perspective

Getting Perspective 30,000 Feet In the Air

Getting Perspective 30,000 Feet In the Air

Sometimes, I need a little perspective. Because when I'm immersed in the details of planning, creating, teaching, and making music, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. And sometimes, it takes getting to 30,000 feet above the earth to get the perspective I crave.

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A few weeks ago, SD and I flew south to sunny FL. He had a composition residency (rehearsals, presentation, and two premieres), I had a visit with church music friends (choir rehearsal, duet practice, and three services). 

We packed our bathing suits, new books, and clothes we haven't worn since last summer, and left our new home nestled in two feet of fluffy white snow.

The airport was quiet as we navigated to our gate, sandwiches from Au Bon Pain in hand. We nestled into our seats and I looked out the window (because SD always lets me have the window seat) at the grey morning sky.

When Mondays Happen

I gave in to Monday pretty early in the game today.  I admit it. Perhaps it was the man who walked out in front of my car on the way to school this morning and DIDN’T EVEN TURN AROUND as I slammed on the breaks.  Perhaps it was having to bounce back and forth between my office (shared by other adjuncts and students taking make-up tests) and the conference room trying to get a little work done before class this afternoon.  Perhaps it was the student who didn’t show up for their lesson this morning.  Or perhaps it was 45 minutes later when I decided to take that phone call and within minutes, said student appeared, knocking on the door of the practice room where I was “hiding.”

The point is, I gave in.  This was not my timing.  Things were not going according to my plan for the day.  I was frustrated with myself and the people around me.  I cringe just reading those words.  Who wants to be that person?!

At some point in the afternoon, I realized the response to things not going as planned is not to give in or give up but simply to go with it.  Accommodate.  Adjust.  Revise.  Move on.  You know what happened after I made this mental switch?  I spoke with a student before class instead of meeting with her during my lunch break.  I got a sweet message from a friend.  I had great lessons with a 6- and 8-year-old brother/sister pair preparing for the upcoming recital.  My last student of the day cancelled (not great in and of itself but it meant I got to leave early!).  I had cheese straws as a pre-dinner snack.  We received an unexpected, generous sponsorship for the WCMW.  Suddenly, Monday wasn’t so bad after all.

Change your expectations.  Adapt.  Adjust your course of action or make a new course altogether.  Go with it and live today to its fullest potential.