I made playing a priority and strove for small daily progressions toward my goals.
I helped other sax players grow and learn in private lessons so I “gave myself lessons" and created some accountability for myself.
I realized that I hadn’t missed my chance to “get good.”
I realized that the end of college and grad school was just a beginning, and I could keep enjoying the process of growing as a musician.
I set small, deliberate weekly goals and worked slowly and intentionally toward mastery.
I created practice plans, and weekly assignments for myself that I later listened to and graded. I was harder on myself than I was on my students most of the time.
My hand slowly healed and, despite my inner fears, I saw daily improvement.
Yes, I knew I was improving but improvement is pretty easy to see when you start from the beginning.
Was I going to wear this ghoulish glove every time I played saxophone for the rest of my life?