Note to Self: Chill

I caught myself being negative lately- so not me, and something that I need to think through and work to redirect back to my usually positive mindset. The culprit? I made the mistake of looking at the entirety of the obligations I have taken on this semester. I, the woman who is famous for taking on too much may have finally surpassed the maximum capacity for what I am able to do well…and stay sane. I know better than to think about it all at once. I always do much better when I focus on and conquer one thing at a time. The problem this time is that everything takes place in just over two months- a trip to California for an artist training; three different recital tours to Texas, Florida, and Tennessee; a performance at a national conference in Santa Fe; a faculty recital, and a performance at a symposium in Alabama. All wonderful and exciting things…but just perhaps too much of a good thing. Along with all of that, a very full teaching load, committee duties, and my work as an officer for my professional organization. Oh, and my husband just had shoulder replacement surgery last Monday. My cup runneth over. 

I started to have a good old-fashioned freak-out this evening about it all. Would Dan be healed enough from his surgery to be by himself and care for the animals while I’m away? Can I really have all that music learned in time? How am I going to make up all the lessons and obligations I will miss? How will I keep up the house and yard work? When will I learn to say no? And then..Stop. Just stop. Time for a reality check. 

Yes, this will be a challenging few months, but I am doing what I love more than anything In the world. How fortunate I am to be able to say that. I’m getting to travel and meet new people, see new things. I am making music with wonderful people, honing my craft. I have always been busy-I seem to thrive on having many plates spinning at once. Mom used to say that I run around like my hair is on fire all the time. It’s time for me to focus on the positives, the blessings, do the work to prepare, and jump in and do my best. Go back to conquering one thing at a time. That is manageable. I can do that. As I tell my students, once you’ve done everything you can to prepare, you have to let go and accept that no matter what, you’ve done the best you can do, and that’s all anyone can ever expect from you. Time yet again for the teacher to listen to her own lessons. I am trying so hard to get better at giving myself the permission to be human, imperfect, one day at a time. 

The UAB Chamber Trio…

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