This past June my wife Paula and I made the decision to place our home on the real estate market and downsize to townhome living. In the ensuing months we collectively made many decisions regarding what to do with a house full of belongings that have accumulated since our last move 29 years ago. We painstakingly took inventory of what we would use, what we would continue to store, what we would give away, and more importantly, what we would purge. We found ourselves in the position of having to part ways with some of the stuff of life that we thought was important to keep, but which we were no longer able to store. In a strange sort of way, it was somewhat difficult to approach and make those hard decisions. But when they were made, an unexpected, cleansing “release” came upon us that calmed our apprehensions and supported these decisions. In the end, we learned it was good to simply “let go.” It was time!
As I took the necessary time to inventory our stuff, I also began to think what meaning this could have in a broader sense to my dear colleagues and friends in ACDA-MN. So here’s the question: What is your own personal inventory like these days? What extra stuff are you carrying around but maybe no longer really need? What impact does a busy and overextended schedule create? What emotional, physical, or spiritual baggage ends up on your doorstep of life? What gets in the way of your music making? What clouds your perspective in giving the best of yourself to your singers? What are the things that seem to make your job difficult? What can you keep? What can you give away? What can you purge? How do you prioritize? How do you organize? How do you simplify?
The lesson I learned this past summer was the importance of making the time to take a personal inventory of those things that seem to get in the way and actually doing something about it. Make a plan to organize, to clean out, to simplify, to prioritize, and to realign yourself in what you chose to do in the first place—teach music. You might find it a bit difficult to approach, just like I was feeling when I needed to make a decision to purge sentimental objects from my past. But in the end, you will feel an unexpected release and again experience the “wind in your sail.”
Here’s to a process that will rejuvenate, renew, and sustain you in your continuing journey as a creator and producer of great choral music experiences for your singers!
Have a great season of taking your own personal inventory!
…….. By the way, does anyone have a storage unit for rent?
That’s all for now….Fine.