Almost 2 months ago I started drumming again. My old teacher was holding weekly jam sessions for advanced students on afro-cuban drumming. I love that stuff, so I went, and was completely invigorated. As time has gone by, I’ve continued to enjoy the evenings often, but also dread them a bit. Finding time to practice has been … hard. Weekdays, it feels like go-go-go until late, and late at night, with a baby sleeping and tenants downstairs, doesn’t inspire drumming practice. In all fairness, I certainly could make it work. I could tap out rhythms on my thighs just to practice the patterns. I could work on clave, which doesn’t need to be loud. I could listen to songs while I drive (maybe – if I can work out the technology). And husband has been wiped out as well, so sometimes I don’t want to abandon him in the evening with baby. And we’ve been working on earlier, regular bedtimes with baby, which happen to fall right when I’d be at drumming.
Lots of excuses. If I really really wanted or needed to drum, I’d make it happen. I guess the difficulty is that I haven’t figured out how vital it is within the spectrum of everything else going on. You see, I also want to write. I really really want to get this next article drafted and submitted for publication. It’s been a long-term project and interest (Baha’i singles), I love writing, and I feel a strong sense of obligation and excitement when I think about doing that. The plan was 15 minutes a day of writing. For the past month or more, I simply haven’t found the time to get to that. So, if I am going to carve out 15 minutes a day for something of my own, what’s it going to be? Write? Drum? Yoga? Reading? A hot bath?
What actually happens: life has been stressful lately. I have felt stressed by life of late. Whichever way you have it, my ability to plan and strategize to make things happen has been minimal. It sometimes feels like I’m sucked into a whirl of do-do-do around the house (not melodically speaking, either) which has its own energy but doesn’t like to break for personal time. Cleaning is never-ending, as is food prep, as is laundry, as is paperwork. I struggle to pause and reflect and choose consciously how to spend my time. The physicality of home and family care feels vital and all-consuming.
And then there are the times I do slow down. I focus on baby, I go for a walk, I take some time. The weekends sweep by, not much is done, and I know it was good. We had family time. But: the home/family work still awaits, and the drumming/writing still didn’t happen.
And finally: when things feel stressful, when our family is trying to figure out what to do next (the house, the house!), when I’d rather be home with baby, the only thing I want to do is purge. Or shop. And then purge. Whittling our possessions down to only those things we love and use is one big way I deal with stress. Our possessions are controllable, though our house isn’t. Being able to grasp mentally what we have, to feel mastery over it, is a peace and security I crave. So again: I don’t write, I sort through the bookshelves yet again for titles to eliminate.
My husband offered today, when I told him about drumming: why can’t we find 15 minutes a day for you to practice? I said, I want to write. His comeback: so we find 30 minutes a day for you. My response: Then there’s blogging. That makes 45 minutes.
Anyone else sensing some resistance?
I accept that our lives are in a busy, stressful time right now.
I accept that caring for my family is really important to me.
I accept that having an orderly home environment is important for my peace of mind.
I accept that if I want to pursue my passions, I need to make them a priority.
I believe that I can make time for things I want to do.
I accept that right now, I can’t do everything I am passionate about.
I accept that creating order is a never-ending process and that only I can call a time-out.
I accept that right now, my energy from earlier this evening is fading and it’s time for bed.