Cookie Bento and a Flute Pep Talk

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Treats, so many treats!  If you don’t know about Candy Cane Joe Joe Cookies then.. well you’re probably better off.  They’re so dang good!  So lucky little Ara got 2 cookies, a couple dark chocolate pretzels, one trial grape tomato, a hidden mozzarella cheese, and cutie orange pieces in the top layer of the panda box!  The bottom layer has more tortilla/peanut butter/pumpkin butter pinwheels and no one needs to see more of that, do they? 

Alex and I stayed up late talking last night and our talk was so helpful to me!  Now I need to blog it! 

It’s about flute. 

It’s been a long time coming but I have been feeling so frustrated and discouraged about my flute playing.  Or my lack of flute playing.  I just sighed dramatically.  Just so you know. 

For some background, minus the first 10 years of my life I have always considered myself a flute player.  Like in the way that people consider themselves female, or tall… I defined myself as a flutist.  I met Alex when I started college, we were both music majors and I was so full of myself that I actually told him I was going to be a famous flute soloist. 

Things have changed since then.

After I left school I played with a variety of groups, I found them all unfulfilling.  My last orchestra when bankrupt before it even paid me for the last season.  Since then I’ve had a growing aversion to all things flute.  That’s just like me though.  When I like something, I live and breathe it.  My thoughts are consumed by it and I just can’t get enough.  Then, when I loose interest, I don’t just become disinterested, I kind of hate any reminder of my former obsession.  There is probably some psych term for someone like me, but there it is.  Flute was my life long love and now I’m fighting hard not to let myself hate it.  I don’t want to play and yet I hate the thought of letting it go. 

When I pick my flute up to play I run a slideshow in my head of all the wonderful memories I have of playing, then the slideshow ends and I feel empty.  Is it all in the past?  I used to be a flutist, now I’m a Mom.  Why can’t I be both?  I want to be both.

But, how do I find the love of playing again?  When I think back, I have to think pretty far back to when I played for the joy of it.  Somewhere along the line I let my love of competition take over and I forgot to play for myself.  But there was a time when I played for the love of music.  When my flute sang and I delighted in it.  I didn’t NEED people to hear and admire my playing, I just wanted to play.  I’d like very much to go back to that mentality. 

Alex still plays for the love of it.  He still loads his iPod full of music to immerse himself in.  His advice to me was to stop thinking of recitals and auditions.  To stop caring if I have "”somewhere to play” and to just play for myself.  It’s so simply but it still seemed so cathartic to me. 

So today I am listening to my old hero (don’t laugh) James Galway.  A CD of the music of Sir Malcolm Arnold and you know what?  I think I don’t hate it… I might actually even like it.  The flute is still in the case, but I am going to try to discover music again for no reason.  I don’t have a deadline or performance to practice for, there is no one to compete against, but I think that might be ok.  It’s a really hard mentality to get used to for me.

To be continued…

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