On Rain and Bursts of Sunlight

I spent another practically sleepless night laced with panic attacks last night, leaving me feeling like a zombie all day. I went ahead and got up at 5am to do kickboxing and walk the pups before heading in to teach my early class, hoping against hope that the exercise would clear my mind enough to allow me to be an effective teacher even though my brain was sleep-deprived. I think it ended up going fairly well considering, but maybe my students had a different perception…even at 8am, I think their skills of discernment had to be more finely honed than mine.

After making it through the day the best I could, I had to walk through blowing rain to go see my dietician. I love her; she is unfailingly encouraging and upbeat, even when I am feeling anything but. I dreaded this visit, though, as my stress level has been so high that it’s been very difficult to focus on my new eating plan- though I’ve done my best. I expected the worst as I stepped onto the scale. Thankfully I had lost a couple of pounds and hadn’t gained anything. She helped me to find the positives in holding steady through stressful times, talking me through some strategies to try to get the scale to budge. I shed a few tears, but they were just tears caused by being at my edge. I feel like I’m there a lot lately.

I got home just before the next round of storms barreled into town, replete with crashing thunder and lightning. I wrapped Sophie in her thunder shirt, lit some candles, and settled in with Dan to enjoy the sound of the pounding rain. When it storms with such intensity, I feel like our home is wrapped in a protective cocoon. Just thinking of that calmed my frazzled nerves. Home is such a sanctuary for us, and I am so grateful.

I have taken on too much in October and am feeling the strain of it already; I have to make a site visit out of state for my professional organization, a few days later I fly to Vancouver to perform two different recitals, present a lecture on my book, and record some educational videos for my clarinet maker. A day later, I fly to Bari, Italy, for five days to judge an international clarinet competition. A week later I play my faculty recital, and the next day I rehearse with the symphony. Throughout it all, I have to teach my students and take care of my duties at school and at home (with Dan’s wonderful help), practice and rehearse for my recital. What was I thinking? It’s all wonderful stuff, but it is keeping me up at night and stressing me out.

Enter my Knight in Shining Armor: Dan brought a wonderful burst of sunlight into this overwhelming time; he has surprised me with a little getaway to our favorite beach. Just a few days of sticking our toes in the sand and letting the ocean wash away our cares. Just enough to help me leave commitments behind for just a little bit and to release some stress.

What a good and loving man he is to do this for me and for us. My Chair is in full support, my students have been rearranged, we have a great house sitter, and I am ahead on my duties. Dan was able to get our very favorite condo on the beach- the one on the top floor with a spiral staircase leading to the master bedroom loft. Just thinking of it all makes me giddy; I can feel the warm sand, see the gorgeous sunsets, hear the medicinal music of the waves crashing onto the shore. A beautiful thing in every way.

I can do this; I can put my nose to the grindstone and power through all of these wonderful things. How lucky I am to get to do what I love every day and be with a man who has my heart…and how happy I am to be heading to Seacrest soon to experience the healing powers of the ocean.


4 thoughts on “On Rain and Bursts of Sunlight

  1. I’m a tad envious! Please enjoy your get away and know that you are not alone in your stress. I’m over booked in October as well and it is wearing on me. My mantra today was “I can’t get sick” because I felt cold and hot and a little dizzy. I’ve taken my vitamins and consumed my vitamin C and taken a deep breath – now to get some rest!

    1. I really think it’s the time of year- so many of us are booked to the max and doing our best to make it through it all. I had to smile; I so often tell myself that I can’t get sick- too much to do. 😊 Sending calm- and good health!- to you.

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