Ask yourself: what outcome do you want?

Since I’ve last written here, a lot has changed. The competition was postponed till Feb 2023. I’ve made moves to scale VCHS, regular meetings with CS in our planning of the Creators’ Festival, met with EC – an angel investor and music tech entrepreneur, and I just returned from meeting with a trusted mentor and friend JB.

Without the imminent deadline of the competition, the floodgates burst wide open. Flooded with questions about when to leave, errands like tax, accounting, passport renewal, permit situations, potential concerts before I leave, Dad’s questionable arrival date – just to name a few (several), I became paralysed with the abundance of possible things I could do, not to even begin mentioning ministry.

I spent the last 2 weeks calibrating, planning, ticking things off the list, carrying on, adjusting, and slowly coming terms with the fact that I will leave here. Sadness of leaving family and potential homesickness aside, there’s really been too many things popping up that all seem like a good idea. It’d be good to do one more trip with family, it’d be good to get a Mercy Night in, it’d be nice to do another BBQ, it’d be good to do a retreat, it’d be good to do a concert for fundraising, get a suit/shirt tailored, etc.

Today, JB reminded me of something deeply important. In planning, I’ve got to ask myself: what is the outcome I want? What do I want to get out of this in the end? And in a larger sense, what is the outcome that best serves God and me in the long-term?

As tough as it will be, for my profession and work, I need to sort out my tax and accounts. I need to purchase an audio interface, get a shirt/suit tailored, and get some recordings done – in order to set myself up for later.

It’s the 23rd of Feb. In 2 months time, it’ll be the 23rd of April – about the time when I’d ideally do my last bunch of concerts before leaving.

In a month’s time, I would have submitted for the New Orleans Piano Competition and whatever else I decide to apply to. I will be looking to finish my submissions for Orford Music and perhaps even send the Orford Prize out too.

It’s still a mess in my head. Maybe it’s time for Anna and Kris’ Google Sheets to make a comeback. I think I need to see my months and year ahead more clearly.

May – Toronto and Montreal. Brainstorm with CS and play for teachers in prep for Beethoven 4 performance

June – performance in TX, Orford with JP, Orford with JS – rep: Shostakovich E minor, Brahms 1, Liszt Mazeppa, Faure Barcarolle… TBC

July – maybe New Orleans, otherwise – time with CS to get Festival things sorted. Meet with UG

August – birthday. Meet with UG? Sydney for J&T, H&D wedding? Classes with SDB

There’s probably a lot more to think about, to be honest, and this is mainly a bit of a brain dump. The main point is: what outcome do I want? I ought to focus on the outcomes before I leave, and then go backwards from there.

Outcomes I want:
1. To have performed the Brahms Piano Quartet No. 3
2. To have sorted out things with accounting, tax, and all that so I can earn and invest, and not have to worry
3. Passport, work permits, ESTA, everything to do with immigration sorted.
4. On track with work – VCHS and potentially with EC
5. Retreat
6. Family trip
7. Prepared for long term – equipment and shirts.

That’s better. More peace now. To envision an ideal where the future me has done all these things, and then work backwards to achieve that, live up to that, and enjoy that – I think that’s where I need to be when I plan. Alrighty, talk soon.

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