What is and what could have been

I recently agreed to serve as an interim Sunday musician at the church I play at a couple times a month (not my normal parish), as the kid who ran things there has stepped down to take work at another parish. Until they pick a new music director, I’ll be playing five Masses a week (two on Saturday at my normal church and three as a fill-in), starting in a couple weeks.

This isn’t the first time I’ve accepted an interim tag; I filled in for a few months last year at an Episcopal church after their kid up and quit. (He gave them no warning, however, so I was put into service right away.)

Don’t let this happen to you.

There was a time where I could have been one of those kids. Both are going to college for music — but I didn’t; I majored in journalism and political science (and I don’t really use either at my day job, though they help).

What if I (had gone to another college and) majored in music?

I’d probably be a full-time music director somewhere now. And I’d probably be better at organisting and pianisting than I am now. And maybe I would have averted unemployment that one year. And maybe there would be more people my age to meet at the parish (there aren’t a whole lot at my parish now).

But I probably wouldn’t be living in the area, and I’d be far from friends and family. My health care (which would come from the diocese) might eventually be at risk because the government is stupid. And there’s no guarantee that I’ll end up in a place where I’m happy or I get along with the pastor.

There’s also that little nagging reminder that I like my life and my job. Even if I’m sometimes working seven days a week. Even with the agonizingly long commute. Even with a little less social time than I’d prefer, I’m doing plenty of stuff that I love.

It’s an interesting thought experiment. But it’s a relief to reach the conclusion that at least in this department, I would do the same thing I’ve done.

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