“I wish I had your life!” the very attractive and friendly woman said from across the Flute Pro Shop exhibit table at the flute festival last weekend.
My thought was, “Really??”
She had been following the FPS Facebook page, and seen the places I had been, the people I had been with, and the beautiful instruments that come in and out of the shop, she explained.
That evening, as I was once again in residence on I-95 North, I thought about that exchange. I began to feel lucky, and realized that what I do is an adventure, that no two days are alike, and I have a business that I look forward to going to everyday.
What makes it so rewarding? The customers! The incredible flute teachers all over the country. The performers who are setting the bar higher and higher. The folks at Flute Pro Shop who take care of things so I can travel and meet more wonderful people.
I live for the special smile a flutist flashes when the perfect flute is in their hands, and the way they cradle the case in their arms after the sale is made. I love the look of pride on the parents’ and grandparents’ faces that their child can make such a beautiful sound.
The other day, a long suffering little brother came into the shop while his sister tried piccolos. And yes, one must make sure that high C speaks readily! The little guy accurately pinpointed the best piccolo for his sister, making the same assessments I was making. A little humbling to be sure. But he was spot on and very proud of himself. He wants to play the saxophone someday, and I am quite sure he will be very good.
While I have sharply reduced my own teaching schedule, Tim at FPS has increased his. The improvement I hear week after week through the walls is amazing, and something I’m not sureTim as a teacher can tell, as he is so close to the process. A youngster who in September had no idea of how to play an F Major scale is now touring the circle of keys with ease.
How about the instruments Dave Kee restores to perfection? The gratitude of customers who have their beloved instrument back in top shape is wonderful to see. We often hear, “I never thought it could sound this good!"
Of course I get tired of driving, especially when I-95 is doing its best impression of a parking lot (NOVA comes to mind) And don’t get me started on TSA security regulations which require only one layer of instruments in each bin at the security screening... And there are those times when it can be impossible to please some people no matter how hard we all try.
But all in all, I think the woman I met last week is correct. I have a great life and rewarding work, and how can you not love that?