Once upon a time in a land far away, there lived an ordinary woman who had a nice career in civil engineering and land surveying. She was very good at her job, and the paycheck was quite handsome.
One day, this woman realized that this was not what she wanted to do with her life. She didn't want to wake up in her senior years, look back on her life and think, "That's not how I intended it to be! My first love, my real love is music. That's what I want to do!"
And so, she quit her job (a move she does not recommend unless you have savings to live on for a while, which she did not). After a couple of rough years she found herself living once again in the neighborhood where she grew up. And after floundering about for a few months, she found her first piano student. Within a year, her students numbered over a dozen.
Fast forward 19 years, more or less. I'm sure you've figured out that the woman in the story is me. Today my students performed in their Spring Recital. As they performed, one by one, I thought about how blessed I am.
I am blessed because I am able to make a living doing something I truly love to do.
I am blessed because my students are funny, smart and loving, and because we laugh a lot at lessons and generally have a blast.
I am blessed when my students laugh at my corny jokes and walk in to their lessons just bursting to tell me a new one.
I am blessed when the lesson is finished and the student exclaims, "Already?"
I am blessed by the students who began lessons as young children and are now in high school and still love to play, still enjoy their lessons, and who count me as a special person in their lives.
I am blessed when former students, now in college or married, attend the recitals and hug me and say how much they've missed me, thank me for teaching them, and tell me they still enjoy playing.
I am blessed when former students who have gone on to major in music in college, email me to say, "Thank you for making me learn scales and cadences and theory! So many of the other students are struggling because they weren't taught those things."
I am blessed when parents tell me how they appreciate the way I make lessons enjoyable and how I relate to their children.
I am blessed when my students sit down at the piano in front of a hundred or so family and friends, and although nervous and scared, they play their pieces and always make me proud!
I am blessed when, after the recital, students want to have their picture taken with me.
I am blessed because God has allowed me to learn that a big paycheck does not ensure job satisfaction. Teaching piano is not especially lucrative in dollars and cents, but to me it is fulfillment, and it is joy.
Some might say I'm lucky or fortunate - I know I am blessed!
I hope you are blessed in your life too.