MIAGD = Make it a great day
I grew up, fascinated with the stories told me by grandparents and great-grandparents of their experiences lived through The Great Depression.
There was never a complaint or a story drenched in self-pity.
There was no bragging about what was overcome.
They were simply family stories, wonderful history lessons for me, they shared, most often with a dash of humor. Perhaps, those stories of survival were a lesson or a structure for how to persevere with a strong attitude, unweighted humor, to be of service, to be kind, and to never complain. Be faithful. Be hopeful.
In nine years, it will be the centennial of The Crash, followed by The Great Depression. One hundred years.
Nearly two weeks ago, when the edges of our finely woven fabric began to fray, I immediately stepped into action mode, preparing my life for the changes to come.
I needed to be both a cheerleader and grief counselor to most of my 72 students who’d just had every single musical event wiped from their slate. I stared at a complete restructuring of my teaching studio by deciding through which venue I would teach in my new virtual studio. A new game plan had to be created for my students. I assisted and encouraged colleagues with their own virtual classrooms as I watched the astounding call to arms of school teachers across the state of Ohio, banding together, all for the sake of and for the love of their students.
And, I needed to be attentive to my self; I’m am very high risk in the thick of this pandemic. While I adjusted my career’s structure, I found myself needing to adjust my life in several different advances.
This is the first time since the spring of 1985 that I will not have twelve weeks filled with a constant drive of preparation and each weekend filled entirely with student activities. While assisting students with their grief, I was finally allowed some downtime this weekend to nurture my own loss of seeing my students shine on numerous stages of musical and performance development and success.
This past year has been one long lesson of readjusting my sails. The deaths of my brother and mother, and several close family members drastically changed my life and my vision.
I don’t know if I’m any stronger because of those departures as I’m in the process of still adjusting my sails in new directions. Now, I’m standing at the captain’s wheel, steering my ship with a completely redrawn, untested map.
In two hours, I will shut down my weekend cell phone, retrieve my regular cell phone, attend to business before resuming my teaching week at 1:00 PM.
I was fortunate to have my family’s stories of The Great Depression. They’re no longer just family stories.
Now, they’ve become my map, my guide in knowing where to turn the wheel and how to adjust my sails.