Making music is what counts to me. I have just come back from 15yrs paternity leave into brass banding and am loving every minute I have my Flugel in hand. I don't really care what we are playing nor what those around me are doing, I just try and concentrate on everything I am doing and try and do it better than last time.
Personally, I love the playing variety in our band. We have some great players, some budding players and some who will never improve as they don't put the time in, but they are all great characters who come along to be part of an institution that stretches back nearly 200 years and take pride in being able to carry on such a fantastic tradition.
Sitting in a bandstand on a sunny Sunday afternoon is the ultimate for me. Whether we play Sousa, Rossini, Peter Graham or Harry Potter, I am quite happy and yes, we sometimes play too loud as it is hard to play confidently and quietly, but I maintain my volume as written and wait for the the conductor to quieten the over blowers - we get there in the end.
I agree it's all about how you feel. I love it, it makes me buzz and for that I am very grateful.
I hope you all find your own personal satisfaction, however you decide to make music...