So how’m I doing in my quest to re-invent my life, follow my evolving Blisses and create the life I really, really want?
The Big Accomplishment
Scheduling surgery, it turns out, is a lot like scheduling a vacation, but without the fun parts.
Either way, you’re scheduling in time away from work and “normal life,” but of course you want to make sure your plans don’t conflict with any pre-existing commitments, such as gigs on the calendar.
If you’re doing something fun, like going overseas, this means allowing time to get over jet-lag.
If you’re going into surgery, it means allowing time to recuperate afterwards, a somewhat less predictable variable. (Not to mention less fun. Though I must confess I’m looking forward to catching up on my sleep and reading. And typical me, I’m also hoping to use the time to practice my ukulele and maybe write some new songs. I try to buck even enforced down time…)
Anxious as I am to get my knee fixed up (and more to the point, to get as much treatment as possible covered under my now-fully-paid 2010 calendar year insurance deductible), there are a couple of factors forcing me to wait to go under the knife:
First, I’ve got a Ladies of Jazz gig on November 5 (which also happens to be my birthday!)
If I’d had the surgery last week, I could have banked on being mobile enough to make the gig (though the leg brace I’ll have to wear for 6 weeks does hamper the “uke-diva” look I’m going for onstage…)
Second, I’ve got deadlines that I won’t be able to get done until the end of the month at the earliest. Since surgery the week of my gig was out of the question, it would have to wait until after the gig.
My chosen surgeon (the guy I went to for a second opinion, as a matter of fact – go for that second opinion, people!) does surgeries on Wednesday and Friday, and Wednesday was a harder day for my support team, so Friday, November 12 it is.
I’ll have my birthday and the week after to enjoy my freedom.
So, big accomplishment of the week: I got the surgeon and date nailed down.
The elusive quest for balance
The time-panic black hole sucked me back in. You know the one: “I don’t have time to make art today! I have way too much to do!”
Then, Wednesday, I revisited an old epiphany while driving someplace or other.
Here’s the truth: I can certainly afford to spend 15 minutes making art! And more important, as I figured out in a life coaching session, when I do spend a little time making art, it makes my whole day go better.
If I can get back to my Ideal Daily Template, in which I’m making art regularly, I’ll be happier and more productive at everything else I do!
Except that the rest of the week I was out of my studio from morning til night for a conference, so there went my aspirations for getting back to my Ideal Daily Template this week.
Aw, well. As I heard some brilliant person say once, times of imbalance are part and parcel of a life of overall balance.
So there I was on Thursday, driving through rush hour traffic to get to the opening concert of the FAR-West conference for folk artists, presenters and radio programmers, sputtering curses at myself for signing up for this thing.
What the hell had I been thinking?
I knew nothing about FAR-West when I registered, except that it was supposed to be a great networking opportunity.
But with only a single set worth of original material to solo with (I’ve got hours of jazz standards I can sing with a band, but soloing is a different animal), I’m not even in a position to start soliciting headliner gigs. I was beginning to have doubts. Would this conference even be worth the time for me?
Here I am, slammed with loose ends to get tied up before my surgery, and I’m taking three days away from work??
It’s late, and I’m committed to getting back to my, well, commitment to getting to bed at a reasonable hour (an experiment I’ll have to write about later), so I’m not going to go into detail tonight, but suffice it to say that FAR-West turned out to be a fantastic investment in time and money, and I am so glad I went!
Off the top of my head:
- I heard incredible music all weekend
- I learned a ton in the panels and workshops
- I met amazing people
- I found new artists to interview for the Thriving Artists Project
- I made connections with concert series and house concert presenters that may someday turn into gigging opportunities
- I met other artists I may be able to perform with, share gigs with or collaborate with in other ways
- I found new contributors to 365 Days of Genius
- I was inspired to focus more consistently on my songwriting (yet one more item to add to my Ideal Daily Template)
- I got to jam a bit on my ukulele
- I got a great sense of what happens at FAR-West, so I’ll be prepared to leap into the deep end next year
And perhaps most important, I got a peek into the world of folk music, a world I was only somewhat aware of before, and which I think might be a new home. (Could it be that I’m actually a folk singer? It seems that umbrella is larger than I’d thought.)
But I’ll have to write more about that later, because, look at me, I’m shutting down!
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment of all.