Am I doing this right? –or… how I’m hoping I’ll be spending my summer vacation…


By three methods we may learn wisdom: First by reflection, which is noblest; second by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. –Confucius


I always get to this time of year in a mixed state, on one hand, I’m ready for the change of pace and for a little time to recover from a busy winter semester. And then about 3 days go by and I’m wandering around the house sure that I have things to do, but I just can’t quite figure out what they are.

Inevitably, there are long term tasks (like updating my website, hence the current blog post attempt…) and sorting out music and plotting what new and exciting adventures I’m going to force my students to join me on next year, but somehow, in the middle of a quiet day, I can’t quite put my finger on the specific thing I should be doing right this second. Musicians and educators live a life of here and now, what concert do I have to play tonight, what do I need to remember to do for my students tomorrow. Things are urgent. Adrenaline is your friend. All I think about in February is survival, and how great it will be in May when I have time to think, and in May, I can’t seem to think clearly at all.  Clarity seems to come in August, when suddenly the new school year is coming up and I think of 15 great projects and wonder why I didn’t take some of that free time in May to organize and plot out these great ideas.

I need to learn to look backwards (who even remembers what show they played yesterday, a week ago, nevermind a month, or 3 ago…) and reflect on what actually happened. After that, maybe I can step far enough outside this desire to feel as though every project needs to be urgent in order for it to hold my attention. Maybe I can give an idea room to grow, and change, and not worry that I don’t have every detail laid out from the outset. I love crossing things off lists, but maybe at this time of year I need a different kind of list, a “lets see what happens” list.

Anyone else feel this way? Or differently?