Out of the ashes the phoenix shall rise...

Remember last Sunday when I talked about out of a failure can, in fact, come success? Well I wasn't just talking "crafting".  One of the reasons I started the #52wonderfilledweeks challenge was to force myself into action.  We're all guilty of talking big talk, I have X, Y and Z plans...blah blah blah but how often do we actually take action? Not as often as we should I think.  I love thinking up ideas, and when it isn't music related for some reason I am really good at putting those ideas into action.  In fact the farther the idea is from me personally (i.e., I won't personally gain - or lose- from it) I am THE girl to put things into action.  For example I joined the local Park Advisory Council (PAC) last fall...let's keep in mind I have two small children and a full time job as a free lance hornist...and yet at the first, FIRST, meeting I ever attended I suggested and then volunteered to organize a giant holiday craft fair.  What was I thinking? Well I will tell you I really wasn't, except I saw a need that could be met (bring in money to the non profit) and a vision that could get us there and just went with it.  Most recently I joined forces with some fellow community organizers to form a Public Safety Survey for the Northwest Side of  Chicago.  We built a survey from scratch and solicited thousands of people to take it.  And while I was a little shy to hit the send/post button when we published it, it was soooo much easier than when I recently emailed my colleagues and friends about my upcoming recital.  Isn't that funny? I mean it isn't actually but I am noticing a pattern.  Anything not related to my "career" and I am a serious risk taker and usual WINNER...but mention horn in it and I start to back away.  So...I am trying to break that habit which is why I started the challenge...because I figured if I could get over the idea of putting myself out there creatively I might be able to get over putting myself out there MUSICALLY.  One of those ways I am stepping out of my comfort zone is by performing a recital.  Now I will admit it's a little easier because I am collaborating with a long time friend and former work colleague, but I still feel like I am laying a lot out there.  I haven't played a solo recital since 2004 when I was working toward my Performers Certificate at DePaul University.  That's 15 year ago! I know this is a good step though because I have been so excited about this program.  When Joe and I had our first read thru at his place in January it was amazing to just make music with another person and I just honestly love that feeling.  I've wanted to do a Horn and Organ recital since the late 90's (yes you read that right) and here I am finally doing it and super stoked...until last week...when I let doubt and small failures start to creep into my mind. With a 9 month old and a 4 year old in the house there's a lot going on and without going into detail I will just tell you I am tired and exhausted.  I have only gotten 4.5 consecutive hours of sleep for about 8 months and I am barely functioning. By the time I did get to my horn each day last week it was almost 9 pm and I was cranky and tired from the day. It didn't matter what I played -- it all sounded like crap, all felt like crap...you know the drill.  It just spiraled and my mind went with it. Everything I had wood shed the week before didn't work anymore, I realized I had to change a major fingering for two movements of one of the works to play it at the tempo I want, I tested out Facebook's live video feed to see if I could stream it for my family and friends not in the area and that took an hour due to equipment settings, and in the end it seems that it isn't a viable option.  Even though the previous week I was sounding great and feeling great nothing this week was working and I was over it and quite frankly second guessing my decision to put this concert together. I decided to take a step back and "get my mind straight".  I turned off the TV, even for my warm up *gasp* and turned on my metronome. Now I practice religiously with a metronome but I hardly use it while warming up and I knew that what I needed to right my ship was to play something memorized and that allowed me to focus on the air I was sending thru my horn.  Finding that ideal timing of a breath in, putting my mouthpiece on my face, followed by an easy, slurred exercise, taking the mouthpiece off and exhaling any air left felt almost like musical yoga.  After I re-calibrated my air I took a break from my recital rep and played thru some upcoming orchestral music, Mahler 1 was a particular favorite! Then after I felt a little better I began to work on various technical sections from my recital program and just started working thru the music.  I made a plan and executed it. I scanned in my music finally, something that had been on my to do list for several weeks.  I started to record my practice sessions and I listened back to those recordings! And what do you know,  several days later (like a week) and I got my groove and positivity back. This week I am back to feeling great and I am glad that I pushed thru what normally might have derailed me for much longer and taken me away from my goal.  We got to rehearse in the space this week and I was listening to parts of our rehearsal tonight as I worked  and I caught myself smiling...I'll take that as a good sign... so sometimes we crash and burn in what feels like a fiery fiery mess...but it's our decision to rise from those ashes, stronger and wiser that sets us up for eventual success. 


Popular posts from this blog

If you're thankful you should show it...

When "Doodie" Calls | This WONDERfilled Life

Mary Poppins Returns | Backyard Movie Night Premiere | This WONDERfilled Life