Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Progress Towards Goal

This morning, which was my 7th weight workout since I resumed exercising post-illness, I actually started to add real weight to my exercises. Prior to today, I was doing very light weights, to prepare myself and allow myself to ease back into a rigorous exercise routine. It was a nice feeling this morning: while I'm nowhere close to where I was in November (pre-illness), I took a baby step back towards getting where I want to be.

When I was cleaning up for work, I was realizing exactly how many things that we, as a family, do that consists of tiny steps towards a larger goal - or simply for the sake of improving something. The boys practice their instruments daily: they get home from school, do their homework, practice their instruments, eat dinner. It's just part of the everyday routine, and we build it into their schedule. Even if they don't have time to do a full, thorough practice session, we still do a little bit to make sure that something makes positive progress. The boys' reading is the same way: they're asked to read on a daily basis, which is easy for The Boy and easy (somewhat) for The Baby. Little Bear still struggles with making the time, even though he is an exceptional reader.

For me, I've got a bunch of things on which I'm working: writing in the blog; reading books for my Jewish class on Thursday nights; organizing our family photos on the iMac; before I got sick, playing my saxophone again. It's a lot, and there are plenty of nights (like after my class on Thursday) when I realize I won't be able to get to everything. The trick, for me, is to pick up right where I left off and not let it entirely derail me.

The one that's the hardest, ironically, is the one I've being doing the longest: practicing saxophone. I really do enjoy playing, and my experience playing saxophone with the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra (that's The Wife's group, with whom she has been playing since we moved out here) in December was sublime. I really liked the people in the orchestra, and I enjoyed playing for the director, Walter Morales. He's a neat musician and an engaging conductor: he's very easy to watch and to follow, and the emotions he wants are very clear.

I really miss(ed) playing my instrument - waaaay more than I realized. After my first rehearsal, I actually had to sit in the car for about 5 minutes and collect myself: I was literally shaking with adrenaline and emotion! It was a nice, albeit overwhelming, feeling. The practice and preparation for playing the piece (Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite) was rewarding and fun. After the concert, I drew up a practice plan for myself to try to keep myself engaged in playing: scales and such, and finally re-attack the Glasunov Saxophone Concerto for the first time in almost 20 years. But G-d had other plans, and I got sick and spent most of the next month lying on a chair, coughing a LOT.

Careening off topic, tomorrow morning is my vocal scope at the Voice Center at Mercy Hospital. They're going to stick a camera down my throat and see if there are any triggers in my vocal folds for my coughing. In a weird way, I hope that they DO find something wrong - even if it's untreatable, because then I'd know what's been causing this ceaseless cough, because it isn't really typical asthma. The good news is, the cough had been going away but has returned in full force. Hooray. Just in time.

Hm. I need to re-attack this topic, of baby steps and tiny bits of work. I got off topic pretty quickly. I'll get there.

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