A Glass of Chianti

Friday, July 22, 2005

I'm a cheerful person by nature

But I have been experiencing some fleeting un-cheerful moments the past couple of days. It's nothing serious or all-encompassing, of course, but it is enough to keep me just slightly off-center. So, if you wish not to read a post mostly about problems entirely too small to matter, I don't blame you. I'll be posting more interesting things later today anyway. I'm hoping that by just writing it down it will help to work its way out of my system and I'll be back to reacting normally when little things happen instead of reading too much into the situation.

Really, it's just two unrelated threads that are keeping me off balance. The first, and most "serious" is that I really feel unprepared for this teaching thing. I'm scared, and I'm concerned that I took this new position without thinking things through entirely. I listened to my heart instead of using my head, I fear. I have the most wonderful students in the entire world. They're eager and they work hard and they (as a group) are excited about playing the clarinet. I don't have to fight to make them practice (mostly). They're wonderful, and I am so not ready for this. I can't even keep a supply of good reeds for myself to use during the summer. How am I going to be able to keep up with these additional students' progress? I have my notebook system.... but ugh. I don't want to come into a student's lesson unprepared. How am I going to keep them all straight? When dealing with people on the phone yesterday and this morning it was hard enough to remember back to our last lessons and who was going on what vacation in order to make small talk - and these were my old students that I've had for several years!

The other thread fueling this discontent is quite a bit more benign. In fact, it has never bothered me before and I imagine it wouldn't now if I felt better about the professional stuff. I've spent the last several nights talking on the phone and messaging a couple of friends from my old schools. They've all gone away to wonderful jobs in fields very unrelated to music but we've been keeping each other updated with little chats from time to time. As happens with busy lives, sometimes we fall off the communication wagon and the updates become less frequent and substantial. When we do talk, it tends to be when they've hit a rough spot with the girlfriend or boyfriend or wife or whatever and they need someone to listen. Actually, if it were just listening there wouldn't be a problem. I like listening! I'm a great listener. I know much more about all of these friends than they know about me because I listen. No, they don't really want me to just listen, they want me to offer advice. Frankly, I'm not good at being an advisor. I'm quite incompetent in that role. It's just frustrating. I am a better servant than a leader, yet I'm always in the leadership slot. I'm a much better listener than advisor, yet my friends always come to me for counsel.

I think the summary is that I've not really felt inadequate before now and I'm not sure why that feeling is seeping into everything that I do lately.

And then I feel incredibly guilty for letting these little, tiny, insignificant, stupid things bother me when there are much bigger problems around.


OK. Much better. I'm going to go cook something now. :)