Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Lazy Times

It mostly had to do with being band president, or being on the band board, or putting out the monthly newsletter for the national gay and lesbian band organization (and the weekly newsletter for the local band): For many years I was very busy, all the time. In a good way, I felt. I remember coming home from work and looking at the flashing light on the phone machine (three calls a night related to band business was about average, many more as concerts approached) and consciously reminding myself that this wasn't a burden on my life but rather what I had chosen to do with my life, for a while. It certainly was fulfilling, and I knew and appreciated this at the time. Gosh, I remember one evening shortly before the national band conference that I chaired when I was staying at work until 10pm for the third night in a row to type up various things related to the conference and chanting "I'm doing it for the movement. I'm doing it for the movement".

It made me laugh, but I absolutely believed that was so and I do to this day. Even if "movement" is a pretentious word to use.

There were more commitments than Freedom Band commitments, although many related to playing with the Minneapolis Police Band or the local lesbian and gay orchestra. I was also committed to the local shapenote singing, and to traveling and supporting singings elsewhere. This, to me, is what you do. It is, in a way, how I was raised: you fill your time getting involved in things that support and create your community. I can attest that this is fulfilling on the short and long term, even if it could lead, as it did in my case, to letting mundane tasks like keeping my apartment presentable eventually overwhelm me.

But now this has changed and I don't know that I like it.

I knew that I had to move my way out of band responsibility, which I did. In time I was even able to take a long leave from the band, which may be permanent except the band still manages to get me back now and then.

I now have a Morris Team to care for, which leads to a somewhat full spring and summer and the most wonderful times and relationships in my current life. But taking care of a 16-member Morris team of nice guys is nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to taking care of 60 gay and lesbian musicians and a neurotic conductor. I still get called out for various events and activities that feel community-based to me; the more people you know the more things you are asked to help with. But there are weeks when I have as few as one actual commitment. This feels very, very strange.

So I go out to the bar, sometimes three times in a week. I spend evenings cooking dinner, then relaxing over the dinner with a few glasses of nice big Australian red wine. I sit and I watch the television. I sweep the kitchen floor. I'm afraid that when I do finally set up a computer at home I will hang out online and fritter away my evenings. None of this makes community, although I'm doing my best to turn the bar trips into something along those lines.

Maybe this is just a sort of vacation, one that I've earned. I'm not bored in any way (I still have an apartment stuffed with books I've yet to read!). And when I think about it, I suspect that there are many who would look at the number of social and community worlds and commitments that make up my time and laugh at my contention that it feels strange to be slowing down like this. But myself, I think I should be thinking about what comes next.

Yeah, that's it. I'm ripe for some fun times musing on the fact that I do, at this point, have some time that I could use. Hmmm... Weightlifting? Memorizing poetry? Taking classes? Throwing myself more into work? Practicing my capers? Helping the new national system administrator organization get off the ground by working on articles for the website (which would just be a version of working on all those band newsletters for all those years)? Learning to play the melodeon? Learning Dutch (wie is de vrouw aan de overkant)? Writing something for real?

You know, if I approach this right it could be like being 20 years old again.
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