Playing in the handbell choir is great -- except for the years when I was in college, I've been playing handbells since about the 5th or 6th grade. For the past several years, I've actually been playing the two lowest positions instead of just one, which has been a great challenge and a great deal of fun.
I'm going to miss being in the choir. I suppose I'll still make myself available to work as a substitute if they need me, but I just can't keep the commitment required to be in the choir week in and week out. This one's hard to let go. It was easy to turn down leadership positions in the men's group. It was easy to turn down positions on the church board. It was mostly easy to turn down more teaching opportunities. I'm sure that once I've been out for a little while, it will seem as though it was easy to leave the choir, too. One thing that I really am looking forward to is being able to enjoy the bell choir from the vantage point of the congregation -- I rarely hear a bell choir that I'm not participating in, so that will be a treat.
I brought home both my practice and performance gloves today. They're well worn. They'll be a good memento of my time in the choir.