Anniversaries: How to look ahead

LakeEolaFireworksHappy anniversary!

With this newsletter, I celebrate my one-year publication anniversary. In case you missed that first issue, you can still see it here (and all the issues are listed here). Thank you to everyone for taking the time to share in my adventures of the past year. I hope they have been as enjoyable for you to read as for me to write!

While we often stop at the end of the calendar year to review where we’ve been and plan for the next year, it can be helpful to have a checkup and review at any anniversary moment. Where were you one year ago today? What have you accomplished in the last year? Did you meet your goals? If not, where did you fall short? Did you manage to completely blast them out of the water? How much further would you like to go in the next year? What can you do today to move you closer to where you’d like to be?

Current Assessment

One of the magnets on our fridge is a quote from Teddy Roosevelt: “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have!” To plan for the future, you have to start with the present. Where are you now? What skills and resources do you have now? It doesn’t matter if you don’t like your current situation. Ignoring a problem or difficulty, won’t make it go away — it might just make it worse. Far better to know what is the status quo rather then pretend it to be different. To plan a trip, you not only have to know the destination, but you’re starting point as well. If you are trying to get to Carnegie Hall, it’s a completely different trip to plan if you are starting in Florida, Peru, or lower Manhattan. Trying to fly there from lower Manhattan makes as much sense as trying to walk there from Peru. Sometimes the preferred means of progress (flying in this case) might not be the best option. The only way to know is a thorough evaluation of the current state of affairs.


Despite many people’s fascination with the law of attraction, I think one of the other key points from Teddy Roosevelt’s quote above is the first word: Do. Newton formulated the law in physics that tells us a body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Wishing or planning how to accomplish something is not the same as doing. Even Yoda urges us to action: “Do or do not. There is no try.” Our modern day GPS devices are excellent at getting us from point a to point b, as long as we are in motion. If we miss a turn, it will recalculate and adapt. If we stop moving, I’ve seen many GPS devices get confused and start giving very odd instructions. Just like pilots on a long-distance flight, we need to start moving in the general direction, and then make adjustments as we approach our destination. While planning can be an appropriate action, just don’t expect it to get you to the destination without starting up the engine and moving.

CFCArtsMozartSingleMassMoving Forward

While I may still be in the patient maintenance mode of preparing the next crop, there is a concert this Friday that I will be playing. Last year in my first newsletter issue, the concert was Mozart’s Requiem. This year, it’s the Mass in C Minor, K 427. (I think next summer, we’ll be planning something other than Mozart.)

I find it interesting to note that Mozart left this piece unfinished. As we take a moment to celebrate this newsletter anniversary, what projects have you left unfinished? One that I recently was able to finish was to get the video from a performance in May up on-line. You can now hear the Bel Canto Choir of Gateway High School under the direction of Chris Barletta sing my composition Faith is Like a Mystic Spirit (text by John Dalles) by clicking here. Now I need to finish up that other piece I started for them…

Hoping your projects come to a happy conclusion,

Newsletter Issue 26 – 2014 08 05
See the complete list of newsletter issues here.
Sign up to receive future issues using the box to the right on this page.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *