Sunday, September 13, 2009

Church Picnic and My Personal Vice

Sunday morning was our annual church picnic. It's always a casual type of Sunday, where we usually kick off the fall church year. In addition to all of the after-service activities for day, my hand bell ensemble performed.

Now that we are into our second year of having hand bells, I decided to raise the bar a little and handed them music that was quite a bit more difficult than what I gave them last year. Today's piece was over three minutes long and contained two page turns. We practiced it every Wednesday night for the month of August, with varying degrees of success. Our group spans from professional musicians to people who never read a note until they joined our group. There is always a little bit of uncertainty of whether we will hit it on, or lose it completely. During our rehearsal before church, we had both extremes.

When performance time came, we all felt ready to go. In the middle when it got a little messed up, my concentration became more intense, and I was told from MANY people after church both within my ringers, as well as others who could see my face, that I looked angry during the song. I was certainly NOT angry, just really focused on the music and getting us back on track. I feel so bad that it came across that way and have since written an email to my entire group, apologizing for that look and hoping for forgiveness and understanding. One of our members said to another, "that's the way she ALWAYS is" which worried me even more. I wonder if that is how every one in the group views me or just that one person.

The real reason I am concerned is because it is actually bringing up an old difficulty that I have ALWAYS had. When I was teaching, I got glowing reviews about everything regarding my teaching, from classroom management, to programs produced, to teaching content. In seven years, I usually only received one "suggestion". I needed to develop a better "poker face" and not wear my emotions on my sleeve. Unfortunately, this is a problem I have in EVERY aspect of my life, but now that it has crept back up into my current job position, it makes it that much more clear that I am back to the drawing board again.

The service did hold some other nice moments though. Steve led the praise choir in a rousing rendition of Amy Grant's "Love Brought Us Here" and Aaron LOVED watching and dancing to the drums especially.

After church, while picnic activities were in full swing, it remained very hard for me to relax and enjoy the time, upset about how I came across. But kids had a good time, though I had failed to bring the kids' swimsuits for the water slide

Noah sat and played BINGO with me for awhile while Aaron was outside trying to throw balls and make our youth members fall into the dunk tank.

By the way, look at Noah concentration face. Like mother, like son.

Both boys then spent time on the cake walk, and both ended up bringing home yummy treats. The cake walk always cracks me up, because SO MANY people bring treats, that if you stay on the mats long enough, you will most certainly leave with a treat of some sort.

So here I sit, almost twelve hours later, kids are in bed, apology email has been sent out, video from the performance has been uploaded to our Facebook page, and I should be ready to let it all go.

But that's not me. I am truly my own biggest critic. I will probably sit and stew over this for awhile. But I will also think of the good that will come. You can bet during our next performance, I will be the smilingest hand bell director there ever was.


Stacey,momof 2 said...

Ah, Kristi--
I also know how hard it is to.."fake it till you make it" I am terrible about keeping emotions from my face.
However, I try to see it as helpful for parenting, if they see..."that" look then maybe they will think twice before doing that "thing?"
Besides you just wanted a great performance, and you sent out that email, I would ask in prayer what God has to say and leave it up to HIM.
I hope that this week goes WELL for all of you!

Kila said...

My emotions show too much also. I often look either angry or worried. Well, look at this as a learning opportunity. Now you know something you can work on and change. Better to know than not know.

bethn said...

You are your own worst critic. Let go of it. Your choir knows you and I"m sure they understand. One trick I learned at my conference was to video tape yourself during rehearsal and watch it later. It really helps, you see the good and the bad. And we all have both. It looks like the boys had a blast.

Courtney said...

You know I was going to write a post close to this today and decided to wait until tomorrow or Weds. So I am not "copying" you, but will have a very similar post to this coming up. Hang in there and maybe we can get through it and overcome it together.