So, I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s Mothers Day song – I had wanted to record that standard for a while because my mother’s name is April, and Sunday seemed the perfect opportunity to finally do it. Plus, it’s a great tune! I also had a little help from Robert LaSalle mixing it and making it sound halfway decent, as I seem to be a bit incompetent when it comes to doing my own recording. This I hope to change by getting into ProTools and other commonly used DAWs, learning the basics from my Nashville friends and hopefully eventually getting to the point where I can make decent recordings on my own.
I’ve been slacking when it comes to putting up two blog posts a week! Really, I should be writing three to five, but being on the road and working three jobs makes that a bit of a lofty goal. Still, I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I’m slowing down – on the contrary, I’m just getting started!
Today, I wanted to write something about achieving balance in life. Since I began this crazy road of being a self-employed musician at age 18, five years ago, I’ve been on some bumpy roads, and I’ve had to learn a lot about how to manage everything I take on. Now that I am out in the “real world,” the balancing act has becoming akin to juggling flaming torches while tap dancing on a tightrope suspended over a lake of hungry crocodiles.
“Time” to do things has become not something I necessarily carve out, but something I have to force into each day. There’s a lot of intuition involved, and a lot of self-knowledge. And although time management is crucial, it’s become clear to me that self-knowledge is the most important, because without it, how are we to know what to manage?
Without a clear sense of values, there can be no basis for managing time, and therefore finding balance in life. Otherwise, we could be experts at juggling, but if we’re not clear on what it is that we want, juggling is really all we’re doing.
In my case, I’ve had to reflect on exactly what it is I want to be doing for the rest of my life. Do I really want to be a professional musician at all? Maybe it’s Nashville that brought this on, or maybe it’s early 20’s syndrome, but whatever the case, I’ve been going through some serious questioning.
Finally, I came to terms with how my questioning was just further postponing, avoiding, what I already know I want to do, and pretty much have always known, and that is be a recording artist. Well, also a performing and composing artist. But an artist, specifically of musical persuasion.
Naturally, the immediate reaction to this coming-to-terms was a sort of humbling shame followed by a feeling of “Wow, I have a lot of work to do!” But, luckily, it’s what I’ve always been working towards, and I couldn’t be in a better place for it.
So, bottom line: it’s good to know what we want and what we stand for before we try to seek balance. Without a solid sense of values, time management and tactical scheduling is nothing more than a vain attempt at juggling!
Have you ever had to take a step back from seeking balance in order to affirm what you’re going for in the first place? What kind of immediate feelings arose?
More on balance in the next post!