Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

On The March

I'm trying to remember how I managed things back when I was running the band and playing in the orchestra and putting out the newsletter for the national lesbian/gay band organization and starting up with the Morris dancing and filling in on a variety of other things, including some organizational help with the local shapenote group (I chaired a Convention back in the middle of all this). Then I remember how I made a conscious decision to withdraw a bit from commitments, although it took a full five years from the decision to completion of that plan. And then I remember how very sad I felt for a long time when I actually had a free evening or two. Evenings felt empty and alone and unproductive for a while, which is how I wound up becoming a late in life barfly I think.

The bands and their importance to my life and the social capital they engendered is another story. (I'm still living on the interest of that capital in some ways.) Today's story is that suddenly there's a whole bunch of obligations and commitments, all of which I think are important and all of which I will enjoy but all of which, in combination, feel a little bit overwhelming just at the moment. Which is why I'm wondering how I managed back when I would have scoffed at my current set of commitments as being nothing to speak of.

What's going on now? First off, I am squire of my Morris team, which means I oversee and arrange our schedule for what amounts to half the year. Although I occasionally feel a little bit put upon, in truth I have the full support and backup of my team. Squiring my Morris team is nothing, nothing at all, compared to being President of the Freedom Band in terms of time and emotion and worry. (I remember one point where I started to keep a log of all band-related phone calls -- this was before email -- with the intention of helping to define what being Band President involves, but I gave this up in despair after only one week when I realized that nobody would ever agree to the position if this stuff were made public.) Still, for a couple of months here I have one or two Morris performance commitments a week and a whole bunch of surrounding administrative work.

And now the Pride Parade is coming up, for which I still march with the Freedom Band. Sunday I returned from four days away. Monday was marching practice. Tonight is a danceout with the Bells of the North, the local women's Cotswold side. My apartment is a bit upside down just now.

Between work and marching practice last night I got a phone call from the Police Band about a parade next week and a parade in four weeks. Oh, right. It's marching season.

You know, this all doesn't really add up to much. Two or perhaps three commitments a week for the next three weeks, that's all. And once I get things back in order from my latest traveling this will all fall into place and I should find time to wash my Morris kit and Police Band uniform between gigs. I don't even have children, which would involve not so much many more commitments as one continuous unending commitment. All of this stuff I'm doing is important and fun and fulfilling and, with the exception of the Morris dancing, I am not responsible for anything but showing up (hooray!). Even so, right now today I'm feeling a bit burdened.

Again I ask: How on earth did I manage when three commitments in one week was an easy week?

And I also ask: Why do I sometimes miss that?
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