Welcome 2017

Welcome 2017.  I’m so glad you are here.

The past year has flown by and was filled with it’s fair share of ups and downs.  We recapped some of the big business details in our most recent podcast episode of the Creative Business Breakdown but as for a personal recap let’s just say it’s been a very expensive year.  We’ve had some major repair issues with our semi-new (to us) OLD home, some great travels, and to top it all off my beautiful sister got married.  We’ve had some incredible adventures with some mishaps along the way, but ended the year in the best way possible by spending the last week with our friends and family celebrating the holidays and happy events.

We rang in the new year a little differently this year.  For the past few months I’ve been singing full time with a band made up of some of my favorite people, Fun DMC.  I am so thankful for each and every one of them (and their families) and love having the opportunity to perform so frequently.  So, of course, singing with a band meant performing for an awesome crowd on New Year’s Eve.

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I’ve spent some time reflecting on what I want 2017 to look like.  2016 was a huge year of making important and very personal decisions/choices.  In 2016, I made the choice to engage in self-care regularly and put my needs first.  I made the choice to love myself and those around me more fully.  I made the choice to not give into so much of the anxiety I’ve dealt with in the past and live a more happy life overall.

Those weren’t choices made in a single moment, but little decisions I’ve reinforced over and over again throughout the year in an attempt to lead a happier, more fulfilling life.   Those choice have been life-changing.

In 2017, I plan to continue making those positive choices, but also with the intention of wasting less and being more.  By that I mean wasting less time, energy, money, resources, etc. and being more present, engaged, hands-on, and in the moment.

My resolution for 2017 isn’t one based in calorie counting (thank goodness because we definitely enjoyed some mac ‘n’ cheese and fried chicken last night) or the number of times I’m going to the gym or completing any task, but instead is a resolution regarding mindfulness.   I want to be more aware of how I’m feeling, what’s going on around me, and where I really need to be focusing my attention instead of simply being swept up in checking social media, instantly responding to emails or texts, or simply going through the motions of each day.

I want to bring focus back on to what matters most in my life without feeling any hesitation, reservations, guilt, regret, or remorse.  Basically, I’m incorporating more joy in my daily diet.

If you have any ideas of how I can physically track this goal or ways in which you are being more mindful in the new year, I’d love to hear more.

Happy New Year!

{L&L for Leaders} 2016 and 3 Big Words

When Rachel & I sat down for a quick coffee date in January 2014, neither of us had ANY clue where it would lead.  We talked about life, goals for the new year, and she gave me some reading recommendations. She asked about wedding planning, I asked about Parker. You know, the normal stuff. Then she dropped the single sentence idea that would change everything.

big idea

I’m sorry… what??? Like a freestanding building dedicated to music therapy??? Of course!!

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The following two years were an absolute whirlwind of amazing things I could never have imagined.  We joined practices, rented space at Capital City Music , took on subcontractors, added an internship, moved into a 2,300 sq. ft. space of our own, and so much more.  We have met and exceeded almost every one of our 2-5 year goals in only 18 months.  The past two years have been a constant state of growth and movement. However, with growth comes the need to create new goals and re-examine the business.

A couple weeks ago, Rachel and I sat down for a long business meeting to re-assess where we are at and what the next steps need to be.  Over the course of this meeting we developed our three focus words for the new year.

major goals

We’ve each written a little more about what these three words mean to us and how we plan to implement them in 2016, but I believe we can ALL benefit from is implementing the words above.  Check out our posts for some ideas:

Three Words for 2016

Simplify

Streamline

Self-Care

I Can’t Believe We Finally Moved!

When I graduated with a degree in Music Therapy, I had no idea what my job prospects would be.  I moved to Central Illinois to be with my now husband, Chad, and we settled down in an apartment in Lincoln, Il.  Within my first week as a grad, I started a 4-hour a week position with St. John’s Children’s hospital in Springfield, Il.  I didn’t mind the 40-minute drive because it was only once a week.

After two months of only working one day a week, it was time to search for more work. I reached out to Rachel Rambach to let her know I was a new MT in the area.  She excitedly responded and offered me a contract position with Music Therapy Connections and, overnight, my company, On A Good Note, was born.  As I continued to look for other opportunities in Lincoln and moved into a house.

