From the Desk of Jaime Lawrence… Pt2

When I wrote my first “From the Desk of…” blog post seven months ago, I talked a lot about bandaids. I felt like I was constantly putting bandaids on things to try to hold myself, and the things around me, together. I’m happy to tell you that now, at the end of 2020, I find that I’m slowly removing these bandaids and starting to heal. I hope you find yourself in a similar situation as we close out 2020.

Here is what 2020 has taught me:

  • Harmony Garden WILL survive this pandemic – and eventually we will be stronger and possibly even larger than ever! The need for music therapy has been increasingly evident as we witness the negative impact this is having on some of our most vulnerable populations. We will be there for this need.
  • Harmony Garden has the BEST clients, families, and community partners who support and love our programs. You have been my inspiration and my heart this entire time. Seeing your faces through a screen, behind a mask, through a face shield, socially distanced outside, or in the office has kept me going and has occasionally brought me to tears seeing and feeling your love and support.
  • I couldn’t have done half of what Harmony Garden did in 2020 without Kara. She often was the glue that held me together and kept me fighting. Thank you, Kara, from the bottom of my heart.
  • My family is strong and my children are resilient. I have to take a moment to thank my husband. Dave held me together, quite literally, at some points during this year and I couldn’t have done this year without him. He has been home working since March. Overnight, he turned into a work from home, daddy-daycare, teacher, and support for our family, and did so with grace. My job still requires me to leave home, to see my clients, and he never bats an eye staying with the children. Speaking of my children, they do miss some things (school, friends, extended family, and social events), but they LOVE having each other and having mommy and daddy around so much. I do believe their memories of the pandemic will be full of good memories, above the stress that COVID brings them.
  • My “Pod” has been a lifesaver! Our pod isn’t very big, but it does include my two sets of parents and a few of my siblings and one niece. They all jumped right in to help with some of the distance learning my kids are doing, as well as just helping give us a few days a week to not have to focus on the kids needs as well as our own work needs. Thank you, Mom and Michael, and Dad and Karen, for all you do for our family. We love you so much!
  • I love MUSIC! It’s such an amazing tool and experience. I’ve always known that, it’s why I AM a music therapist. Really though, connecting with clients, family, neighbors, friends, and even strangers, with music in the year 2020 brings me some of my best memories. The outdoor Music Concerts at the Park were overwhelmingly special to me, as SO MANY families came to support these. Seeng more than 50 families logged into a Harmony Garden Sprouts Livestream Class brought me to my knees as I listened to the children say goodbye to their friends through the screen from the safety of their living rooms. The first time a client came back in my office, I just wanted to hug them (although I did not, because we are socially distancing…)because connecting with them face-to-face again meant so much to both of us. The National Caroling Day experience with my own family and friends coming to my house to experience 20 minutes of music outside, brought a healing to my heart that I didn’t know I needed. I also can’t forget to mention my own music making, for me. I’m a part of a trio that performs around Jackson – we go by The Victor, Jaime, and Zoe Show. We weren’t able to do as much performing as usual, but we got creative in order to safely perform during the warmer months outside.

Here is what I look forward to in 2021:

  • Watching Harmony Garden GROW! We can only get stronger and hopefully grow from here. It will take baby steps. I don’t have any huge goals for 2021. STABILITY AND GROWTH are what I plan to focus on. 
  • Watching and being an active part of the healing that needs to take place across our community, state, and nation. We have to find a way to heal and I know this will take time, but I pray that 2021 will bring some healing as we move forward.
  • More time with my family and friends (preferable face-to-face) as we see how the vaccine and our diligence starts to effect the numbers of COVID cases in our state and across the nation. I miss my extended family. I haven’t seen one of my siblings and her children in a year now, and that is a sad reality. I also became a God-Mother during quarantine, and I’d love to see her more!
  • MORE MUSIC! More music with my clients. More music with my Sprouts families (I can’t wait for the weather to get nice so we can get outside again!). More music with my trio when it is safe to do so.
  • Working out and becoming a stronger version of myself. I haven’t talked much at all about this, but I made the decision to join Beachbody in September. I’m ONE DAY AWAY from finishing the Morning Meltdown 100 workout program, meaning I have worked out for 99 days since September 14. If you do the math, that is 99 workouts in 108 days!

What I ended up getting out of 2020 would never in a million years been predicable. But, I’m happy to look back and see what we were able to do. And to give myself permission to celebrate these small or large achievements.

I hope you are able to look back and see some light in the darkness that we all experienced together. Here’s to 2021!