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Greg Sandow on the future of classical music
Updated: 2 hours 17 min ago

Time off

Thu, 2017-09-14 12:41

So here I am back, after much time off. Not blogging.

Some of that was vacation. Trips, family time. As in this photo of me and Rafa at a British pub:

Or this one of him and Anne on a wild hillside. After a multi-hour steep hike, he said: “This is the greatest day ever!”

Though maybe that was topped by his first ride on a Ferris wheel. He wasn’t just delighted. He just about became delight.

And there’s an extra reason to share these photos, quite beyond “I love my wife and kid!” (He’s going to be six next month. I know I’m not the only parent to ask, “How’d that happen?”)

The other reason

I’m also posting these pictures because they show what makes me happy. Not that other things don’t, but this is a big one.

And what makes me happy matters, because this spring I realized that not much in my work did. Doesn’t mean I got nothing from my work, or that it wasn’t valuable to others. Or that some of it — teaching, composing — couldn’t thrill me.

But the constant rush to keep current online, to promote myself — that strained me. So I thought I’d pull back, take some time off. Clear my mind.

Sweet relief

And it worked. I figured I’d get back to blogging when I felt relaxed about it, when I knew I really wanted to. Figured that should happen in September, but left it loose (relaxed) inside myself about just when that would be.

Which feels like now. I recommend this kind of mental cleansing. Even if you can’t abandon everything that makes you tense, find something you can pull back from. Even if you just delay it for an hour or a day.

Just tell yourself this thing — whatever it might be — doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. Or that a day away from it won’t kill it.

Or that it isn’t worth the tension. Or — and this is so important — that you might have a dozen things that seem crucially important, or that taken by themselves you do enjoy. But that weighing on you as a group they’re burdensome, destructive of a larger goal in life, perhaps the largest, which is to be kind, happily productive, and content.

It worked for me.

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