I quickly grew the both positions with St. John’s and Music Therapy Connections, and was driving to clients homes all around the Springfield area 4 days a week, plus taking weekend trips into Springfield for events and family gatherings.  In two years I managed to put 50,000 miles on my car for work alone.  As the weeks went on this schedule seemed to be getting more and more complicated and tiring.

Almost 18 months ago, Rachel and I sat down and the idea for merging companies and forming and LLC was born.  We found a space, grew our practice and began talking about new opportunities.  Even though I wasn’t driving to clients’ homes any longer, I was making a 50+ minute commute to and from our office. There were night I wouldn’t get home until 9 or 10 pm and then would still have more work to do!

SO, this weekend we finally made the move!  With the help of wonderful family and friends, Chad and I got moved into a beautiful home in Springfield.  IMG_0072No longer will there be a commute.  No longer will I have any students at my house. No longer will I have to strategically plan my errands around days I work in Springfield.  And I couldn’t be more excited!

IMG_0087There’s a lot of work to do at the new (but very OLD) house, but nothing we can’t tackle!  If you’ve missed my regular posts recently, you now know why.  We’ve been packing, cleaning, moving, unpacking, doing more cleaning, etc.  Hopefully, I have more pictures in the near future when we get everything in order!

 

IMG_0092And of course Rachel Jane (our beautiful dog) is settling in splendidly!!

 

Love Yourself: Self Care pt. 2

I’m going to be very honest:

Last week was not great.  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday had a lot of negative, saddening, and anxiety-filled happenings.  When that series of events was stacked on top of everything I already have going and all that I am working on (all positive, but lots of big changes and events coming up), I couldn’t handle it.  I was struggling to keep myself for crying all day Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  I felt panicky.  I felt down.  I was not myself.

For those of you who know me even in the slightest, that’s not who I am AT ALL!  My mother-in-law even describes me as full of life and excited about everything.  I smile almost constantly.

I knew I was in real trouble when I sat down for a meal with my husband on Wednesday and he said, “I’m worried about you.  You aren’t yourself”.   He suggested I take a few days off to re-center, deal with the events earlier in the week, and get back to myself.

I listened. 

I took a few days off where I didn’t return emails.  I didn’t answer phone calls.  I didn’t do any work. I put myself first and dealt with them hand of cards I had been dealt.

I know that if I would have gone to work, I wouldn’t have done even half the job that I normally would do.  I wouldn’t have been an effective instructor, therapist, or administrator.  I had too much to deal with personally to be good at my job, to be present with my clients, and to do what I wanted.

Now of course I have a TON to catch up on this week, but I feel much more ready to handle everything and be productive in a way that will be effective for my clients and my company.  I feel like myself.

I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and family.  They listen, they make me laugh, they help me cope, and they are always there when I need them.  They help me see when I need to make a change and know me better than I sometimes know myself.

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So, do yourself a favor.  Surround yourself with people who love you, who listen, and who will tell you the truth.  Surround yourself with people who care enough to tell you when they see something amiss.  Listen to those people.  Listen to yourself.  Take time when you need it.  You aren’t doing anyone any good when you aren’t at your best.

Take care of yourself so you can be best the version of you!

Back to Blogging

These past couple months have been a whirlwind!!  Between getting married, merging my company, moving into new offices, starting new services, growing the number of clients I see, interviewing potential interns, AND so much MORE cool and exciting stuff, it has been crazy!  However, it has been completely worth it!  I have never been more satisfied with where my business is headed and the changes we have made.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes:

  1. All students will now be registered through Music Therapy Connections, LLC
  2. My primary office is no longer my car!  It is now located in Springfield at 3730 Wabash Ave.   AND my office is beautiful!
  3. Early childhood class have been expanded and will take place at our new office.
  4. I only teach in Lincoln on Fridays.
  5. I have the absolute pleasure of working with another music therapist on an almost daily basis!  Check out her awesome blog! 

I am loving my “new” life and cannot wait to share more with you soon! 

-Katey