As my day (& night) job is in the front line, I was trying to stay safe (not to mention stayin' alive - sounds like a song
), and quite often, would be utterly exhausted mentally if not physically when I managed to get home. Piano would then be a means of taking my mind off what I'd seen and been through that day, so learning difficult new rep went out of the window, and just playing through stuff I already know and love took over almost completely for most of the last year, and the early part of this year.
I really only started to feel somewhat 'safe' when I got my vaccinations (and obviously, I was in the priority group to get them). How I managed not to get infected at all until then seems like a minor miracle.....and while I'm indulging in pensive rumination, how lucky we are that this is 2021, not 1918, and that science was able to come to our rescue so rapidly.
And my monthly recitals of course were also cancelled, so there was no real need for me to learn anything new to perform. Instead, I spent most of my time at the piano playing through some of the stuff I hadn't played for a long time (not since I was a teenager, in fact) - almost sight-reading them, because many were completely forgotten scores. As well as actual sight-reading of pieces I'd never heard or played before, from various sources like Pianist Magazine. Some people might be surprised that my idea of playing music that would take my mind off the stresses of my job is not slow gentle 'relaxing' pieces, but fast & furious stuff with lots of notes which keep all my fingers busy, which is also the kind of pieces I like to perform (though I do usually throw in one or two slower, gentler pieces in each recital, of course
). It's only when I'm warm and sweaty from my workout at the piano that I feel ready to wind down and get ready for bed.
Through many of those dark days, piano was like my lifeline to sanity, and avoidance of burnout.......