It's been a long time, before this past month or so, that I've worked seriously on a concerto. I've never actually performed a concerto in its entirety, despite having learned a few, and I probably performed more concerto movements for my juries (for the non-musicians, juries are performance final exams, where the student plays and is evaluated) than I ever did in public. And, to be honest, even those movements were over my head at the time, and getting through the jury was more about survival than musicianship.
But that's no way to play a concerto.
As I am polishing and struggling and working my way through this piece of music, I'm thinking about how long it's going to take me to learn it at even the most rudimentary level. But I can get there. And then how long it may take to get to the point where I can play it really comfortably...and then, how long will it take for me to REALLY be able to perform this piece of music. I'm certain that it's going to be a long time.
Then again, I have a long time. I don't have any set date by which I need this piece to be ready. I have an idea in my head about places to perform it, but nothing that requires me to know it even by the end of this calendar year. So I can take my time and immerse myself in the playing of this concerto, which is really what a performer should do anyway.
The execution should be flawless, the performance effortless. The work behind it diligent and painstaking. Rewarding. Not necessarily fun, at least not until the "hard work" is done.
It's also my main source of "me" time.