Sunday, January 5, 2014

Turning the page changes nothing

A few years back I wrote about the moments of nostalgia, anxiety, and release that I experience when I come to the end of the appointment book for the year just ending, discard it, and take up the new.

I am experiencing that odd admixture of emotions this afternoon as my beloved little book goes into the trash. Oh, each year I think about saving them just for savings’ sake, but the OCD part of me can’t allow that since I have not done it from the beginning of time, and the set would, necessarily and forever, be incomplete.

Nonetheless, as I flipped through the pages, much of the year’s big challenges and small pleasures were brought to mind, such as ...
... baking 21 baguettes for a luncheon that followed an all-French organ recital … preparing program notes for several concerts … board meetings … committee meetings … frightening doctor appointment … ongoing rehearsals with several choral ensembles … more committee meetings … fears and frustrations, ongoing and relentless, with everything to do with all those committee meetings … lovely visits to the local art museum with D and sometimes K … significant changes which set into motion an entirely new set of ongoing committee meetings … more snow than I’ve seen in decades … cancelled concerts and associated worries … preparations for, and hosting, a big brunch in March for which I have absolutely no memory … [??] … fundraising events throughout the year … the oasis of Bach, so welcome in the midst of everything … follow-up doctor appointment, even more frightening … watching K grow up into a lovely, thoughtful woman … outings with D to hear music so very different from what I do … money worries … hosting a post-recital reception for a friend that turned out very differently from what I had expected … more board meetings … Shakespeare with D at several venues and at home … Away to our piece of heaven for a long weekend, with D and K and all of a sudden C … more meetings … learning from the inside out how a search committee works … seeing D’s heartbreaking ongoing struggle … an English Tea … An unusual summer concert and a lovely brief solo moment, a golden drop in a grey desert … a death in the immediate family and all that entails, including the canceled vacation with D ... summer symphony, an odd memory in retrospect … the summer festival, always destined to be poignant, but becoming heartbreaking as Hermione slipped away [first time I have wept during an entire concert] … K away in Idaho with C, and D and I realizing that This Is Getting Serious … the disappearing August … C with us for a few days and we see that They Are In Love … the autumn visits with K and C, here and there, getting to know and really like him … K and C begin the see-saw of alternate holidays, making me and D recall those early days … D’s Big Award and how proud I was – oh, that represented so much! … more money worries … realizing at last that no matter what happens in all those committee meetings, I can’t solve the problems, and I actually have no control over the situation … many satisfying rehearsals, and some pretty good concerts … sleeplessness, relentless and exhausting … the foolhardy offer to host that huge party, and see what happened! … our small but perfect holiday, just we three …  and so the year ends.

Into the trash. New date book, new year, same old problems. It’s like the checkbook register ... you have to carry forward the balance to the new page. And you have to do it whether it’s a positive or negative balance. Turning the page changes nothing; it only offers new opportunities for misadventure.

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