making everything easier

Last Saturday morning at breakfast, my 5-year-old was asking why my partner had to leave for the day.

“I’m going to campaign school,” my partner said (it’s election time soon in these parts).

My son thought about this. “Well,” he said, “if you’re going to school, there’s one thing you should learn first.”

“What’s that?”

“First, you should learn how to sing.  Singing makes everything easier.”

Singing makes everything easier!

After I stopped laughing, I started to consider the implications of this. Do I agree?

I’ve wrestled my fair share of singing demons. I’ve gone through long periods where singing felt awful. Or didn’t happen at all.  But I’m coming to a place where singing, which for me also means sinking into the present moment and my body, is a regular part of my life.  And singing might not make everything easier, but it sure makes everything worthwhile. When I’m engaged in a daily practice of singing, I find I enjoy gardening rather than avoid it. I love riding my bike. I want to connect to friends.  I find my family hilarious and wonderful. It’s like a someone put a bright filter on my life.

The trick is having a regular singing practice.

I’ve always struggled to have a regular practice. It’s easy to do when performances are lined up. It’s tough when I’m busy with not-singing things. Especially now that I’m immersed in academics, which despite being about music seems to be antithetical to making music (I’m avoiding writing a paper right now!). Yet, when I don’t sing frequently, I experience an opposite effect: there’s a gray filter on my life. I can’t focus. I ignore my body. I avoid my dirt-bomb of a house. I feel annoyed by the demands of my family.  It ain’t pretty.

Sing sing sing!  Even if it’s just breathwork for 5 minutes, or a couple warm-ups. It’s a start. It’s enough.

Maybe my son is onto something after all.

After my partner left for his day, I asked my son if he really believed singing makes everything easier.

“yep,” he replied, “especially campaign school.”

“Do you know what campaign school is?”

“yep. It’s where you learn how to fill the campaign tank for the barbecue.”


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