard-working colleagues whose polished work shows off the rough spots in my own.

But here’s the greatest blessing of all. I’m alive. I’m here. I have a chance to get through this and come out the other side to a few happier moments. Who can ask for anything more?


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