A few weeks ago, I was making some updates to the Music Therapy Connections website when an error message popped up. I’ll spare you the technical jargon, but after making a call to my hosting provider, I discovered that my current hosting server is no longer being updated and will prevent my websites from running smoothly and doing everything I need them to do.
The customer support representative recommended that I upgrade to a new server, and explained what the process would look like for doing so. Now, I consider myself to be a pretty tech-savvy person, but a lot of what he was explaining seemed overwhelming and over my head. Even so, it was pretty clear that I needed to take the plunge, and thus began the Great Website Migration of 2017.
Last year, I followed along as several people in my Instagram feed participated in the 100 Day Project. Every day for 100 days, they posted a photo of an action they took related to a creative project on a singular theme.
One of my favorite accounts to follow was Elise Blaha Cripe, who posted 100 days of pep talks. When she mentioned a couple of weeks ago that a new round of #the100dayproject was coming up, I decided to get on board.
Church Mice, that is. Way back in the fall of 2006, I was invited to take the reins of an early childhood music class at the church I attended. I was still in graduate school at the time, so I gladly accepted my very first “professional” position in the music field.
I fell in love with this class from the very beginning, and it fit in beautifully with the music therapy and teaching I was doing full-time just a few months later. Every weekend, I got to work with little kids and their families, singing songs, playing instruments, and having a great time.
When I was little, my favorite thing to do was write. I would come up with story after story, written and illustrated in crayon on white sheets of paper, then stapled into book form. The day my family purchased our first desktop computer, I sat down and typed a story for the first time…and I was hooked.
Some of my stories were really good, and even earned awards at state-level young author contests. I continued writing stories throughout my teenage years, and then ventured into nonfiction essays, just for fun. It’s really a shame that blogs weren’t a thing back in the late 90s.
For a long time, I thought I might become an author when I grew up. That aspiration evolved into journalism as a high school student, and I was even accepted to several prominent universities’ journalism schools. But then I got honest with myself and realized I needed to pursue music, my true love.
2016 was a year full of ups and downs, but it most definitely ended on a high note (corny pun totally intended). I had the opportunity to perform at First Night Springfield, an annual New Year’s Eve event put on by my city’s arts council. And while performing was a joy in and of itself, the icing on the cake was that my friends and family — including my two children — were there, too.
I’ve spent the last 12 months doing my best to practice the three words my business partner Katey and I chose for 2016 — simplify, streamline, self-care. This past year has been all about eliminating the non-essentials, putting things on the back burner, and focusing on what matters most.
With that in mind, I didn’t set any hard and fast goals or choose any big projects to work on as I have in years past. I gave myself grace and permission to say no without guilt. It felt GOOD to care for myself, and I will definitely carry those words with me into the new year.