Last week I got a new contract to sing with dementia patients at a memory care center through my Musical Memories service! It’s a small contract for now, but this is a large and prestigious facility where there’s definitely opportunity for growth and expansion. And the best part is, the administrators with whom I met absolutely “get” what I’m trying to do and were incredibly enthusiastic about the opportunity to provide this kind of one-to-one musical interaction for their residents.
If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you’ll understand how important this is to me. I’d been feeling rather discouraged and not sure that I had anything of real value to offer the world. And while the support and affirmation I’ve received from my friends has been uplifting, there’s nothing like having total strangers – who happen to be experts in the field – not only tell you that what you do is important, but actually offer to pay you to do it.
However, one of the most powerful aspects of this event is the timing. I’ve known about this facility and felt drawn to it for quite a while. It’s one that’s mentioned in elder- and memory-care circles with high regard, and as a regular reader of obituaries, I’ve seen it acknowledged with great appreciation by many families who have just lost a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. And I’ve been meaning to approach them about my service to see if it would be a good fit for their residents. In fact, I’ve had a note to contact them on my To Do list for over a year. But I didn’t. For some reason, I just couldn’t make myself do it. I knew I should, but I just didn’t want to. And I have been beating myself up about it the whole time. I called myself lazy, timid, a horrible businesswoman, and every other negative name that could possibly be associated with not taking action on this.
Then last week, I had a rare and wonderful visit with a dear family member. I was bemoaning my lack of initiative, business savvy and my general unworthiness when he said, “Sounds like you just want to do this at your own pace.” It was a simple statement of fact with none of the judgment I was ascribing to it. And apparently it was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. Because without any sense of pressure or prompting, I was simply inspired to send several networking emails the next morning, including one to set up the meeting at this facility. It felt easy. It felt right. It felt time.
The spooky thing is, in that meeting, after I explained what I do, the first words the director said to me were, “You have come at exactly the right time!” He went on to say that he’d just returned from a conference focusing on the value of music for dementia patients, and he and his team had just been discussing ways to provide more individual activities for residents who are more solitary than social. Then he repeated, “Your timing is perfect!”
If I had contacted them six months or a year ago, would I not have gotten the contract? Who knows? What I do know is, sometimes in life as in music, timing is everything.