With apologies to our own dear Rita, why is the psychiatrist or psychologist’s answer to pretty much anything, “And how does that make you feel?” If it made the patient feel good there’s an excellent chance he or she wouldn’t be talking to the shrink, right?

(An aside, where did the whole “shrink” thing come from anyway? One interesting opinion from a major newspaper: “The headshrinker metaphor arguably reflects the feelings of fear, mystery and hostility traditionally associated with the profession. Another theory holds that it implicitly refers to shrinking a patient’s narcissistic, inflated sense of self. Although many mental-health professionals have come to accept the term with self-deprecating humor, it has also been criticized as a relic of an outmoded therapeutic approach that reduces people to mere causes and symptoms rather than regarding them as complex.” I think my head shrunk a little just reading all that…it was deep.)

But I digress.

I suppose you’re used to that.

All that silliness aside, coming out of Tuesday’s rehearsal made that simple question bounce around in the large open space in my head. How did I feel? Great! As a matter of fact, there is a short list of places I’d rather be on a Tuesday evening than singing with all of my friends. Next week, as we’re putting away the chairs, take a second to look around and see the energy on the faces of everyone. Regardless of how the rest of the day went, two hours of making a joyful noise just makes the world a better place. Like the boss-lady says (often), if you’re sick stay home; if you’re tired come and sing. That tired will slide right into the floor and be replaced with a big jolt of the kind of energy that only singing can produce.

I could go into the whole mumbo-jumbo about endorphins and oxytocin and all the other science stuff but I’ll leave that to the psychiatrists (see “shrink” above…). The simple truth is that singing makes you feel good and it appears to be cumulative. Or maybe it’s that as we get further into the rehearsal schedule and start sounding better we also feel better. Or maybe it’s…oh please…I don’t care. I just know I like it and it makes me feel good and I can’t wait for Tuesday to roll around again. Same as you, can’t wait to see you and sing with you.

And if you’d like to know about a place you DON’T want to be on a Tuesday, try Mount Washington, New Hampshire. As I type this on Tuesday the 25th, the current conditions are:

  • GUST 89 MPH
  • WIND 63 MPH
  • WIND CHILL -12°F

Oh my.