Since leaving Snowmass, I've been enjoying some much-deserved Rest & Relaxation. It's not totally relaxing, as I'm still away from home (and missing Tula dog something awful), but I am finally giving my brain a rest. It's been a very intense summer, preceded by a quick, unexpected, and difficult move, that happened right at the end of an intense semester! Suffice it to say-- I am tired. I thought the summer was going to be very relaxing, but here it is already July, and I'm completely exhausted. Since the Spring semester ended (and I settled in to our new home), my weeks have been filled with teaching, rehearsing, performing, paper- and presentation-writing, practicing, AND traveling for conferences (as well as fun). I forgot how time-consuming it is to prepare for conference presentations, and somehow underestimated my summer teaching load, which was quite a bit more condensed and intense than during a regular semester.

Now I'm enjoying a few days visiting my grandmother (who is awesome) before I head back to Muncie on Thursday. We've been going to bed early (so I'm getting a lot of reading done before turning off the lights-- that's especially fun because I'm reading a novel!), waking up early, running errands, knitting, and just overall enjoying each other's company. For years, I would visit my grandma for about a week right after New Year's Day. We would laze around, eat popcorn, I would practice, and one fateful year she taught me how to knit. Once I finally finished school, though, it became more difficult to make the trip, and then a year ago she moved to Colorado, and there just haven't been the same kinds of opportunities as there were in the past. Therefore, these few days are really special for both of us.

I'm even practicing again-- real, good, old-fashioned practicing! Instead of the "AAAH I HAVE A PERFORMANCE IN TWO DAYS" kind of practice I've had no choice but to do for months on end, I can finally work in the slow, methodical, really rewarding way that I think has a much more solid effect on my playing and music-retention. I've been working on the last movement of the Bartok with my metronome, and am starting to cross into an almost-recognizable tempo for the movement (instead of still learning the notes and playing everything at half tempo or slower! Finally!) I'm looking forward to much more of that when I get home in a few days.

It's just like old times. :)

Happy practicing indeed!