On Saturday, I had a great afternoon with a few of “my girls”- my chorale members. They have worked really hard to make an “unofficial” Chorale t-shirt this year, and were determined to get them tie-dyed before we go to State this Wednesday….. It was quite an adventure! 5 passionate, focused, young ladies that had NO CLUE how to tie-dye anything…. They falsely assumed I would know what to do… But we all had fun in the process of figuring it out- and the results were FANTASTIC!

It was all the more fun that it happened to be the afternoon after prom, so I got all the scoop- prom dates, hair, dining, how the night went down, etc…. Two hours in, I had been to the grocery twice, heard a lot of stories, saw a few pictures, and not a shirt had hit the dye….  We didn’t get any shirts done, but it was GOOD TIME with my kiddos… and it reminded me of some of the major reasons I like doing what I do. Luckily, hours 3 and 4 were drastically more productive!

Of course, part of this whole procedure was making sure we had a set-up for the iPod once we had all the dye ready to go outside…. I was actually quite impressed with their playlists- it featured alums of our group (shout out to JENA DUCROS!) and some great old stuff…. I was prepared for the latest crap from the top 40 charts….

I took pause when I heard the beginning of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”… I LOVE THAT SONG! I couldn’t help myself… I uttered, “Yes!” under my breath… The girls looked at me, a little surprised, “You know this song, Ms. Hinds?”

“Um, duh I do!! Ok, quick Ms. Hinds history lesson…. Me at age 9…. Life plan was to marry Elton John and have Stevie Wonder sing at my wedding…. True story.”

Of course, they died laughing at that… but it’s true. That was my plan.

Turns out, a little bit of life, several years, and a few facts later, that’s not my life….But my dad DID make the singer at my wedding wear a dreadlock wig to LOOK like Stevie Wonder, much to my horror and disgust (he was a white dude), but it was well intentioned….

I’ve loved the music of Stevie Wonder for several reasons- First of all, his music is just cool. He’s great. Second of all….Well, he’s blind, I’m minus 1 eyeball, so I’ve always felt we were kind of connected (that’s probably more about me than him, but just go with it- it’s my blog).

However, I will say “SUPERSTITION” is particularly apropos for this week…. For, I am rather superstitious, and this week my choirs go to State on Wednesday…

Since I was a student in high school, THE LUCKY HAT COMES TO STATE…. And for the most part, the lucky hat does NOT disappoint. About two years ago, I SWORE I wasn’t gonna bring it, in fact, I was gonna throw it away; prove that I didn’t need it.

CONFESSION- I was a huge liar, I kept it, and it is ALWAYS in my bag for such an event. Stupid as it is, I won’t get on the bus without it.

PS- The hat is ugly. It makes my head look fat, and it’s style is most appropriate for a 6-year old in winter.


But the truth is, it’s not JUST the hat.

I’m all about being superstitious…. See a rainbow on the way to work = good day, have a good run = good omen for the week, a cat crosses in front of my car = the DARKEST SHADE OF GREY EVER… never black.

I hadn’t run in about 1.5 weeks- life’s been busy- busier than usual…. Summer semester is beginning, State is coming up (with several unexpected wrenches), my oral defense of my thesis is about 2 weeks away, and I had my big licensing test last week. Today I decided it was “back on the wagon”… Well, I had a nice 4 mi. run sketched out….. I slept well, stretched, and headed out….


About 2.5 miles in, my body just wasn’t having it.

My Stevie Wonder “Superstition-ism” was in high gear… and as I ran, I thought, “This is it- if you can’t run through this, if you can’t want it bad enough to push through, that’s it. You’re saying you and your kids don’t want it or deserve it at State this week”.

Muscles cramping, probably even limping a little as I run, I continue this COMPLETELY NON-SENSICAL dialogue in my head for about another half of a mile before coming to my senses….

“Tara, love you, but you’re being completely insane.”

(Welcome to the inner workings of my mind.)

I stopped running, and feeling a little like a loser, I walked the mile back home that I planned on running. …and I may or may not have felt a little emotional about it.

NOT because I actually believe my bullshit about “wanting it bad enough” for State….

NOT because I didn’t run 4 miles when I hoped to…

But just because it was ANOTHER THING that I cannot do 100% in the way I want to do it right now… and that’s frustrating.

Friends keep asking how my voice is doing, and when I get to go back to the doctor… it’s a strange issue…

The thing is this… How my voice is doing… It’s not an easy answer. I don’t know. When you pull a muscle, you know it’s doing better because it starts FEELING better… My throat never hurt… my voice didn’t “feel” bad… It kinda sucked when I tried to sing, but I’m not allowed to try that… so, there’s a very limited feedback loop. I DON’T really know how it’s doing… and that scares the shit of out me.

I’ve been trying really hard to do what the doctor said- talking less, talking more softly, not going out very much, singing not at all…. But I’m petrified it’s not enough.

I completely fear going back and him saying things look no different, or that I haven’t done enough.

That’s a scary thought when I feel like I’ve made some pretty drastic changes…. But I still haven’t been silent, nor can I be with the work I do.  It’s scary to know that perhaps my best is actually not at all enough….and that’s made even harder when people you are close to (unintentionally) imply that maybe you are a little reckless, or maybe you kinda had it coming. That’s a hard pill to swallow, and not one that I 100% believe or am willing to swallow.

However, this past week, I really tried to “re-commit” myself to vocal rest, and I feel like I did pretty well. This upcoming week is one where it will be easy to accidentally raise my voice or sing or talk over a lot of sound… but I am going to try my best to be as careful as possible.

I am due to go back to the doctor in about 1.5-2 weeks… So, I should probably schedule that appointment…. And buy a few lucky rabbit’s feet, and strap the “lucky hat” on my head despite the 90-degree weather….

Or, maybe not….

Because, in the words of Stevie, “When you believe in things that you don’t understand/ then you suffer/ Superstition ain’t the way/ no, no, no”

But, I am also still finding the “silver lining” of vocal rest… This week:

  1. Sleeping until 11:30am or later, on SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
  2. Scoring an amazing seat, for free at the New Orleans Opera on Sunday afternoon
  3. Having to walk back from my run, but being able to smell the amazingly fragrant flowers, smile at cute old ladies gardening, and enjoy the beautiful weather, when I’d normally be at work.
  4. Discovering several new cool TED Talks since I wasn’t out Saturday night.
  5. Feeling like a pseudo-celebrity when I did finally see friends on Sunday night… It had been a few weeks and it was like an amazing reunion of long-lost family members… way to make an ordinary night amazing!


Hope you have a great week! Thanks for reading!


…Details of the State trip, aka, the longest day trip ever, coming up sometime after Wednesday!


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