What matters

:: Practicing matters. And you can practice anywhere. (She’s practicing, on her lap, the song she’s memorized and is about to perform.)

:: Being willing to try matters. Signing up for an extra recital, in preparation for a more intense competition next week. Wearing a new dress (and running shoes; just in case). Brushing your hair.

:: Being supportive matters. Even when the recital is long. Even when there are no snacks. Even when you have to do everything imaginable to keep quiet. (Toward the end, CJ was making silent faces to entertain himself; by the last performance he was literally whacking himself on the head repeatedly, but kind of quietly. So he made it through.)

:: Performing matters. Getting up in front of an audience. Doing your best. Sharing what you’ve learned. (At this point in any recital in which any of my children have ever played, I start to cry. It’s involuntary, and happy, but I do try to rein myself in, lest I embarrass the performer.)


On this third day of writing week, I am reminded of a few more things that matter, a great deal, to me.

:: Exercise matters. Note to self: no matter how you may want to, do not sit for two days straight without taking time to go outside and move. And breathe.

:: Perspective matters. It’s hard to get perspective inside a room with a closed door. See above, plus add in kids and friends and husband.

:: Kindness and gratitude matter. I can’t write what I want to write by force.

:: Preparation matters. I am at the beginning of a project, not the middle, not the end. Here are some metaphors. You can’t go into labour if you’re not even pregnant. And, the work I need to do now is like composting. Layering information, layering ideas. It looks like waste at this stage. It won’t look so good, either, when it starts to rot. But given time, and turning, it will become rich soil. And then I can plant a new garden.


Read between the lines, and you’ll guess. This is/will be a tough week. But I’d like to note two lovely and unexpected things that have happened so far.

:: On this third day of my writing week, I wrote a new song.

:: Yesterday, the power went out, and I wrote for several hours with pen and paper. I liked it a lot. No distractions.

The week in suppers
Blinking in the sunshine


  1. Ellen

    Carrie how well I remember when my middle daughter had piano recitals and how my heart would swell and my tears I tried to hold back. It wasn’t easy. Of course she could be practicing at home and I would stop to listen, even sing along if it had lyrics I could attempt to sing to.

    Many a fine time at the piano watching her hands and her facial expressions as she played.

    Every point you made was well thought out and I could learn a thing or two from you.

    Will you be sharing your new song at some time? I did so enjoy your “Goodnight” song….

  2. Carrie Snyder

    Hi Ellen,
    I am working with my brother on recording a few new songs, and I will share them if they turn out! It’s quite a time-consuming process from beginning to end. But we keep working on it. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed “Goodnight.”

  3. Anonymous

    I really appreciate the fact that you’ve made your own website and have factually posted your thoughts. I admire your work and feel I can refer to what you’ve done. Most people can’t even imagine having such talent. I hope that you know how lucky you are. 🙂 Good luck to you in ALL your undertakings. 🙂

  4. Clare

    Oh, I know this room well. We started piano there too and had many recitals. My piano player is 15 now and juggling 2 choirs along with it. Sometimes it feels like all I do is take her to one practice or another or watch her in performance. But I love that she makes music.


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