Saturday, April 5, 2014. I did not sleep well last night. Today is the day of the big percussion extravaganza I so want to attend at one of the local colleges here. I am moments away from my daughter’s arrival to take me over there. Am I nervous? Yes. Nearly unreasonably so.
Something in my dreams last night, dreams that I will never consciously remember, told me when I woke up the last time as morning arrived that I am dangerously missing one of the most essential ingredients to having a good life. Self-confidence.
Oh what a blessed attribute of self self-confidence is. Now that this concept has arisen to the surface of my thoughts I am understanding something differently about myself in my life.
Few things – other than disappointment itself – can hurt and hinder me as much as having my extremely fragile sense of self-confidence threatened.
Suddenly this morning hosts of situations from my life going all the way back to my so-abusive childhood have arisen to show me exactly where, when and how my self-confidence was destroyed. I have so LITTLE of it from the beginning of my life my self-confidence might be the most valuable, precious, scarce, necessary and missing resource I so barely have.
I sure don’t have enough of it to comfortably take me out my apartment door this morning to attend a (to me) strange event in a strange place swarming with strange people.
For one thing I have lived long enough to be growing old – and I look it. Being this old – all by itself – brings to mind how my having been diagnosed with advanced aggressive breast cancer in July 2007 tumbled my perceptions of myself in my body and therefore in this lifetime into the ground.
Added to that, after a year of fighting that cancer, the very person who should have been most in support of my continued survival, my oncologist, said to me at my last visit to him, “I wouldn’t bother having breast reconstruction if I were you. You won’t live long enough to enjoy them. And besides, we’d just have to cut them off when the cancer comes back again.”
8:00 am. My daughter is here to pick me up to take me over to the college.
Monday, April 7, 2014. Here I am perched on top of the fat book I ordered online to help me plow my way through Windows 8.1 on my new laptop. The book sits on top of the usual stool I use at my makeshift computer table (high, to keep baby fingers off of my keyboard), but today I am writing on my old laptop whose support for Windows XP expires today. The old computer is sitting on top of the new computer – which has been nothing but a pain in the you-know-what since I first turned it on.
My office? A shambles, actually. I have no idea how to make this area user-friendly for me, the person who is supposed to function as something else other than grandma babysitter. My body-brain is in no better shape. Scrambled. Off-key and off-kilter. That’s me.
Backing up to the percussion event I attended last Saturday. All went remarkably well! The set-up on the college campus was perfect. A large instrument staging area sat on the floor of the auditorium that doubles as a basketball court. It was surrounded by sound panels. The permanent seating went up above it in steps that allowed me to situate myself at a distance from the moderate crowd of about 150 interested people.
At one point the MC asked everyone to “please move to the area over there” as he pointed. 99% of the crowd got up and shifted as directed. Not me. And the place where I remained was the perfect spot to witness the unfolding, note by note, of a perfect musical extravaganza in percussion.
Interspersed between the performances were clinics on sight reading for snare drum and drumming technique by a visiting fantastic drummer from the east coast. I soaked it all up, wandering alone around areas of the campus during the “lunch on your own” (I ate Snickers) portion of the day.
I called my daughter to pick me up 2 hours before that day ended. We took the little ones to a park for an hour and then I was dropped off for my drumming lesson. I walked home across parking lots in the midst of roaring traffic. But I made it.
(I also slept 12 exhausted hours Saturday night in consequence.)
Yesterday began the nightmare of the NEW COMPUTER. The computer is the nicest I have ever had but Windows 8.1 is insane. Just saying. I am eternally grateful to my 28-year-old son for his help yesterday as he accessed my computer remotely and set it up to run as smoothly as possible. He is of the techno-love generation. I am not.
I hate change for the most part under the best of circumstances. I, along with everyone else running an older computer with Windows XP is being FORCED to abandon ship and jump into shark infested waters while I bleed techno-incompetence into the churning polluted waters. (Just saying.)
“All good things come to an end,” question mark?
I have never used a Mac computer nor do I have the finances to own one. I hear my tolerance for computer mayhem would be better served by that technology. In the meantime I have exactly TODAY to safely navigate the internet world on this old computer. If I could have gotten – FINALLY – a decent computer, which the new one is – that simply ran Windows XP I would be just fine. But sharks and barracudas do run the entire globe where money is concerned.
If it did any good to complain, inwardly and outwardly, I assure you I would be at the top of the heap.
Drumming. My Saturday lesson was fantastic. My fingers were not, however, remotely cooperative with their instruction. “SAY WHAT?” I had to tell my teacher as he positioned my fingers properly on my drumsticks for their next new move, “I am sorry. I kid you not, but those fingers are not connected to my brain! Therefore, I CANNOT DO THAT!”
So, my practice this week will not be particularly fun unless I sneak away from teach’s instructions to bouncing around willy-nilly to beats I enjoy. I have to snap my attention back to those errant fingers of mine, “Pay attention! I am TALKING TO YOU!”
The point is I am supposed to learn to separate signals to the digits between my thumb and my pinky so that the lightly and responsively roll in their balancing of the stick. The point is that I need to learn meticulously correct form in order to move into the direction of eventually being able to create 120 beats a measure in clearly defined 2-distinct-movement movements!
Something to aim for. So is being able to smoothly boss my new computer around.
Long ways to go? Am I confident I can reach my goals? I have to be. I can’t come up with another choice.
(Later I might write about my realization yesterday that I feel like a wild animal confined in a zoo living in a city.)
(Meanwhile, I will spend a chunk of this day watching YouTube videos about how to make peace with Windows 8.1 — ha.)
Here is our first book out in ebook format. A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job). Click here to view or purchase –
It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge. Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site
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