Today is #quarantineday20 in my house, and I wanted to reach out and check in. How are you?
I've taken some time these past few days to stop, shut off the screens and take a breather, and it was a much-needed step into reality -- the reality where life happens close-up, not through Zoom meetings, news apps or a television screen, but through time with family, checking in on close friends, taking a good long run.
During this time, I’ve had the chance to begin coming to terms personally with my own adjustment (or lack thereof) to the “new normal.” From the week of my own crazy fast studio transition and subsequent article, I’ve felt immense pressure to press into my work and get
musicians like you timely and relevant information to help you cope as changes sweep over your part of the world. As I worked, I felt a sense of purpose, a unity with friends and colleagues in the global music industry. I’ve also felt guilt over not knowing what schoolwork my kids are or aren’t doing while I was writing or on call after call. I’ve had the post-videoconferencing head and back-aches, I’ve done the kid homeschool setup/house rearranging, and I’ve fallen waaay off the wagon with my own personal routine of daily exercise and general rule of “carbs only at dinner.”
I felt I needed to back off and regroup, and then I felt guilty for needing that space. Anyone else been there? … For me, that just about covers weeks one and two.
I felt I needed to back off and regroup, and then I felt guilty for needing that space.
Then, a friend reminded me to give myself a “seasonal pass” on this time and not to hold myself to the same level of expectations as I had before the pandemic hit. I’m thinking back to my January 30 article on being a Time Mercenary, when I was killing it with my time management strategies... Well, Erica of January Past, it’s just not the same season of life. Not. Even. Close.
As an aside, I sincerely love the idea of a seasonal pass because it sounds like I could be somewhere fun, like Disneyland, instead of sheltering in place... Just look at how much fun this lady is having. ⤵
Or this guy. ⤵
Once I started to give myself a “pass,” things started to let up. I began taking more walks with my family and calling dear friends instead of scrolling social for the next bit of news. I began to stretch and breathe and pray again, which led to more space to remember all the things that mattered and put them in their place.
I’m not there yet, but I know I’m on the mend. I know that I’m on my way to a better place for my family, my students, my community, and you, BackstageForum friend, because I’m taking time to see straight.
So I guess what I’m saying is that you should feel free to do the same, in whatever way works for you.
Well, Erica of January Past, it’s just not the same season of life. Not. Even. Close.
Don’t be afraid to push the pause button and recalibrate. I encourage you to give yourself a seasonal pass on perfection or January-level achievement. What our clients and families need from us is not the perfectly executed Skype lesson, which you just learned how to do with great aplomb.
What they need is reassurance that it’s ok to be human. They won’t get that assurance until we give it to ourselves, and model it to them. They need to see that we’re walking with them, seeking to understand and working to adapt right along with them. They need, just as much as I needed, to be told that it will be OK. That it’s OK to feed their kids quesadillas for every meal for a little while. That it’s OK to have a family jam session instead of nightly practice… or maybe not to practice at all. That there’s grace for things to not be perfect while we look forward to the good things to come... in their own time.
So that’s me… hands down, #nofilter. How are you?