Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

What an eventful year this has been! Every late December I like to reflect upon the previous twelve months in an effort to learn from the past and present. Hopefully, those lessons will inform the future! What can I learn from this past year that could make 2014 that much more efficient, successful, fulfilling and rewarding? Hmm...

First, I need to schedule time to nurture family and friend relationships. All things worth doing require a time commitment, and it is easy for those submerged in more work than they can reasonably accomplish to push more important things aside. Second, I would like to allow for distractions in my day when they involve helping someone else. Our schedules and to-do lists should never trump our generosity and kindness which others desperately need! Third, on a more personal level, I plan to package into my schedule time to unplug. We Americans seem to move so fast from one thing to the next that savoring beautiful things is an activity rarely cultivated. Artists require time to savor beauty and create something new from it... Fourth, I wish to carve out more dedicated practice time every day. My calendar is filling with wonderful new performance opportunities and as I plan my next recording, my time will be at a premium, so protecting that ever-crucial "personal time with my piano" from other activities encroaching upon it will be absolutely necessary...

These resolutions (or goals, as I prefer to think of them) may portray me as an idealist, but in truth, I would not be where I am today without a commitment to steady, continual, personal growth. Learning from my mistakes and trusting God to take me the rest of the way have fueled attitudes of contentment and thankfulness which are tremendous blessings. May all of us find ways to allow 2013 (and previous years) to positively influence our decisions and pathways to come... Happy New Year!