Last night I ventured out of the confines of my comfort zone, otherwise known as Netflix and wine, and went along to a taster session for the local Rock Choir. I’d been meaning to join for a while, but when moaning to a friend that I’d been feeling a bit down in the dumps she gave me a welcome nudge to do something positive rather than wallow in my blues.
I love singing. I’m not great at it but hey, what does that matter? My family like to gibe me that I only auditioned for the school choir as they were about to do a tour in America. That might have had a bit (a lot) to do with it, but I also got drawn in by that addictive feeling of togetherness, and being part of a big choral concert really is soul-stirring. Like a good little Catholic girl I also have a penchant for a hymn or two. But sadly most of the singing I do now is saved for the car, where I am often silenced by the boys.
So spurred on by my friend’s encouragement I signed up online for the taster, but then true to form, worrying I wouldn’t know anyone, tried my utmost to swerve out of it. The on-deadline husband should really work late, the kids were having hissy fits, the mountain of admin needed tackling – but at the last minute I decided there was nothing to lose. Plus it got me out of the bedtime shenanigans. Any excuse.
It’s true that in the past I’ve braved new activities that haven’t quite gone to plan. There was the women’s rugby training I trialled in order to make some new friends in Geneva, knowing nothing about the rules of the game. I was that desperate. After being subjected to the beep test and nearly vomiting, then treated to a scrum with my head locked between some rather strong thighs, I decided it wasn’t for me! Then there was the book club I set up, again to make friends (what a loner), that no-one turned up to (cue violins). Not forgetting my laughable efforts at ballroom dancing, when the husband and I left the class with bruised egos and toes.
Thankfully I didn’t have to add Rock Choir to my tried but failed list. I loved it. It also reminded me of the importance of doing, not saying. I’m an expert in saying what I’m going to do. In fact the husband and I have quite a reputation for it. Of course it’s easy to say it, but actually getting one’s mind and body to cooperate is another matter. The excuses pour out…the smallest is teething, Bake Off is on, the pillowcases need an iron (clutching at straws). Yesterday though I chose doing for a change. And in return I got 90 minutes of me-time, singing uplifting songs with an eclectic bunch of people. Then I came home with that warm, buzzy feeling of an evening well spent – the only problem being I was too buzzed to sleep!
As we get older we take fewer risks, often worried that we’ll look foolish or we won’t be good enough – I’m definitely culpable. But if I’m trying to persuade the boys to sample a martial art I can’t even pronounce, or take drama lessons when they are as shy as little mice, I really need to be setting a shining example – not wimping out given the slightest chance. My lecture of ‘you won’t know until you try’ should apply to me too.
Singing is not for everyone, but there is a mindblowing array of groups and classes to choose from these days – anything from wild food foraging to flying yoga (I’ll give that last one a miss for everyone’s sake). You could fill an entire week with exciting escapades. Now I’m on a roll I’m going to brush up on my netball skills, book that content writing course and start training in earnest for the half marathon I signed up to after too many proseccos.
So go on, join me in my madness. Try something new or reignite a passion you’d put to one side – you might even uncover a talent that’s been buried away. And even if you’re not a natural, like me at running, the important thing is that you love it.
Worst case, it’s character building!
Don’t worry if it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear. Just sing, sing a song.