What I Did over Spring Break

Creative people don’t have a mess; they have ideas lying around everywhere. ~ Unknown

I posted the quote above on my Facebook page last week and got quite a response. I guess I’m not the only one! But all kidding aside, what with the teaching the professional obligations and the travel and the album releases and Christmas – well, to put it bluntly, my house was a completely out of control.

Stacks of books and papers on every horizontal surface. Piles of unwashed clothes littering my bedroom floor. Suitcases still unpacked from trips taken in February and March. It was hard to find important things. It was hard to THINK.

In order to change skins, evolve into new cycles, I feel one has to learn to discard. If one changes internally, one should not continue to live with the same objects. They reflect one’s mind and psyche of yesterday. I throw away what has no dynamic, living use. ~ Anaïs Nun

Last week was my school district’s spring break and a practically unheard of week off teaching for me, and I determined I would spend the bulk of it clearing space and creating a sense of order in my home. I can’t say I have joined the ranks of the minimalists just yet, but Marie Kondo’s Netflix series really inspired me to GET STARTED. Following her suggestion of working on one category at a time, I decided to begin with my book collection. The walls of my music studio are lined with bookcases, and there is another one just outside my bedroom. As Marie Kondo recommends, I piled literally hundreds of books into a pile in the center of the room, held each one in my hand, and asked myself if it was something I wanted to bring into the next part of my life. If the answer was no, it went into a box for donation. I cleared two large bookcases and filled nine large boxes with books that no longer serve me; all the “keepers” fit beautifully on the four remaining bookcases. It feels great!

For sale: two solid oak handcrafted bookcases. Email me for details!

Encouraged by my success, I deep cleaned the entire house; I grocery shopped and cooked; I caught up all my laundry. Bingo helped.

As they say, all work and no play makes a dull girl. Eagerly anticipating the final season of Game of Thrones, Bingo and I re-watched two or three episodes of the series every day. Bingo’s favorite character? The three-eyed raven.

Traditionally, I have squandered my spring break agonizing over the filing of my income tax returns. But since I began composing, I have decided that it is better to delegate certain tasks, and keeping up with tax laws dealing with increasingly complicated forms is one of them. Now I have an accountant who does all that for me. So Thursday night, my friend Thom and I celebrated the successful completion and filing of my 2018 returns with hot wings and beer.

Best of all, I spent time at the piano every day: practicing scales and arpeggios, learning new music for the upcoming Gwinnett Symphony Wind Orchestra concert, preparing for my album release concert this Saturday, doing some memory work, and writing some new music. I have already booked my next recording session at Piano Haven Studios in August and lots of composing to do before I get there!

How did you spend your spring break? Please leave a comment and let me know. I love hearing from my readers!

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