It's not that I have had no fun time, it's that I have had no down time. One activity leads to the next. The more exhausted I get, the more wired I get. To tell the truth, I love this feeling of energy, and when I was younger it coursed through me pretty much all the time. But I suspect I'm starting to annoy the folks around me.
The background before which this all plays, and in fact the major cause of it all, is my job. For the last three weeks I have been buried in a project that yields one last-push-before-collapse day after another. I'm feeling quite productive, which is good, but I suspect we're mere inches away from feeling quite resentful, which is not. Fortunately it is possible that there are only a few more days of this. In fact, it is necessary that there be only a few more days of this, because at the end of next week I'm heading to Boston for a brief but frenetic work trip.
Oh, but that means I have had (and still have) a goodly amount of work to do in preparation for that trip, to prepare for my meetings. I also have been making the arrangements for the trip, for the flights and lodgings and for the three days of visiting with friends in Boston. At the same time the Boston trip came definite, it also came definite that I will be going to a conference in Atlanta in November, so there have been many small tasks related to that trip as well. I am greatly looking forward to those visits, and to the trips in general, and the planning is not burdensome in any way, but this is the sort of thing I refer to when I say that I may be having some fun times but I have not been having any rest.
I get ahead of myself. One week into this work project (which is not my only work project by any means, I should point out as long as I'm in martyr mode) we held our annual Minnesota Shape Note Convention, which involves four packed days, if you start counting from the shopping and cooking and stop counting at the end of the post-convention gathering. We had many visitors from around the country, and much singing and eating and chatting and little of sleeping. Fun fun fun. Weary weary weary.
Ah, but then it was the day after the convention, when I traditionally take it easy at work. But, well, um I think we've already covered that. Straight from work on that next day I went to band practice. What? Didn't I claim I'm on indefinite leave, and happy to be so? Well, two weeks previous I got one of those manipulative calls from the percussion section leader, replete not only with references to the illness of one of the section members but to hurricane damage in the Mobile home of the family of the current bell player. Do it for the team, was the subtext, perhaps the only subtext that would have gotten me to practice. I agreed to "drop by" to see what the story was, except that I had to miss the next practice because I was working late into the evening that night (did I mention I'm busy at work these days?) so I had no choice but to fulfill my promise the next week and show up.
It turns out that the player we thought was too ill to play is in fact doing so well that she showed up that night and immediately took over running the section. The bell player plans to return next week. So I should be off the hook, except for the three pieces with xylophone parts. Fun xylophone parts. Xylophone parts that brought a smile to my face to play. Under the new very young and full of life conductor. In a band with new members who were being extremely kind and deferential to me. It was, in some ways, a terrible practice; the band was not coming together, the conductor was frustrated -- sometimes it just happens that way. Yet, to my astonishment, I had a really wonderful time. I don't get it. Perhaps I've been gone long enough that I can enjoy playing in the band again, for all the reasons I enjoyed playing in a band in the first place. Time off, in this case, worked wonders. I walked out of rehearsal and thought, "Yes! I'm coming back next week!' (And so I did.)
Ok, so take away Monday evenings from my down time.
The next day, Tuesday, I went right from work to the shapenote singing at the U of M that the students sponsor but which I never attend because I have Morris practice that partially conflicts and I can't go from work to singing to dance practice to beer drinking afterwards without paying for it in some way. But right after the Convention it's important for there to be a few good well-attended singings, because that's when new people sometimes come by. So I did it for the team. That gives me pleasure. And then I went to Morris practice and then we went out and drank beer. Fortunately, it's Border Morris season when I neither dance nor am I in charge; I simply show up and play drum.
Whew. So now I'm work work working, and I'm going to shape-note, and I'm going to two-stepping once or twice a week, and I'm going to band on Mondays and Border Morris on Tuesdays, and I'm sending about a dozen long email messages a day to various people I hope to be seeing in Boston and Atlanta. Oh, and I'm working weekends, did I mention that? The laundry is piling up. And there was a great flea market last Saturday morning and I'm still making my way to the Eagle on Friday and Saturday nights when there isn't a shapenote convention.
I'm going to get on that airplane next Thursday and fall thunk into a coma.