Two Weeks Off But First: It’s About Choice

I watched the weather for the entire week…the staff and I knew we were not going to dodge the proverbial bullet this time–the band would be soaked…cold…miserable…and every other conceivable word one can think of.  We also all knew the stands would be virtually empty. There was only one approach–“CHOOSE to be happy or miserable–you control it, so suck it up buttercups!”

We prepped them for everything–from a regular show to what it ended up being: a 1980’s drum and bugle corps with a 120 member woodwind dance team!!  And when every post on Facebook, complete with pictures, includes comments such as “The Band was GREAT!” you know that you did everything you could to get them in the right place for a day like yesterday.

I know for a fact that there are plenty of band members who think I’m just full of crap when I spout off positive rhetoric or leadership philosophical phrases such as “Every day you wake up you choose how you want to be.” “Band will give you the experience you want: if you want to have a great time, Band will give that to you. If you want to be miserable, Band can give that to you too!” “Happy people live in happy worlds, sad people live in sad worlds…it’s the same world.”  Etc.  And I will concur with the naysayers that there are an enormous amount of people out there who “talk the talk but do not walk the walk.” Ladies and gentlemen, I assure you that I am not “blowing sunshine up your skirts” when I speak to you.  If I was, you would know it!

But to satisfy the naysayers let me also assure you that I did NOT wake up yesterday morning, feel the wind, cold and rain and say: YEAH!!!!  It’s going to be dreadful out there today—this is going to be phenomenal! WOOHOO FOR CRAPPY WEATHER!!!”  Ummmmm….no, I did not.  I took a deep breathe, began layering clothing, topped it all off with new Goretex outerwear, slammed down a cup of coffee and thought: “Thank Heavens for the UD Field House!”

UDMB inside the UD Field House having a full rehearsal prior to the 11/1 game,
UDMB inside the UD Field House having a full rehearsal prior to the 11/1 game,

UD Athletics has gone above and beyond supporting the UDMB this year.  From turning on lights at the practice fields to giving us complete use of the Field House almost every weekend, I cannot thank them (Eric, Ziady, Joe Shirley and Alicia Greco Walker) enough.  It is a small gesture on their part that is viewed as MAGNANIMOUS by us, particularly the UDMB Alumni who were always outside in the rain and mud and cold.  

And the band laughed, danced, took photos, made new friends in other sections, watched UD Football win against URI, and ultimately made memories that will last them a lifetime.  They do not realize it right now but down the road be it 5 years, 10 years, 20 years or more, they will remember yesterday–and they will laugh and smile as they do.  They will not remember how cold they were, how rain soaked they were, how they couldn’t feel their fingers or how heavy their water soaked uniforms were.  They will remember the fun, the laughs and the smiles…simply because they CHOSE to enjoy the day rather than wallow in misery.

And just like that, after 7 solid weeks of rehearsals and 7 performances (BOA regional counts as two since there were two separate shows that day) we all get to take a break until Monday, November 17th.  This is, of course, absolutely unprecedented for the UDMB.  Two weeks with no shows and no rehearsals.  Why do this, you ask?  Because they EARNED it!

I will do what everyone else will do: laundry, clean out the car, clean the house, pay my bills, grocery shop. Of course I’ll catch up on all things music department and band related at the office…that goes without saying.  Planning for spring semester is a must as well because let’s face it, this woman won’t have a working brain cell in her head starting December 3 after hip replacement surgery — well, I will but I would rather focus everything that month on recovery and not academics.

…and sure, I’ll catch up on Netflix and whatever is jammed on the DVR.  But first….off to the gym.  There’s no rest for the weary–this body is not ready to get cut into yet again so I must get back on track because after all, it really is ALL about choice!