Beginning in 2012, my first post of the year has used the stop - start - continue model, one I learned about during my years as an adult educator. I've asked readers each year to share with me and others three (or fewer) actions they feel good about committing to for the coming year, using whichever pieces of the model seem most appropriate. Although past response to this annual plea has been lukewarm, I don't give up easily. I'm tempted to say that if I can make three commitments today - given the week I've just had - you have no excuse for not making at least one. However, I'm too evolved to resort to guilt trips.
In 2021, I will stop avoiding playing songs from my old, i.e. pre-jazz, repertoire. I recently realized the reluctance to play songs that helped me earn a living from 1971-1978 was based on silly stories I'd told myself about that music after I began studying jazz. So many of those tunes - simple as some of them are - still give me immense pleasure. More important, other people love hearing them.
In 2021, I will start phase two of my jazz repertoire project, i.e. the recording of the 300 standards I memorized from November, 2011 to July, 2019. And, as soon as Covid lifts, I will also start volunteering to play those same tunes in some local nursing homes.
In 2021, I will continue a new discipline initiated in 2019. For all of that year, my wife and I wrote short memory and/or gratitude statements on different color post-its that we then each placed in a jar in a visible spot in our kitchen. When we read all of the post-its aloud to each other as 2020 began, we were overcome recognizing how rich and varied 2019 had been. Imagine our joy when we read all the post-its we wrote over 2020 yesterday and - even with Covid-19 and all its restrictions - the year just past was equally rich and varied though we barely left Brielle. This is a discipline clearly worth continuing, don't you think?
How about you? What will you stop, start, continue in 2021?