Last night Beau really had a meltdown about her violin playing skills. She said she was horrible at it, and that every note she played was wrong. There was a lot of playing of one or two notes, followed by sounds of complete despair. This went on for a long time….a long time. It was painful for all of us. Finally I suggested she put it away and try again tomorrow.
I have been exhausted lately. I am blessed to have so many people and things that are important to me. Sometimes it feels as though I am not giving any of them enough…not as much as I want to give. This makes me feel sad and tired and overwhelmed.
I got to work this morning and I was talking to a colleague and friend about an upcoming special event at the school. I was feeling overwhelmed by the idea of it. She quickly and easily broke it down for me – what has already been done (most everything). “What can I do to help?” she asked.
I nearly reneged on having friends over for dinner on Saturday evening (something I’d planned a week or so ago), due to feeling overscheduled. The friends offered to take a rain check, but when I said the girls had really been looking forward to having them over, my friend offered to make dinner. “I’ll bring dinner. No worries. Just breathe,” she wrote.
I described my crammed Thursday schedule to another colleague and friend…from the bus stop to a lengthy meeting in Pawtucket, from Pawtucket to the girls’ school, from the girls’ school (45 minute ride) to their dentist, then to a doctor’s appointment. What’ll I do with Louie (my dog)? I hadn’t thought of him. He can’t stay home alone all day, and there’s no room in my schedule for me to stop at home. “Bring him to me,” she said. “I’ll watch him.”
After a meeting in Warwick this afternoon I was running late to the bus stop to get my kids. I called a friend to see if he could help in case I didn’t make it. “I’ve got them. No problem. I’m here,” he said.
I appreciated all of this help, but…
It also compounded my feeling that I am somehow failing at life.
I should be able to handle everything…all by myself.
I arrived at the bus stop just as the bus was unloading. As the girls got into my car, Beau (carrying her violin case from today’s lesson), announced…
“Guess what! I am not actually terrible at violin! It turns out I am just not good at playing it all by myself. It just doesn’t sound as good as when I’m playing it with my friends.”
I’m telling you, I burst out laughing – hysterically. The girls seemed confused at first, until I said between gasps for air, “After all that drama last night, it turns out you are not actually terrible?” The girls both started laughing with me. “I know!” she said. “All that drama for nothing.”
It wasn’t until later, when I crawled into to bed to think about the day (and to write to you) that I drew the parallel…
I am not failing at life.
“It turns out I am just not good at playing it all by myself.”
And what a blessing that I don’t have to be.
All that drama for nothing.