How are all you all out there? Thankfully, it seems like this pandemic thing is coming to an end. COVID-19 is here to stay in some form or fashion, but hopefully the shutdown part of it is done. Isn’t it nice to move around in public maskless and hug people and hang out doing stuff together again? Let’s all take a moment to breathe deeply and relax. Whew! 

Is it my imagination or did people’s driving skills go into a downward spiral during the pandemic? Yikes, it’s bad out there. I’ve almost gotten into a humdinger of an accident or two simply because people will not stop at stop signs. Not even a slow rolling stop is at work — but a keep-on-going-and-bolt-right-out-without-any-care-in-the-world-about-oncoming-traffic kind of non-stop. 

I can only surmise this is the result of people feeling pretty fed up with following any kind of rule right now. I totally get it, ’cause I sometimes want to have a temper tantrum and scream, “Stop telling me what to do!”  But that’s probably just me.

On a somewhat lighter driving note, my daughter, who recently got her learner’s permit, got flipped off on her first day out driving. LOL. The guy behind her apparently didn’t appreciate her following the posted speed limit in a residential area. I’m kind of surprised he didn’t pass her sooner than when he was allowed, because if we’ve learned anything about driving around here, double-yellow lines don’t mean a thing. 

Just turn up the volume on the radio, baby girl. Wash away his negativity.

Anyway, enough of that.

I must confess to being a little sad.

Since I’ve finished chemo — coming up on two years soon woohoo! — I haven’t been able to sing quite right. I’ve never been one who can always carry a tune — sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t — but I love to sing nonetheless. But now, not only is my throat often still scratchy since chemo, but I also can’t move my mouth to form words in a timely enough manner to keep up with the lyrics. So, as much as I may want to encourage you to  🎵play that funky music, white boy,🎶  I can’t make the words come out fast enough to do so. I mean,  🎵if you want it, you got it🎶  but don’t expect me to tell you about how  🎵your best friend Harry has a brother Larry, in five days from now he’s gonna marry.🎶 

Basically any song that is faster-paced or has a lot of words that require you to put your lips together to make the sound (e.g. words with the letters m, b, p, v, f), I cannot keep up with to sing along. Often to comical results. So while I can’t convince you to decide between “Two Princes” to  🎵marry him or marry me, I’m the one who loves you baby, can’t you see?🎶  or sing with all my heart, 🎵mama, he’s a magic man,🎶  in an ironic twist, I actually might not stumble through  🎵It’s tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time. It’s tricky. Tricky, tricky, tricky, tricky.🎶

It is so tricky, y’all.

If you’re not yet convinced what a sad state of affairs this all is… I can’t even lip sync correctly! What is that?! 

When my daughter was around five or so she asked, “It’s a terrible thing isn’t it?” Me: “What?” Her: “When you can’t sing a fabulous song?”

She didn’t know the words to “Don Gato.” 

Yes girl, it is terrible. I totally understand now.

Every once in a while, despite how much not being able to keep up with the lyrics typically amuses me, my eyes will well up with tears. Music is something I love so much and it absolutely sucks not to be able to sing along to a good song. But I try anyway. Because songs… singing… music… melodies… bring me so much joy. 

Thankfully, I can still hum. That’s my go-to when all else fails.

I feel like our world, particularly during and after the pandemic, has lost its ability to sing along to a good song. We got hit with something that didn’t really make sense and took the wind out of a lot of us. And it went on for far too long. 

We’re out of rhythm. 

We can’t form the words we want to say or find our tune.

But we have to keep trying.

We live in an angry, fearful world these days. When people are worn out and afraid, anger becomes a steady companion —  because anger makes us feel powerful and in control.

But so does joy.

We have to fight for joy.

Even if humming is all you’ve got left, do that. 

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40: 1-3 (NLT)