My husband and I recently saw The Philadelphia Orchestra perform at the Kennedy Center. As the second piece, Walton’s Violin Concerto, began, I nudged my husband to pay attention instead of continuing to read the program notes. “I want to read the history of the piece,” he whispered. “Enjoy it now, read it later,” I whispered back.
Is it my natural tendency to embrace the unknown without forethought and planning? Most certainly not. A close friend once commented that dinner plans with me meant she could count on knowing ahead of time the price point and appropriate attire of the restaurant. She’s right; I like to be prepared for whatever I’m getting into. The nudge I gave my husband was a response to an observation of my own tendency, and I have no intention of veering away from the conscientious end of the planning spectrum. I personally find that planning allows me to do more of what I want to do versus less. But there is something to be said for entering the unknown without influence and free from expectations – of concentrating on our place in time versus what lies ahead.
I held this thought – being present – as the piece began and tried to sustain it throughout the three movements. I tried to concentrate on each note free from distraction. What if we did the same with our careers? Taking time to look ahead, while fully participating in the present.
As the violin soloist played the last note, he stood perfectly still, waiting for its last echo, absorbed into his moment. Like a magnet, he pulled me to the now. I paused with him, wanting to stop time, just for a moment, to try to recall and reflect on every note I had missed.