Let’s see. The top 3 things I want to change this year? I want to learn every song I earmarked in the alto sax solos book Tom gave me for Christmas. I also want to finish Anna Karenina. Finally, I want to have a set-in-stone plan for 2014.
I told Tom once that if I got a book of alto sax solos, I’d play more often. I’d pick up my saxophone and learn the music. So far, it’s proven to be true. It’s been a terrible struggle because my jaw can no longer hold the position it is supposed to. My lung capacity has decreased significantly. My sight-reading skills have disappeared. I was playing a size 4 reed in high school and now I’m struggling with a 2.5. Thankfully, however, the book contains the song “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas (the Disney movie, not the Colin Farrell one. Obviously.) And I had an alarm clock when I was little that played that song every morning at a volume that would shock a corpse back to life. Suffice it to say, I know how it goes. Playing that reminded me how to manuever my fingers, how to tongue a note, and improved my sight-reading a good bit. I can also play “Moon River”, “She Will Be Loved”, “My Heart Will Go On”, and another or two that I really don’t remember off the top of my head. I want to continue to do this until I can play every song I picked out.
I want to finish Anna Karenina. I bought it at the SeaTac airport when Tom and I were on our honeymoon. It’s a BIG book, as I’m sure most of you know. I know Russian literature, and in particular this book, is near and dear to the heart of a good friend. I have read about 200 pages of it. I find the way Tolstoy wrote it is so in-depth and rich. He takes you into the mind of each character. You understand them, feel them, the way you would understand and feel your own thoughts and emotions. You can figuratively jump into their skin and walk around in them, encountering everything as they do. And the imagery is so rich, you can feel the blades of grass, the cold mud, the damp air. And while it takes him some 800 pages to tell the story, it doesn’t drag. I respect Tolkien, as I’ve mentioned before. But his story, as exciting as it is, tends to drag on and on. 50 pages of conversation, etc. In contrast, Tolstoy tells you every detail and puts you into every character without slowing down the story. It’s a romance, so it doesn’t have dwarves and elves and dragons. One would think it would be more boring, even if it does read so smoothly. But it’s not! It’s a psychological maze, a map into the human heart, and a mirror into the soul. I want to finish it.
Finally, I want Tom and I to set our plans in stone. Where will he go to school? When will we have our children? Where will we live? Where will I work? I know I am already in my life. I’m already living it. And yet, that next step still evades me. Every time I climb toward a goal, I hardly stop to take a breath when I reach it. I live my life with my head up, staring at the next goal above me. I worry about what happens if I don’t have anymore goals to reach. This will most likely never happen. But I am not someone who is able to sit still and be content. I finish everything as quickly as possible and realize I didn’t stop to savor the experience. And so, on to the next. And yes, even though I am aware of this fact, potentially a fault, I still want to know what is going to happen next. And I’m truly looking forward to it.
Happy New Year, all!