I've been having a really, really hard time striking balance in my life this last month. I have definitely been trying to run faster than I am able, and I am feeling it. My house is messier than it's been in a long time, because cleaning hasn't been too high on the priority list. My Google reader is now bursting at the seams with 1,000+ unread blogs, which I'm pretty sure I'll never get to (sorry everyone). I have been teaching my vocal lessons with so little preparation it's almost scandalous. I feel guilty about doing anything with friends, my calling is suffering, and I even told Joel we couldn't go out on a Valentine's Day date because it was just too stressful for me this weekend.
Okay, so perhaps I'm being a teensy bit overdramatic here. I do clean my house (just not very well), and I usually read at least a couple blogs every day, but I haven't been commenting much. Even if I don't sit down and actually write out lesson plans, I do think about my students a great deal and how to help them best. I have turned down only a few friend outings, I only have one Young Woman, she'll forgive me, and well...Valentine's Day can be just as easily celebrated at home as it can in some restaurant somewhere, right? Besides, I made my kids' valentines this year, and they rocked, so that's got to count for something.
But I'm still a stress case, and only two things are on my main priority list right now.
- Getting ready for Saturday's performance vocally.
- Getting ready for Saturday's performance physically.
I am spending upwards of 3 hours a day practicing these days. I've been driving my kids to their various activities with an earphone in my ear, singing along to recordings, just so I can get the practice times in. I practice in the shower, while doing dishes, and at the piano. Multi-tasking at its finest. Did I mention Joel assigned me a 20 page Italian aria to learn, along with two others in French? I've done the French ones before, so it's mostly just dusting off, but this other aria is a beast. It takes 15 minutes to sing from beginning to end. The other two are 15 minutes together. So three hours of practice doesn't even seem like all that much, really.
As far as the physical part....remember this dress?
Well, I've gained some weight since I wore it last February. But, I really want to wear it on Saturday. I've not touched a goodie for a month and a half, and it isn't making a whole lot of difference in my shape. I've exercised fairly regularly. The weight is just not coming off. (Stupid PCOS.)
I finally dared to try on the dress a couple of days ago. I was thrilled that I could (barely) zip it up, but upon walking around the house in it, I found I couldn't breathe. In fact, if I had worn it much longer, I would have passed out right there in the living room.
In case you didn't know, breathing is a pretty essential factor in singing. Perhaps if it were just a fashion show I could get away with it. But, I'm pretty sure I would faint dead away if I wore it at this point to sing opera arias.
So, I'm on a crash diet. And I'm doing as much exercise in a day as possible. A la Jillian Michaels and her 30 Day Shred. Plus my exercise bike. Really, all I need is to lose an inch or two off my waist. That can totally be done in a week's time. Right?
Anyway, these two things are stressing me out. I asked Joel for a blessing a couple of weeks ago because I was at the very end of my proverbial rope, and I wasn't sure how I could handle my life without being committed to the psych ward.
I love Priesthood Blessings. I felt so much peace after this blessing, and was promised many things. I was also given a lot of advice. One of those tidbits was to not feel bad about asking my family for help. I tend to be such an I-Can-Do-It-All-And-I-Don't-Need-Your-Help-Even-Though-I-Really-Do-And-I-Just-Prefer-To-Suffer-In-Silence kind of person, that asking for help rarely occurs to me. Even of my husband and children.
So, I've given them more chores these last few weeks. Although, Joel was out of town all last week and this week he's trying to play catch up, so that was a big bust. But I did call my mom and mention that blessing to her, and she gently reminded me that she is family, too. So, I hesitantly asked if she'd be willing to come out and help me during concert week.
And a few hours later I got an e-mail with her flight itinerary and the message, "Because I love you!" with it.
She gets here on Wednesday. And I can't wait.
Not only will she help me clean my house and keep my kids happy, but there is nobody better when it comes to motivating for eating right and exercising.
Maybe I'll even lose THREE inches off my waist.
I can only hope.