Kind of shocking I haven't blogged since January 2015, I know. What can I say? I've been busy is an understatement. Here's what I've been doing. I expanded my piano student group to 45 students. I taught 7 days a week in 2015, 2016 and 2017. June of 2017, I realized I'd worn myself out. I'd become cranky and stressed. I had no time to garden, no quality time with my Amazon parrot, my four other birds, my cat and my dog. I never had dinner on weeknights, I foraged instead, sometimes gobbling food as late as 9 PM. I slept 6 hours and not restfully. My brain couldn't rest with all I had to do and wanted to do.
I didn't notice Chico, my Amazon, wasn't himself. When I did, three days before he dropped to the bottom of his cage and died, it was too late. My fault entirely. I will never forgive myself. Right then, I decided life had to change.
I cut my teaching schedule to 6 days a week. Monday became my day off, to refresh, rejuvenate and write the book I'd been working at in dribs and drabs for several years. I signed up with a book coach to give myself deadlines, to get feedback, to keep my writing going. I stopped writing short stories despite having had success with a number of them being published, with being nominated for a Pushcart Prize, with being short-listed in a writing contest. I devoted all my down time, as little as it was, to the novel, a YA story.
Between 2018 and 2019, I completed the manuscript. I also signed up to be trained and certified as a book coach myself. I didn't think it though. Once again, I thought I could do it all. Now in 2019, I've come to the realization I've taken on too much and another life revision is in order. My book has been sleeping in a computer file, waiting for me to cut all the waste words (was, and, just, so, very, rather, really, quite, in fact...etc.) before I send it to an editor for final review. After that will be query time, the quest to be traditionally published.
There have been family challenges, not to be detailed here along with all else. Through all of it, students have grown, progressed, achieved, moved on to college, and newbies have joined the studio to begin the cycle all over again for me. Teaching music is wonderful, rewarding, engaging and plain fun. Daily I am grateful for the work I do.
I simply need to be better at maintaining balance. So here I am, with a blog post four years late, looking forward to lessons this afternoon, to the great book I am reading (PS I took on the challenge of reading 100 books this year. I am behind at 55--another overdoing it thing!), and to tomorrow morning when I will open my manuscript to cut, cut, cut those waste words.
Here's to finding and maintaining balance!