Friday, October 16, 2009

Finding Balance

"Faithful Saints cannot afford to look upon children as an interference with what the world calls "self fulfillment." Our covenants with God and the ultimate purpose of life are tied up in those little ones who reach for our time, our love and our sacrifices."
~ Elder Dallin H. Oaks

When I was in college, as you may know, I studied music. Music is my passion. I played and performed and practiced constantly. I had some professional gigs and offers that were challenging and exciting. During my senior year of college, our first son Josh was born. I have not played professionally since then. (except for playing in church, nursing homes, etc.) I chose to put on a different hat and teach. I have been teaching privately for 10 years now, although I did have students prior to that in high school and and in college as well. Teaching private violin has been a GREAT blessing for our family, as it provides a good income from the comforts of our own home. Both of our mothers worked outside the home when we were young, and Joseph and I have always wanted something different for our children. Luckily, teaching accomodates our financial needs, and our children's emotional needs. I have however, missed performing...

I have been contacted many times by the Idaho Falls Symphony conductor over the years, and good ol' George had all but given up on me. It seems to me that I either have energy for teaching or rehearsing/playing with an ensemble, but generally not both while I have a young family to take care of.

Then I saw the 2009-2010 concert season for the Idaho Falls Symphony: Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It's one of Beethoven's greatest works, if not one of the greatest symphony masterpieces of all time: "Ode to Joy" with full chorus and symphony. When would another opportunity come along again in my lifetime? The Mister and I discussed it, and we thought it would be a great opportunity, so I'm back in the thick of rehearsals. As if that weren't enough, I also committed to play with the Teton Chamber Orchestra as well. Jenny Oaks Baker is coming to perform with the TCO, and I have enjoyed following her career over the last several years, so...I am rehearsing with two great community orchestras and I have felt like an important, yet dormant piece of my heart has been revived again. It's been great. However, I couldn't do it if I didn't have such a stellar husband who also happens to be a tremendous father. The kids don't seem to notice much that Mom is gone a couple of nights a week. *He took all 4kids to Home Depot last night to purchase supplies to build the girls a bunk bed. Wow. I thought it was a feat to take all 4 to Super Wal-Mart where I at least have a shopping cart with straps...

However, I must say that I am exhausted, but with performances Oct. 24 for TCO and Nov. 6 and 7 for IFSymphony, it will all be over for this washed-up old player soon enough. I told both conductors to let me sit in the back of the sections, as I can't commit to every rehearsal on the schedule. It's been great so far. (Although I'm still faking some rough passages in the Beethoven! Sorry, Ludwig. Love ya, man.)

What I can't figure out is this: All week long, I dread rehearsals because it means I'm away from my family in the evening. And I get home late and have to get up for 5:30 a.m. students...I'm just plain tired. However, when I'm playing in the rehearsals, I love it. What does this mean?

I recognize that there is a season to everything, and the Lord who loves music perfectly, just as he loves the good women of the world who bear and rear His spirit children, will inspire me to know when the time is right to pursue other interests and hobbies. For now, one concert agenda is enough. And I feel whole.

For anyone interested in an enriching musical experience, but with different styles of music, here is the ticket info:

Jenny Oaks Baker and the Teton Chamber Orchestra will perform at the Civic Auditorium Oct. 24 @ 7:30. Tickets available at Dale Jewelers in Idaho Falls for $12 each.

Idaho Falls Symphony and ISU Collegiate Chorus will perform the Beethoven 9th Symphony on Friday, November 6 in the new Stevens Performing Art Center at ISU @ 7:30, and again Saturday night at the Civic Auditorium in Idaho Falls. (Contact the Idaho Falls Symphony ticket office for more info).


Mindy said...

Annalee, I've had the same dilemmas, same feelings, same dreams, same passions... it's just a hard thing sometimes when there isn't enough time in life to really pursue ALL the things that you love. Of course our families have to come first, but I'm really glad you had a little "detour" for a moment and that you're able to reawaken that part of you, even if just for a little while. :)

Kate said...

You are a great example and teacher. Thanks for the great opportunity to play with the TCO. I'm sorry I didn't make it to the rehearsal last night. I'd had a very long day and I was totally exhausted by 8.(I kept finding my eyes closing during the long rests at YS.) I was worried that I'd fall asleep while driving home by myself at 10:30. And I tweaked my neck on Tues; I thought it was better, but after so much playing it was hurting. I'll come to all the rehearsals next week.

The Brown Family said...

This motherhood thing, it's a huge juggling act :) But the best circus I could ever be a part of!

I'm so glad to read that you have joined in on a performing opportunity for yourself. You are a marvelous teacher. We have been so blessed to have great teachers in our musical lives. I know that you were meant to be a part of our musical journey!


Baxterclan7 said...

I just read your blog after I commented on your fb note, and like I said then, you pay for every indulgence you get as a mother. It does make me wonder if it's worth it-- great while you're doing it, but like you, I'm probably going to take another break for a while. I feel like your experiences are the mirror of my life. . . (even down to a four year old -- mine is 5 now-- who has now stopped wearing multiple pairs of pants with the underwear on top, but still sleeps on the floor occasionally. Weird!!!) except I'm NOT getting up at 5:30. You have some serious discipline. I've felt the same dread/love relationship with teaching. I have to take time out from everything else I need to do when I teach, but then I love it! Teaching is so fulfilling, but right now it puts me over the edge. One stage of life at a time . . .


Heather said...

That is super awesome, I had no idea you were working on these performances! Good for you. I know you well enought to know that you "find the balance!" quite well. :)