Lately my life has been a delicate balancing act, a long series of check marks on the "to do" list, a supreme effort to meet the needs of family and friends while also fulfilling a myriad of responsibilities to work (in all its incarnations). It's been a bit of a struggle, keeping all the appropriate balls in the air, and I finally understand why the jugglers are my favorite of all circus performers! Today was a typical example - leaving the house at 6:30 am, and driving to Oak Harbor, Ohio (about 100 miles) to accompany my friend L.'s children's choir at their competition. I was gone for about five hours, and played the piano for a total of eight minutes.
Then our dinner was delayed while I waited for a call from my new friend, A., the director of the high school choir. We had agreed to meet at my house to make a CD recording of accompaniments for one of the choirs who are doing a church program next week which I can't attend. (We were supposed to do this yesterday, but someone at school had "borrowed" the CD recorder and hadn't returned it.) Tonight, A. was behind schedule, and didn't arrive here until 6:30. So I spent two hours this evening recording.
I never thought I would be described as a workaholic, but I'm beginning to think this appellation fits. The term is usually applied to doctors, lawyers, and business types, but seems to fit this creative person more than I care to admit. Of course, I've been in this situation before - musicianship tends to take over your life, sort of like the trumpet vine growing on my backyard fence. No matter how many times I try to chop it back, even cutting it right down to the roots, it sprouts up with a vengeance and spreads maniacally all over my yard.
Most of the time, playing music kind of gets me high. It's my drug of choice, really, and even though I might be dragging my butt out the door to a performance, once I get there and start playing, it's like a shot of adrenaline. Tonight's a prime example. Three hours ago, I felt like roadkill. But after spending the last two hours at the keyboard I'm completely rejuvenated. I could go out dancing (if I could dance, that is!)
But like any junkie, it's all too easy to let the drug rule your life, let it interfere with your family relationships and work responsibilities, let it become the thing for which you'd sell your soul. I have to be careful about that, because when that happens, when you start to lose your balance on that tightrope, it's easy enough to go into freefall and land in a heap.
I'm thankful to have this thing I love - this passion for music, and the ability to do something with it. I've been thinking a lot lately about other ways I could use it - but I don't dare mention these to anyone in my family! For the time being, though, I think I need to make a slight correction on my balancing act, realign my stance, and settle into a safer spot on the rope.
How about you? What are you balancing on the tightrope of your life?