Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Year of the House

Funny things happen when you get down on your hands and knees and mop the kitchen floor at 7:00 a.m -- not that mopping the floor at 7:00 am isn't strange enough. My sister will recognize this unusual activity as a harbinger of her imminent arrival; the rest of you will think I'm stark raving mad, and only my sister will be correct. I'm not mad. Au contraire, I am beginning this year feeling remarkably sane, and here's why: I'm trading in my saxophone for a broom.

This blog began nearly two years ago as "100 Days of Practice," in an attempt to get to some musical place I hadn't yet been. Subtext: 40-yr midlife crisis. Being an "amazing" musician was what I've always hoped for but never really went for, and the 100 Days of Practice was my way to begin that process. Sister Marian of the Immaculate Mopping had given me four sessions with a personal coach for my 40th birthday, and I used those to explore what it was I "really" wanted from life. Early on in the coaching, it became evident that being an accomplished musician was it. God, I even admitted "famous" to her. (Please, please don't tell anyone that. I'm so over it.) In reply, she said, "Why not?"

Good answer. I agreed. Started this blog. Practiced every day. Gigged a ton. Had a hell of a lot of fun, achieved some wonderful things: a solo performance with the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra with the Lindsays, a new CD, some sold-out Celtic Christmas shows on the Cape with the Lindsays and Stanley and Grimm, and some really inspiring world music improvisational gigs and new, solid friendships with Caravan. Things to be proud of.

These experiences were neat. My flute was sounding wonderful. I did it! And then, I noticed that our bank account was too low, my house had fallen apart, we had missed the opportunity to have a second child, our basement was clogged full of crap, and my very best friend had slowly fallen into a deep depression. None of these things were specifically related to deciding to start practicing, but still... this is not the way to do life.

Ambitions partially achieved, but true peacefulness still nonexistent? Feh.

And so, independently, each of the Lindsays came to a realization that this is the Year of the House. The year to look inward, get our house in order, have dinner with friends we love instead of running off to gigs, spend mornings mopping instead of maintaining the website and emailing our "list" -- be still my bleating heart; this ewe is happy.

So I'm back, but must warn you of a new approach, though admittedly the same focus. If you are a musician looking for technical practice tips, you might not find them here (or you might). If you are a human being looking for explore the idea that peace may be achieved by accepting what is, I've got you covered.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go rearrange the kitchen.