Yesterday we went caroling. Today I scrolled through old blog posts as I tried to remember why we didn't go caroling last year--I think we had visiting family to get to the port.
Yesterday as we caroled, I remembered why I don't always go caroling. It's not like the caroling of my youth, where our Girl Scout troop would go to a nursing home and sing in the main room or go from room to room. We go to houses of shut ins and yesterday, we made a stop at the ICU too.
In short, we spend more time in the car than we do singing. I want to believe it brings joy to those we visit. I do know that the carolers are having a good time.
During our caroling, there's often one visit that makes me wonder about the wisdom of our approach. Yesterday, it was in the ICU. We sang, which seemed to agitate the church member who was there. I wondered if he recognized us and felt bad that he lay there in his hospital gown, that he couldn't speak or behave the way we've been socialized to behave when visitors come. Or maybe we chose the wrong carols.
I thought of a caroling outing at a different church. The elderly woman who couldn't leave her house opened the door and said, "Well, I must be in really bad shape if you people are here."
In a way, she's right. We don't go caroling at the houses of people in vibrant good health. During the month of December, those people probably wouldn't be home.
By the end of the day, I was exhausted. My day started early, as I led the 9:45 service and spoke at the 11:00 service. Then we practiced hand chimes and headed out caroling. We stopped at an Italian market on the way home, which meant we weren't home until close to 5:00.
My spouse talked about not being able to grill because of rain. Then he said, "I've been assuming that it was about to rain, but maybe it's just getting dark." Yes, it was.
It was a good week-end, but I'm glad that I don't have any more week-ends that are so tightly scheduled. In one week-end, I've gone to a cookie swap, I've done some grocery shopping, I've been out 9 hours on a motorcycle excursion, I've gone to the Broward Symphony, I've led/gone to two church services, I've practiced hand chimes, I've caroled . . . I'm tired just reading the list!
But it's a good kind of tired. It's the kind of tired that tells me I'm living a connected life. It's also the kind of tired that tells me to proceed carefully, so that I don't crash.
I will pay attention.
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