After choir rehearsal on Thursday night I decided I could not do the concert for the coming Sunday. If the pain was as bad as it was after the rehearsal how could I do the concert?
I fretted over the decision the rest of that night and all day Friday.
"It is not as though I like the song that much, I mean I like the spirituals, and there are some parts of the major piece I like but still, it's not like I'll be missing out on something I would regret not singing. I still hate that I didn't do the Messiah but this would be okay."
By late Friday evening I changed my mind. I do like the longer piece. I'll go to rehearsal Saturday morning and see if that is as bad.
Saturday's rehearsal was not as bad. Thursday night we went back and forth in the music, from this page to that, to work on problematic parts of the music. Each 'this and that" required a turn of the page, look at the page numbers, find the measure on that page, find the words, look at the musical instructions...oh and sing too.
Singing means using my mouth, of course. If the cheek swelling that is often there is bad the mere act of talking, much less singing becomes a problem. Thursday's rehearsal was a night when all the stars were misaligned; making the pain worse each time I turned the page, opened my mouth, etc.
Saturday morning there were less page turns. The tightness of that side of my face was not as bad and I became more enamored of the music. I was also not aware of how much 'down' time we would have as the ensemble sang a few songs and the choir director played two organ pieces. I decided I could do the concert.
It was good. I enjoyed it, I found I knew most of the music and rarely needed to look at it. The non-singing time allowed me to recover somewhat from the pain. I was very, very glad I decided to try it.
It was my hope that I could do it. It was the threat of the pain that almost made me stay home. And it was a choice - do I rely on the threat, a known commodity, the pain will be set off, or do I see it as a challenge - can I do it, do I make the try?
It was a decision that was undoable, at least to some degree, more undoable of course, if I made the decision not to go after the Saturday rehearsal.
But it was that rehearsal that I almost blew off, thinking: I know how the pain reacts, how my eye behaves, what level of pain I will have; but, I did not have all the information I needed to make the choice. Becoming aware of the time we would be sitting out made a big difference.
I was glad I took the threat and turned it into a challenge. It is not always doable, some things deserve the fear, require the decision of "No, I can't". But sometimes it is worth taking a second and third look to see if what we fear is really a challenge waiting to be tackled.