Adding it up

2020 so far:

I sold my childhood home.

I moved my mom out of said home and into a condo.

I drank wine. A lot.

I came out as bipolar to both my colleagues and an audience of 1,800 at a concert that I curated about music and the mind.

Covid struck, erasing 6 months of work and plunging my industry into chaos and an uncertain future.

I washed my hands. A lot.

As the primary breadwinner or the family, said erasing of work plunged my family into financial uncertainty.

I spent a lot of time in bed, reading news on my iPad and trying not to throw up from anxiety.

I ran. A lot.

I bought a ring light, signed up for Canva, set up my mic, pulled out my keyboard, mastered iMovie and taught myself how to be me in a totally different way.

I helped create one of the earliest virtual orchestra projects at the beginning of lockdown.

Pinkerton sustained a traumatic spinal injury in a freak accident – my amazing friends set up a GoFundMe to pay for the heart-stoppingly expensive surgery.

I cried. A lot.

I celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary.

I connected more frequently with friends far away, through Zoom and Marco Polo and texts and old fashioned phone calls.

I connected more frequently with friends close by, through weekly walks, socially distanced hikes and outdoor happy hours.

I brought groceries to our elderly neighbors and checked up on immunocompromised friends and worried endlessly over the health of our parents.

We ran some financial projections and came to the realization that we could no longer to afford our apartment – 5 days later we signed a lease on a new place, and 2 weeks after that we moved.

I continued to run. A lot.

The unexpected unemployment gave me ample time to really flesh out some vague ideas I’d kept in the back of my mind – the skills I’d learned allowed me to create a vibrant presentation – I’m developing a project with some really creative people that may take my life in a new direction.

In another unexpected twist, I was brought on board to host TV broadcast/livestreams of live concerts by the Minnesota Orchestra.

I reflected on my life. A lot.

You could look at this all in different ways. On one had, the pandemic is a shattering disruption to life. On the other, it’s a universal pause and, hopefully, a reset. I’ve never been so anxious and depressed in my entire life (and I’ve been through more than most). I’ve also never felt so grounded in compassion and connection.

If you added everything up, the good, the bad, the ugly, it may be a zero-sum game. But right now that very neutrality is allowing me the footing to move forward, in directions I never thought I’d travel, and in the work of being myself. I’ll keep seeing where it takes me.

7 thoughts on “Adding it up

  1. Strong stuff Sarah!.. I didn’t realise you were having such a bad time of it (why would I?).. y’see to me and no doubt many others you’re an Icon.. and your posts humanise you.. and that’s a good thing (I think so anyway) I have two jobs (3 if you count being a grandfather of seven small children) I’m blacksmith specialising in restoration/replacing antique ornate metalwork & I build old British motorcycles… the lockdown here in The UK hasn’t affected me a jot! my life sailed on and I’m grateful for that but I sympathise for those who’ve been adversely affected.. but all I can say is … it will get better… I know you’ve heard this from loads of people… but it doesn’t alter the truth… things will get better and it will eventually make you stronger..
    Be safe …. Jim


  2. Wayne Zelenak says:

    Sarah, Life is a circuitous journey of wonder as we try to understand the times, we are blown off course by inscrutable winds of fear and torment that shake our core of existence; but beyond each bend is an opportunity to learn, grow, and share the lessons learned.

    Our goal in life is to find our purpose and follow that path, regardless of the time, place, and circumstances. Like the turbulent waves of the sea during the storm, they eventually subside and flow in peace and calm, we need to “batten down the hatches” and wait for the tide to change.

    Like you, I reflect on my life often for answers to questions that can only be answered in endurance with challenges and struggles and deep introspection. A brighter horizon awaits you with your unexpected twist and new endeavor with the Minnesota Orchestra. Good Luck and smooth sailing!



    1. chefdorch says:

      Agreed, and I think most of us have had to batten down those hatches for months! But always good to look out a porthole to see if brighter skies are coming.


  3. Bonjour Sarah, Pinkerton and Paul. This is proving to me that we can’t have the control on everything. We try to cope as best as we can with the events. You have a lot of bravery and courage, Maestra. I know indeed that you won’t ever give up with the support of Paul, Pink, your entourage and all your Fb friends.


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