Guess what I did today?????
For the first time ever, I played on an English Horn!!
Sometimes I forget why I am doing all this but today I got a sweet reminder. My first few notes were clumsy but then I relaxed and let the air work better and suddenly I was getting a decent sound out of it. My new friend also remembered that the reason I am playing oboe is because of "Swan of Tuonela" so she promptly placed the music for it in front of me and I played through about half of it. Then I played several other of my favorite excerpts. I didn't want to stop playing because it felt so wonderful.
I'd always worry that whenever I got to play EH that it would be a struggle. Instead if felt quite natural. And it was so,so satisfying to hear its unique sound coming out through me.
It was pure bliss. :-D
And now I know I am not doing all this in vain.