Breathe in, breathe out

We are all busy people. I might be complaining about it more than others. I might be more busy. Or I might not.

What do I mean by busy? I mean that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Do we all take on too many things? Probably, but I won’t simply work for money. I need to work a certain amount for money. And then I need to practice, and that’s for me. And I need to (I put need in my career and life aspirations here, to be clear) perform and play chamber music and other concerts. If I don’t do those things, then what is the point? The issue is when they all run together and there just isn’t enough time to get all the things done: to run a private studio, to meet the needs of my college students also, to respond to emails, to order what needs ordering, to respond to phone calls, to listen to music, to eat as healthy as possible throughout all of this and to work out several times a week…

But this week I’ve been breathing. I’m not totally sure why. Partly because I’m just used to it all now, partly because some of my students have canceled for various reasons and I end up with an extra 30 minutes here, an hour there. Partly because my practice has paid off and some upcoming performances are feeling READY and so I’m less panicked…who knows why.

Tomorrow night my friend and colleague Amy and I are playing a terrific program at Wash U. We are very excited to perform: it’s a really varied program and has been a lot of fun to put together. Amy and I approach music in a very similar way, at least as far as I can tell working with her so far, and that’s both good and bad. But she’s been really fun to work with, and I’m excited about our concert. We named our duo Duo Sirena, and plan to play some more. 

I’m also still of course working with my friends at the Perseid Quartet and we finally have our concert in November booked. It’s hard managing one’s own career and there’s an ebb and flow, and this season has been a little slower getting started, but we’ve got some great stuff planned and I’m excited to learn quite a few new pieces.

As far as my students, their needs range. I’m trying to participate in or organize some events throughout the year, and this weekend is the second year some are playing for the Arch Cup. I’m hoping they get some more trophies like last year! And then I’m working on getting some to play on the play-a-thon at the Galleria that SLAMTA runs (this is a holiday event) and have decided to push the recital back into February and maybe I’ll have a Valentine’s theme or something? College students have different needs, mostly they need to practice more (oh that’s all of them, and YES I mean you!), but they have juries and recitals and worries about the future, and I try to be as present for everybody as I can.

I know this has been a tough year. I get stressed out easily. I’ve been working too much but I feel it’s necessary. I spend too much time reading the news and worrying (what will happen when the market goes down, what will happen to my health insurance, what if there’s a nuclear war, why are people so horrible to each other?). I’ve worked for 32 days straight now (for me that doesn’t count practice or working from home, but counts any scheduled work activity like a rehearsal, lesson, concert, or gig) and the end isn’t really in sight (there’s a possibility coming up but I suspect it will get filled because there are some unscheduled rehearsals needed, and that’s okay). I can handle it. I have been sleeping a little more than earlier in the month (Opera was a challenge) and the weather is cooler and I love it and I will make it.

There’s my brain dump. I must remember to breathe.

My niece turns three soon. My earliest memory (as I recall and claim) is my third birthday party. I feel like the pressure is ON now! In all honesty, she is an adorable lucky child who feels safe, secure, and loved, and I’m trying to decide between two gifts I’ve found online and hope that she likes whatever I give her. I won’t see her until Christmas and she’ll probably pretend not to remember me.

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