On Gratitude

GratefulBe Grateful.

I’m nearing the end here, with my special words – and gratitude is a crucial one. I’m needing to remember this one quite a bit lately, in fact.

I grew up with Oprah on TV. Even though I was young to be watching, I loved her show (there is evidence of this – my father recently found and returned to me an autographed photo she’d sent me, dated 1996).  I don’t recall exactly when this became a phenomenon, but there was a time when she started really promoting gratitude journals… Because no matter how good or bad your day has been, there is bound to be something you’re thankful for. More than likely, some things. And maybe it’s not even something or someone – maybe it was an act, an experience, a feeling.

While the movement, as often was the case with topics Oprah promoted, became a bit cliche, the sentiment is still valuable. Taking time to realize what we have to be grateful for in our lives can bring us balance at exactly the right moment. It is humbling, reflective and restorative. And I swear, I’m not even a hippie. 😉

On this 4th of July, I have a number of things I’d like to mention that I’m grateful for:

  • I have had some amazing school and church music directing gigs over the last, well… 10+ years. I knew I’d be cutting back on some of it this year, so I could focus on private instruction and my new work with Wisconsin Music Ventures, but I was not expecting to discontinue all of it. That being said, all I can say right now is that I’m grateful for the experiences I was able to have, and the relationships that were built. I will miss the students and staff I worked with, but I will also remember them and cherish the role they played in the course of my life’s work.
  • I’m grateful for the current students and families I work with, in my private studio. Some of them have been with me those 10+ years (!), and have stuck around through all those other changes. Some are brand new, and I look forward to finding out what adventures are to come. Regardless, I appreciate each student for his or her unique personality, and each student’s family for their support.
  • As Wisconsin Music Ventures becomes “a thing,” there are many people to thank – probably particularly my husband who is always willing to consider my ideas, and see what happens with them. Beyond that, though, the musicians I’m working with – especially for the first few events – are spectacular. Not just because they are brilliant and talented, but because they are willing to go along on this ride with me, despite it being brand new… Jay, Andrew and Tatiana (Tabula Nova ensemble, really!), THANK YOU. And to my Sounding Board folks – you know who you are – I also couldn’t do this without you!

On this Independence Day, it’s so odd – I’m realizing that I’m working completely independently now. Fascinating.

And as I re-read this post, I’m grateful for humility – I’m truly humbled by all that has come my way.