Well, it’s upon us.  Last weekend my daughter was splashing around in Quarry Lake in her swimsuit.  This weekend, we were gathering together our mittens and drinking lots of tea.  Jaime, my partner in hummingBird, has dubbed it “hot bath season” and I concur.  In fact, on Friday, as the first snow was falling, we went to the CMH sale where I got new super-warm mittens then I had to take a shower to get warm again after I got home.  ‘Tis the season.

Full disclosure.  I struggle to stay active in the winter.  It’s a tough season for me in lots of ways, but physical activity is a key factor that I really have a hard time with.  For some of you, it may be difficult to stick to your music or creative goals in winter, when Netflix and a glass of wine are calling you to hunker down inside out of the snow – or a hot bath is whispering your name.

For all of us regardless of our particular theme, I have one word: accountability.  If I have to meet someone to sweat with, or report to someone that I’ve done it, I’m WAY more likely to make the time to be active.  My sister and I actually have one particular emoji that we just text to each other that says “YES!  I got my heart-rate up today in an intentional way.”

The same goes for creative goals; a little accountability goes a long way.  It’s the whole premise behind the beginning of Guitar Mama Showcase and the Brotherhood of Strings.  It’s also what keeps some of my adult guitar students on the ball.  If you know you have to play in community, you’re more likely to put the time it to be ready for that.  These are low-pressure accountability systems.

Many of you have begun writing songs.  Great songs, actually.  You’re blowing me away.  Maybe that’s something you want to develop more – but Netfix’s siren call is so very beguiling.  Well, if you’re looking for some inspiration and accountability, here are two safe, encouraging options for you in the Bow Valley.  1) Whistling Duck Music’s new monthly song circle – a time for sharing original songs, giving and getting feedback.  Details are here.  And 2) Ellen Braun’s Song Writing course at ArtsPlace.  It starts tonight so don’t hesitate!  Details are here.

You don’t want to write songs but want to keep challenging yourself musically?  There is definitely some kind of accountability system for you.  I have a couple more spaces for adult students; not many but a couple.  If I can’t take you then I can help you connect with someone who can – for guitar, piano, violin, voice, or whatever you want to pursue.  Feel free to get in touch for anything I might be able to help with.

One of the most beautiful things about winter in Alberta is the fact that even if it’s cold and snowy, (even when it starts in September and goes to June) the view out the window is spectacular.  A friend who recently traveled to Iceland told me that the Icelanders call it “window weather” when it’s too cold to be comfortable outdoors, and so you’re inside with a cup of tea looking out.  We get a lot of window weather, and also we get early dark.  Which means a lot of space for creative time – find someone to share it with, and like the sunshine on the snow that looks so lovely from inside the house, shine on.


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