Replaying A Moment of Midlife Wellbeing
A self-reminder that wellbeing doesn’t mean we live in a constant state of euphoria. Rather that we’ve touched it and can recall its magic.
It’s rare that emotion overwhelms me to the point of tears. I never intended to be so stalwart, but good or bad things happen and I tend to process them without the rawness that crying provides. I’m an expert laugher, which seems to flow naturally for me, but the joy of crying has eluded me for most of my 50+ years. I am growing into sentiment as I get older, but it takes practice or a good Hallmark movie to get those tear ducts flowing.
So I call on this memory every so often, especially today, on the 1 year anniversary of the concert.
A year ago, hubby Alan and I had a weekend getaway to Cleveland to hear Andrea Bocelli perform. You see, we had been to Rome a few months prior and Andrea happened to be hosting a private fundraiser in the Colosseum hours after our tour. The stage was set and I imagined myself sitting there magically absorbing the night music. I still kick myself for not attempting to beg my way in or hide in the dark labyrinth beneath the arena.
If you’re not familiar, Andrea Bocelli is an Italian tenor with a heavenly voice. I'd been infatuated with him for many years, falling in love with his music years ago as I stood in front of the Bellagio dancing fountain in Vegas (music aficionados insert eye roll here).
When we returned from that wondrous Italian trip, I googled Andrea’s tour schedule and noted he was coming to the states. After casually mentioning it to my hubby, he surprised me by setting up a weekend holiday trip to Cleveland, not only scoring amazing concert tickets, but also a cool historic hotel, Rock ’n Roll Hall of Fame admission, and sweet dinner reservations. (Who is this stranger?)
Now, it’s not a coincidence that Miceli’s, his favorite Italian cheesemaking family, is located there, so he also set up a tour of their new facility (um, ok, sounds lovely dear). Laura Miceli joined other family members to host our fabulous post-tour lunch in their new private tasting room, and I mentioned we were in town to see Andrea. She was also attending, and had passes to a Meet and Greet room. (What??) She invited us to join them and my heart bounced right past my dreamy cannoli. Bonus, the cheesemaking tour was very cool, and who knew I’d see Andrea up close as a result? It’s as though the whole weekend was synchronistically woven together with our Roman holiday.
Words written a year later won’t do justice to the wave of emotion that swept over me as Andrea’s voice pierced the silence in the large auditorium. I felt the resurgence of mixed emotions from the Colloseum tour months before to the pure joy of the moment sitting in my velvet chair listening to an angel sing.
I was overwhelmed with peace and happiness. And I wept. Tears flowed down my cheeks and I made no effort to blot them away. I must have noticed them but didn’t think to interrupt the melody in my head and heart. It’d been decades since I’d felt tears like this and I’d wished that the concert would go on through the night,
It was wonderful to see Andrea up close after the concert. He was clearly fatigued, although he was polite and thanked the small gathering for their support of his Andrea Bocelli Foundation. I snapped a few photos, but didn’t want to be intrusive after such a monumental performance, so I simply watched him be escorted from the room by his beautiful wife, who often assists her sight impaired husband.
The remainder of the weekend was one long date night, featuring outstanding hotspots like the Rock n Roll HOF, art museum, historic Lake View cemetery (where James Garfield is buried), Little Italy dining, downtown Christmas lights and more ambience than one weekend should hold.
Why did I wait a year to write about it?
After walking miles in the cold dry air, I began to lose my voice on Sunday. By the time I got off the plane, I had laryngitis and a sore throat. By Tuesday, I was miserable with a heavy chest and stuffy head. I’m not sick often, so I delayed treatment (do as I say, not as I do), resulting in me skipping most holiday parties last year and not capturing my emotional high on paper.
I’m ok with that, because, of course, I can revisit the essence of the emotions in my head. I also know these words won’t take you there, in that moment, with the swell of mysticism from that moment transcending time.
I want to weep again. Weep with naturally flowing joy-filled tears. I want to capture that peace and wonder. But I’m not able to fly away from December obligations this year and I’ve convinced myself this year’s calendar doesn’t leave much room for crying. I’m not suggesting tears are a metric for wellbeing, and I do find mounds of joy in everyday activities with family and friends. But that special feeling seems to be a snapshot of an elusive whole health concept about which I frequently write.
This isn’t a sad story or an unhappy ending. It’s merely an acknowledgement that I’ll have to listen closely to the music I choose to let play in my head. I may not weep, but I’ll dredge up a bit of the magic that I felt by sharing these few fairytale moments with my friends. Because wellbeing insists that I release it into the world.
Wishing you a peace-filled, weep-worthy December.