|Melody Exploring the Dishwasher|
|Helping Repair the Freezer|
|One Cool Cat|
|Waiting for the Piano Kids|
|Life Can Be So Stressful Between Naps|
|Yeah. I know I'm not supposed to be here. . . what are ya gonna do about it?|
|I've been waiting for her all day.|
|I don't know why they have to play all that piano music when they come here to pet me.|
|Look Oliver! A new jungle gym for us.|
Mine had. . . the freezer break down with a leak, the clothes drier breakdown, my husband had nasal surgery and was home all week recovering, (he's doing well) a SAM board meeting, a Suzuki Piano Teachers's Guild meeting, an eyeglasses appointment, an orthodontist visit for more rubber bands, a middle school band concert, a teen discovering that no one from her best friends group is going to her same high school next year, another teen trying to schedule college auditions, AND we had 30 people at a Schubertiade recital at my house. My birthday was Wednesday.
Bill fixed the freezer by 1:00 a.m the night it broke. In Minnesota you can just put the food outside, but in any case, thank you, Bill, thank you, YouTube repair videos. I attempted to fix the clothes drier and got in over my head after I took several parts off to find one sock, and several hundred plastic B.B.s from the cabin in the cavern under the drum. Bill had to come down from his pain meds and rescue the project while not lifting more than 20 pounds, bending over or breathing in a cloud of lint.
I was grouchy. I'm trying not to be grouchy. Trying to make a U turn.
What is it that I really want? Really need?
Order in the court.
Christmas decorations put away. The pantry counter top spotted. The mountain of laundry summitted.
All things in repair. Happy hearts.
As it turned out, the only "order" I really had all week was the time between bows with the children at the piano. Between the bows that frame each lesson I'm only there. Only with that child. I don't have to tidy up or run an errand in less time than available. I don't have to answer at least a few emails. The phone is on silent and all I have to do is listen and respond. I can be there with one child and listen to one piece at a time. Address one parent.
I decided not to write about children's behavior today.
Every time I start feeling frustrated with someone, and then I find myself frustrated with someone else, and then someone else. . . the little bell starts going off far off in my mind. Pastor Lamont, our interim pastor, gave a sermon on Sunday that started a January thaw of my heart. Repent. It doesn't just mean "I'm sorry." It comes with more than that. A change of heart. A change of mind. A change of behavior. A U turn.
I'm a number one on the enneagram. The spiritual personality test. Number ones are right. They are tempted by perfection. They are tolerant and patient teachers. They are hyper-sensitive. And they are prone to anger. Anger that everybody and everything around them is not perfect.
In other words, desiring all people and things to be at their best all the time is a recipe for frustration and anger. I only turned 51 this week but I've felt a little like the grouchy old cat lady lady piano teacher. Time for a January U turn. A shift of the heart. Maybe instead of trying to fix everybody and everything all the time I could offer up a little grace. Grace. Grace for the calculus notes all over the kitchen counter. Grace for clarinet reeds all over the coffee table. Grace to tired appliances. Maybe the 3-year-olds don't have to have their feet perfectly planted before we play The Honeybee.
Perhaps if I let down my guard all my expectations and the standards that I set for the world around me won't go to hell in a hand basket in just one day. Maybe I don't have to hold on quite so tight.
I tried this. I'm trying this. I'm gonna have to keep trying this.
Really, I don't need everyone around me to be perfect all the time. I just mostly need order. And ironically, when I offered grace in my mind to my family and students this week, their were some shifting hearts. Mine and theirs.
A three year old apologized to me, unprovoked half way through a lesson. "I'm sorry I didn't come to the piano last week at my lesson." The beautiful look in her eyes again. Happy hearts.
When I suggested to a six year old that one of the secrets to practicing was to treat her mom just like she would treat me, Mrs. Kotrba, she opened her heart. I saw it open. I saw her heart shift. We have to treat the loved ones in our family even more respectfully and lovingly than we treat others. Shifting hearts.
Help me to offer those around me grace. Moment by moment. Hour by hour. Day by day. Week by week. Renew and shift my heart. Help me to offer myself that same grace. Remind me that these times of chaos don't last long, I will see the pantry counter again. There will be dry clothes again. The 3-year-olds can play beautifully even without their feet still. I know that perfectionism is the antagonist of joy, help shift my heart toward cheerful tranquility and gratitude.