I’ve been working out every day so far this year. True, that is only nine days, but still. I’ve included walks, abs class, Pilates, weights, and core class. I’ve also been making a real effort to keep the intensity up, rather than having leisurely strolls on the treadmill while reading.

The result is that there is no part of my body that isn’t sore.

Now that I’m playing bells in the bass clef, that probably counts for some exercise, too. The players around me complain of the weight of the bells. I do not complain about this. I try not to complain at all. However, I still get lost with great frequency. The new pieces last night (and yes, there are new pieces every week) had all these key changes. Other people can tell from this what bell they are supposed to be playing, but I cannot. Plus there were accidentals. And complex rhythms, and times when I was supposed to play two bells at once. And swinging and shaking and damping of various kinds. So there were issues of mere physical speed in addition to my usual inability to keep track of what measure I was on.

Last time I whined about bells here, something that is becoming a weekly  feature of my xanga, people suggested that I quit. (Quit bells, I mean. People probably also wish I would quit whining, but that is another story.) I was surprised by that suggestion. And then I had to wonder why I was surprised. After all, here I am doing something I don’t get paid for, and I don’t like it and I do it badly. It makes sense to ask why I am doing it.

I may not have mentioned that I am also acting, all this year, as greeter for Bible study. It is inconvenient, and means that I miss the hymns. It also is a security measure, so I am really standing for half an hour at the front door policing the people: do they have name tags? Are they heading to the children’s area without authorization? Keep in mind that I am easily bored, very laissez-faire in my philosophy, and not all that friendly. You know this “greeting” is not something I enjoy. I am sincerely hoping that doing this for a year will make me immune to future requests of this nature.

But if I made a flow chart for decisions about volunteering when asked, for schools and churches, it would be a very small chart. “Can I do this?” would be the only question. If the answer is “yes,” then I do it.

That doesn’t mean that the answer is always “yes.” I declined to teach the Senior High Sunday School this year because, for some very specific reasons, I felt that I needed to be in Sunday School myself. I declined to teach a Wednesday night class because it overlaps with choir and bells. I declined to head the care ministry because of my work schedule. I once had to pass on bringing sausage biscuits to an elementary school classroom because I didn’t know how to acquire them (now I would know; I think I took muffins instead). But if I am asked and can do it, I do it.

This is because I am the Slave of Duty. And because I know that schools and churches run on volunteers, and someone has to do it.

Where the bells are concerned, it is possible that I will actually learn to do it more quickly than someone with less musical background would. Everyone else in the bell choir has done this for years. In fact, I think most of them have done it for decades. It is too early for me to give up merely because I am bad at it. And it is possible that this will move me up from near musical illiteracy to actually being able to read music well, which would be very useful for me.

However, if people keep referring to us by excessively cute terms, I may have to draw the line. “The Ding-a-lings are playing this morning” is not amusing at all. Really.1

I have also been knitting every day. This is my zombie project, the gray socks. Knitpicks Essentials, #2 needles, normal mathematical socks.

There was too much going on yesterday for me to work on my Epic project.

I have been making my three contacts daily for my business, and I have even been keeping up reasonably well with the housekeeping. The thing I haven’t been successful with doing every day is getting dressed before I start working. But that will surely come. It is early in the year.

Today #2 son has his first job interview. He is trying out at the Coldstone Creamery, which is about to open a branch in our town. If he gets it, we will have full employment in our household, and will no longer have to pay any allowances. And it has just struck me that he has worked before. He has been a paid actor. But I think that this would still be his first job interview, rather than audition.

I am going to go get dressed before I actually start working. I have already done a couple of link requests, but it is still early enough to count, don’t you think?