Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Balancing Act - Volume 2

What a difference a week (or two) makes! The last few weeks have been a whole new world. Besides a busy 4th of July weekend with 3 weddings, I've had little work. My mom came in town for 10 days and we did some touristy stuff, (Brooklyn Promenade, Chinatown, some other stuff I can't remember) some eating (V-Spot, Los Mariachis) and went to see some movies (Cheri, Whatever Works). It was nice. But now my schedule is pretty free. A little too free, maybe.

I don't feel too worried about it, as I have a fair amount booked through September, and some other gigs sprinkled here and there through November. But nevertheless, with all this spare time, I sometimes get that panic-y feeling about where my next paycheck is coming from.  I usually try to squelch any bad thoughts about not having enough as soon as they appear, but nevertheless, sometimes they seep in anyways. 

I have found from personal experience, that the more I worry about money, the less money appears in my life.  If I don't worry about money, all is well, simple as that. I'm not saying that I just sit around on my butt and eat grapes and wait for the money to come rolling in, but if I stay creative, continue to hone my craft and don't panic, everything turns out fine. Better than fine, really.  I've been a professional musician for almost 10 years now, and haven't starved (yet).  So far, so good.  

My main problem, when I have a lot of free time, is motivation. Sometimes I feel great. Like super great!!!!!!  For example, one day this week I decided I should go for a bike ride, train for a 5K run, start a new practice regime, write an album, work on my blog, order every exercise informercial product known to man, learn another language (or two) and study for the GRE so that I can start a PhD in ethnomusicology. But there are other days, days that come all too frequently, where it's hard for me to do much of anything and I do a lot of laying around, trying to muster up the energy to become interested in something. However, I realize that this is more of a dysfunction of my personality, as opposed to a dysfunction of being a musician. Sigh.

Someone in the business once told me that you should try and enjoy your time off as much as you can, because your time on will be crazy. In general, I have found this to be good advice and truth; Sometimes I'm super busy, and sometimes I have so much free time, I'm not sure what to do with myself.  The hardest part for me is to figure out how to enjoy my time off.  Should I stay in bed and read all day?  Go out and see the sights??  Should I try to be productive?  Work on my website? Watching TV sounds good.  Wonder what's on Oprah today? Maybe I'll anxiety for awhile instead... I want to be rested for my next turn in the rat race, but I don't want to be so rested that I turn into a blob and want to shoot myself.

I guess it comes down to that balancing act again.  Not just between long days and months of hard work, followed by long days or weeks to myself; But also between productivity and relaxation for those times off, so one can feel both rested and excited when the work picks back up again.  Find other projects to focus on and set goals about.  Train for that 5K and hang out with friends.  Start working on new music and start reading a good book.  Write a little, maybe do some housework (God forbid) and watch that Oprah show.   Sounds like a good life to me.  

1 comment:

  1. This speaks to me in many ways. I, too, have issues with motivation/activity. I have spurts of inspiration, where I clean or organize or what have you, until the wee hours of the morning. And then days where I don't want to do anything. I find, for me, the tv is a big problem. I really get sucked in and suddenly 6 hours have gone by. I really have to deprive myself of distraction. I think when I get back to NY, I will have a list. One will be things I need to do, and the other will be things I want to do (like places in the city I want to visit.) And I will have to cross off something each day. Maybe I should do that now...