11 January 2015

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A couple of days that taught me some big lessons about the price of keeping promises to myself. My main promises for the lifestyle I want to lead this year are that I will stretch everyday, workout 6x a week or more, and sing live twice a week. And for the winter: get outside in the daylight every day.

Saturday felt (as it had the whole week) like I was running around all over the place all day. I took my guitar in for a restring and service to a new place which is handily just down the road, but when I got there it wasn’t open and one member of staff said they’d be late (so we went for a coffee and waited, which wasn’t bad) – in the end he said I could leave my guitar with him which I did, but I was still a half-hour late for the mixing session at the studio. We spent four hours on it but did potentially finish the final masters, pending final listening – and then went for lunch (which delayed me further but I had to eat something, got to hang out with both of them and had one of the best omelettes I’ve ever tasted!) I had been planning to go to the gym first before picking up the guitar but probably was going to miss closing time.

So back to guitar shop – guitar is done! – take guitar home, change into gym kit (which I’d been carrying around), hang the laundry, take out the rubbish and head out to the gym. By this time it was already dark and it would have been the easiest thing in the world to fall into my dressing gown or into the bath 😉 but I was determined not to let anything get in the way of my gym schedule and knew I would benefit from the time out – actually had a brilliant session including leg pressing 100kg for the first time.

I got home and showered and still had an hour left to practice for Sunday night’s music club. I did a tiny bit on the album artwork (which I am having someone review on Monday so needs to be done by then) and went to bed with that and song list stress on my mind.

Sunday, we had an actual lie-in for the first time in a while and that was amazing! I also found about an hour and a half to finish the bulk of the artwork and felt better about that. Had a leisurely lunch with HH and even an afternoon nap and made it out for a quick walk before it got light – helped by the already lengthening days. I was still stressing about songs for the evening – not feeling particularly brilliant after Wednesday, guitar strings need playing in and I’m not 100% on any of my new material – the album has been the focus this week and I just have to accept that. So I decided to hang out with HH some more and although I was really torn and will really miss both singing and the crew, as soon as I made the decision not to go I felt loads better. It’s just all gotten a bit much – and we ended up having a really productive, connected conversation and a really pleasant evening as a couple.

So while I have to accept that I have already broken my playing-live-every-week promise, I dont feel too bad because with weeks ending on a Wednesday I would have broken it this week anyway, I have put in so many hours on the album, and got the guitar restrung on the week I didn’t end up needing it which is best all round. I remembered to look at the escalating plan I made late last year which would have me playing 3 gigs a week by the end of the year, and on that I only needed two for January which I already have! Woohoo! I’m cool with having one lifestyle change implemented more gradually if it means I can keep my promises on my other goals and I hope I’m able to stick with my resolve on those for much longer.

Most of all though, I learned that you can only go for so long without those things that nurture you. In effect, the choice between singing and spending time investing in my marriage is a no-lose decision – they’re both important, and they’re both crucial to the foundation of my long-term (as well as short-term!) happiness. That decision is going to go both ways on many occasions, no doubt. The way the pressure lifted today convinced me it was the better choice, and I’ve restocked the tank instead of running myself ragged, ready for a new week of excitement!

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