Goals, Plans, and Cats Oh My!

Many years ago, when I was freelancing in Cleveland, a small group of friends and I would get weekly lunches at a nearby sushi place and talk about all kinds of important stuff, as small groups of friends tend to do. (yes, Ginny, Sally, and Leslie, if you’re reading, I’m talking about you.) Ginny—I believe it was Ginny–once asked us what our five year plans were, and to be honest, I’m just not a five year plan kind of girl. I’m not really a plan kind of person: I try to do my best with what I have and figure it’ll all work out for the best in the long run. Whether it has or hasn’t is definitely questionable, but I just find it…pointless…to make specific plan when we all know that life will just throw stuff at you anyway. I’m not sure what the other girls’ five year plans were (I tend to focus on myself more than I should, and I just don’t remember) but perhaps they have achieved them and more!


Sometimes I feel like  my career could have benefitted from more plans or goals. I’ve had various goals, and achieved some and failed miserably at others (I see a difference between goals and plans, maybe you do, maybe I’m silly, maybe it’s late and I’m rambling)…but long run I feel like I’m just pretty much doing what I was doing back in the days we were having those sushi lunches, and maybe I’ve been wrong all alone for not having specific plans. I don’t know. The older I get, the less I know.


I think I’m doing what I do now BETTER than I did then, but I’m no closer to feeling like a success than I was, and in fact, might be a lot further away. I just don’t know.


I may never be a success. Now, before you get all concerned, and make a comment telling me otherwise, hear me out. I think it’s time I admit I should just focus on what I do well. I was talking with a good friend recently about this. Frederick Sanger had his first Nobel Prize by the age of 40: what have we accomplished? More importantly, what do we HOPE to accomplish in the next five years? And I said well, ideally my cat will be an internet meme by then.IMG_8263

Yeah, that’s what I do well. I think back to a blog post where I asked you guys to let me know if you thought I posted too many cat pictures or not enough. (I searched for said post but couldn’t find it.) Results were mixed—VERY mixed. Some of you said, I like your blog except you post way too many cat pictures, and the rest of you said, I wish you would post a lot more cat pictures. So that was super helpful, in that I learned you can never please anyone. If you follow me on instagram (and you should, hannahviolin is my name there, surprisingly) you’ll see that at least half of my pictures are of my cat.


I’m not sure what that means exactly. I could use this space to write more about music and violin, and more funny teaching stories (and, oh, I have some good ones from today, especially one student who managed to get from “why do we read music on a five lined staff rather than some other possibly superior system” to “Vampires would be able to count the number of pieces of rice you dropped on the floor really quickly”).

(Sometimes they bring cool gifts too, like things to put on your music stand—yes, it is purple—to keep the feet from scratching the floor!)


I suppose, my students generally seem to love me, and I think I am turning them into far better violinists than they would otherwise be, and I play a mean Pachelbel Canon AND Meditation so…I’m probably going to be just fine. Maybe I am a success, just not financially, and that’s okay. I didn’t go into this stuff to be rich, I did it because I love playing the violin. (Yes I do even though some days I forget that!)


That is, if I get some sleep. And yes, I did get my car back this morning and then I barely drove it, so I’m not sure it is fixed but I will know in a few days, and I SURE HOPE SO.

Mini poll time: are you a more cat pictures or less cat pictures reader? Maybe my demographics have changed…though keep in mind, your answer will not affect the blog in any way, unless you all want more cat pictures, in which case BEWARE WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

One thought on “Goals, Plans, and Cats Oh My!”

  1. I feel you here. I don’t know if I need to be a screaming success by the world’s view of success (top of field, rich, etc). Maybe it’s enough to live a quietly happy life where you go about making small differences.

    And I wouldn’t particularly miss you cat pictures, but I don’t mind them either. I’m easy.
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