30-Day Focus Project: November

Ahhh November.  Here in Bermuda, November is a tricky month.  For instance, yesterday was 78 degrees and sunny.  Today, I’m wearing jeans and a sweatshirt hoping Paul will be inspired to build a fire and bring me a cup of tea.  For the most part, it’s still warm and sunny, but we all have the holidays on the brain.  Trees are being ordered (because they get shipped over from New Jersey) and the lights and decorations are going up on Front Street.  For those of you following along on my 30-day focus project this year, a new month means a new focus. Yes, I realize it is the 13th already, but October was so super busy and mentally exhausting that I needed a week just to recuperate!  My October Focus was “Career” and specifically, my performance career.  Like most people who have a freelance-based career, there are several different pieces that make up the puzzle that is “MY JOB”.  I am a cellist.  I am also a teacher.  I also run a large chamber music program through one of the Youth Orchestras in Boston.  Although all three swirl around each other in several ways, it has been really nice to give my full attention (or most of my attention, anyway) to one piece at a time.

desk top

Last month I was able to dive into some performance projects–planning some more week-long tours, booking concerts and planning repertoire for next season.  I also invested in a few things that would help take things to a higher level, such as new business cards, and a video camera and tripod.  I learned a lot about touring, working with the press, and I have a huge list of things I can do better next time around.  Throughout the month I also tried to continue some of the good habits I instilled in September, when I was focusing on Health.  I kept running, kept drinking water, drank far less wine, and kept up my newfound love of flossing (okay, I don’t LOVE flossing, but I definitely do it more regularly now).  And with a memory card full of concert footage, loads of photos, new names to add to my mailing list and my shiny new business cards, I feel like I have some smaller projects to continue throughout the rest of the year as well–because while the idea is to focus on one aspect of my life each month, I certainly don’t intend to completely ignore the rest of them.  I am trying to make a little bit of progress in all 12 areas each month, each week, and even most days if I can.  And that brings me to….

Kate with bikes…November.  My focus this month is another Job-based one, and it’s that Chamber Music program.  Over the years, I have collected tons of “great ideas” and things that “we really should do” and no one really ever had the time to implement them.  But this month, I’m doing it!  Already, we’ve made some pretty great strides in programming, organization and exposure, and I have several projects and goals to tick off each week.  At the end of the month, I’ll have everything in place pretty much for the rest of this year and looking into next.  It feels so good to really shine a light on the program for an entire month-to look at how we’ve done things, how we can improve them, how we can give the students more and better opportunities, how we can get out into the community better and just generally serve everyone in the best way possible.  It’s exciting and fun.


thIn the meantime, I’m still thinking about my health-I’d like to try a new yoga class this month, and in terms of my career, I’m finishing up the concert bookings for this year, and compiling ideas and lists for next year, and I’ll start going through the video footage soon (does anyone else HATE watching themselves perform? It’s the WORST!!).

ducklingsMonth #3 and I am more convinced than ever that this was exactly the kind of project my life needed right now.  I needed to put my ducks in a row, but there were so many different rows, and so many ducks, and it was getting hard to sort it all out.  By tackling one area at a time (while not abandoning the others completely) I can get one set of ducks marching with military precision and then move on to the next batch.

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