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After practicing medicinal laziness the week before, I had to practice something a little different this past week—something I’m calling ‘medically induced laziness’.

I thought for sure I had COVID.  I arrived home on the evening of September 11 from a weekend gathering—the same one I had been resting up for—and woke up Monday morning with all the symptoms.  

Here we go again, I thought.  I looked at what was coming up—a lesson with a student, a community sing, a live-stream, a studio session, a Friday night show, an upcoming road trip with Shawn and his mom and uncle we’ve been planning for ages—and I fell into despair.  So many endeavors that, by design, are for cultivating joy and community—you know, the good stuff!—would need to be cancelled and rescheduled.  

I got into a blame game:  If everyone could have pulled in the same damned direction early on in this pandemic, this wouldn’t be happening.  

And I pointed the blame at myself: If I wasn’t such an overachiever, I wouldn’t be feeling so disappointed.  

Round and round my mind went, and with a suddenly much emptier schedule, I had nothing to do but ruminate.  

This past week, daily rapid tests and one PCR test all announced that I was negative.  My voice was still in no condition to create anything for prime time or posterity, and I was feeling run down.  

The online community sing still happened—with so many songs already programmed into my looper, I was able to rely heavily on technology as I sipped tea and Bernice and I shared songs with folks from around the world, including our first participant from Australia!  This really lifted my spirits. If not for the pandemic and the precise way it unfolded, I likely wouldn’t be connecting with so many awesome folks all over the world.

At some point, I did find equanimity with the whole situation.  This is how things are right now, I remembered.  Simple, yes—but not always the easiest point of view to take!  I noticed my aversion and disappointment, and I attended to those feelings.  I napped.  I cried.  I stared at the bird feeder.  I read a good book.  I wrote some poetry.  I was taking care of my health, and that of others, with this medically induced laziness.  Things would be, and have been, rescheduled, and those experiences will perhaps be all the richer for everyone once they do unfold.

The road trip we’d been planning for months was in question until the last minute—and as Shawn and I continued to test negative, the answer was clear.  

As of this writing, the four of us are happy and healthy and in Cleveland, Ohio, making our first time pilgrimage on Monday morning to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  I slept well after connecting with folks at ‘Sharing The Journey’ on Zoom last night. The train rumbles by with a soothing regularity. There was a wild and kinda wonderful thunderstorm this morning. This is how things are right now.

I am excited and grateful to be on an adventure with Shawn and his mom and uncle!  We’re getting to know each other, and ourselves, a little better with each mile.