Knowing, Doing, Being | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Knowing, Doing, Being

Today I start teaching voice lessons again.

On the one hand, I really do love to teach voice lessons. Nothing is quite like guiding a student to figure out how to use her voice properly. It is so exciting to see great progress and to know that I was a part in helping unlock the door to singing beautifully. It energizes me.

On the other hand, teaching voice lessons tends to detract from the more important things in my life. Like my children. The three years I spent in Cedar City, trying to be a mother and run a studio at home, at SUU and at Tuacahn was really exhausting and I know my children suffered for it. My home definitely suffered for it, and lots of other things did, too. It was just difficult for me to find a balance.

I learned a lot these last three years, and I really hope that I can apply those things now, so that my priorities and energies are much more in line than they have been in the past. Of course, at this point, I only have one student, so it shouldn't be too difficult. But I will have more and I will need to keep things checked.

I have really loved the last few weeks. Not having moving looming on the horizon, and not having to be anything other than a mother, a wife and a homemaker has been wonderful. My house is unusually clean. I spend more quality time with my children. They actually get an after school snack, help with their homework and practicing, and a listening ear--all from their mother!

I tried before. But, being pulled in so many different directions, I don't feel like I ever truly succeeded. I knew what needed to be done, but failed so many times in the execution. And by simply not doing something I knew I should do, I started to become something I didn't really want to be.

I'm hoping to reverse that process. Even if I have to take on more vocal students than I really want to, I'm not going to let that get in the way of the things that matter most.

Not only will I become an excerciser, but I will be the mother I know I need to be, first and foremost.


  1. I know what you mean about the teaching thing. I just started teaching piano lessons, and I really love it! I'm sad to have to take a break while I have my baby!

    Isn't it funny how balance is the key to everything in life? If something isn't working out quite right it's probably because the balance of something is off!

  2. What a great post Lara. I sometimes tend to let other things get in the way of what's most important too. I have to constantly remind myself that time with my children is most important and that other things can wait.

  3. I think you know from my own posts how I've been struggling/working through prioritization right now too, so I appreciate your insights and the good reminder it is to me.

  4. I think that prioritizing can often be difficult. I know I struggle with it. Good luck with your new endeavors!

  5. That balance...I never achieved that balance. There was always the "teacher" thoughts going, the "mom" thoughts going, the "friend, wife, calling" thoughts going. The worries about not doing enough in all areas, about doing too much in one area... It got to be too much for me eventually. Here's hoping you find the right balance so that I can have hope that I can go back to teaching when it's right.

    Gee, that probably was NOT very helpful. I'm sorry. You WILL find that lovely balance because you are way more capable than I was. :) So there. Go go go! You'll love it!!!!!

    (That ended more positively than it started, didn't it?

  6. I hate to quote her because so many people don't like her but Dr. Laura says balance is a myth- there are only choices.

    I've chosen to get in over my head before too and it's hard. There is so much opportunity in the world that it's hard to set aside what we can do and be in order to move our own children forward on the path to becoming all they can do and be.

    Ramp up slowly with the vocal students and pick your opportunities very carefully- that whole "Good, Better, Best" thing.

    You have a good perspective- I'm sure you'll make the best choices for your own family.

  7. I think it is so important to know your limits. Once you know your limits, I believe that it is so much easier to get done what you want to get done. I know how far to push myself and when to lay off. It also helps me stave off the blues if I don't expect too much from myself. Of course, I think it's important to push oneself a bit though. How will I ever get better otherwise.
    Excellent post, Lara.

  8. Well, I think it's all been said by you and in the previous comments. It's all about the balance.

    Good luck, friend. I'm working on it too.

  9. Oh, how you inspire and energize me.

  10. Balance is such a tricky thing. Especially as a Mother. It's a constant pull between needing to be totally devoted to our children, but also not losing ourselves in the process.

    One of the reasons i didn't auditon for Jekyll & Hyde recently. I was bummed, but the 5 night a week rehearsal schedule was too great a sacrifice. One day.

    You are a wonderful Mother, Lara.

  11. I've done the same thing with my writing--getting pulled a bit too far the wrong direction and having to realign priorities. It's hard to adjust, but on days when I do things right, I can just SEE a difference in my kids and FEEL it in the house. It's worth it.

  12. I really just try not to focus on work -- although I dread the days I have to go. I just try and focus on being the best mom I can while that's what I'm doing, and the best nurse I can when that's what I'm doing.
    Be, all that you can be.
    Maybe we should join the army, I'm sure it's easier than being a mom. :)

  13. I feel exactly the same way with piano lessons! Good luck to you, figuring out how to delegate your time.

  14. How was day 2 of being an exerciser?
    I have to live vicarioulsy through you right now, because, after being diligent nearly 6 out of 7 days a weeks for the past bunch of years, I pulled (or tore)a muscle. An important one. The one on the backside of my groin. TMI I know, but I have had to HALT for the past week and hobble around on crutches. All because I overstretched one day.
    I probly should just blog this...

    And I applaud you for setting your priorities straight!

  15. I am so grateful life is a little less stressful for you! Phew!

  16. Yeah, I don't have many demands on my time and I still don't get a lot of those things done.

    I think it's mainly pregnancy exhaustion but then it will be newborn exhaustion and then it will be toddler exhaustion, and I probably need to think of a different solution.

  17. Oddly enough, I just had a very similar conversation with my husband this evening. I was telling him that I struggle working part-time because I don't feel like I can be "great" at anything. When heavy deadlines approach, my house becomes a wreck, dinner becomes fast food or something not so good for any of us and I feel my daughter suffers because I lose my patience ever so easily.

    It is definitely a struggle and a hard balance to find. However, I do try to think that at least I don't have to work full-time and I have that much more time with her that some people don't ever get.

    I wish you the best finding that balance.

    But, your girls look very happy, and that is truly what matters, isn't it?!?! :)

  18. Right now with my job and school in the evenings I am feeling like I get about a B- in my mothering grade. I was home and 100% for 18 years, but now have found myself back out again. I am loving it because I am learning new things and being challenged, but it is hard on my conscience. We have put off dinner until 7:15 each night so we can all spend that time together, but it is tough to fit everything in. I am so glad you are getting more mom and wife time. It is time we can never ever get back!

  19. Good for you! Finding balance is such a tricky thing to do. I have never mastered it and feel I have failed the most at being the best mom I could be while I had my kids at home. Now I don't have them with me and I regret every moment I put them on the back burner while I finished some other project that doesn't even matter now. Can I rewind and do it all over again? Good Luck in finding and keeping balance and most of all in being the best wife and mother you can be.

  20. Perhaps if you meet and exceed the total number of students that is good for your family, a little raise of the rates will be in order. Seriously, you are a gifted teacher and your time is worth a premium. If you have only a small number of motivated students who are willing to pay a more premium price, you can have your time and your income, and your sharing of your talent. It would be win-win, all around. You should think about that when/if the time arises.

  21. I agree about raising your rates, at least as something to think about. Please don't undervalue yourself!

    But as someone who has to learn and re-learn these same lessons all the time (will I ever get it right?), I'd like to add that all of this is a process. You're trying to figure out the balance between your family and your career, both of which are important. You'll get there, just maybe not all at once. So don't be too hard on yourself—your family knows you and understands you, and loves you all the more for what you do. You'll find that balance, and it's the process itself that will make you stronger.

  22. I work very hard in trying to teach Mandy one important thing, How to use the word NO. She is horrible at saying NO. No money is worth craziness. When the joy of something is gone, why do it? Just a thought.