Friday, September 21, 2012

Questions to ask yourself this Fall

1. What could I accomplish before Thanksgiving that I've been putting off?
Wouldn't it feel just remarkably great to get that website started?  Or get those emails sent out to announce all the great things you're doing?  Or polish those arias and sing them through for a few friends to get them set for auditions?  Make a list, and reward yourself in a small way every time you cross something off.  A bottle of wine or a manicure maybe?  Or a pair of shoes?  Even if they're from Payless, a new pair of shoes is truly a reward.  Getting things done is worth celebrating.

2. How could I better prioritize my time so that I can get everything done AND have time to spend with people I care about?
Sometimes I get so bogged down in making sure I get to work, get dinner made, practice, do the laundry, go to yoga, go to rehearsal... that I forget how good it makes me feel to spend an evening, or even a lunch with a friend I really love and trust.  It just generally reminds me that life is worth living.
Could I get up earlier for the 7 am yoga class so that my evening is more free?  Could I keep up with the laundry better so that I only have to do one load at a time, and don't wait for it to become a disaster of epic proportions?  Could I spend a day making lots of food and freezing it so that I have tons ready to go without having lots of prep time, leaving me free to have a fun happy hour with a friend, and still come home and pull off an awesome meal?  It's important to remember that spending time with loving, supportive people is one of the very best things I can do for my physical and psychological health!!! No joke...I'm sure there are studies out there...

3. What learning opportunities are available to me of which I have not been taking full advantage? 
Is there a free museum down the street you haven't been to lately?  I know there is one in my neighborhood that I don't visit nearly enough.  Each time I go I am so glad I did.  Are there cheap or free theater, opera, symphony or dance tickets available when I am free that I don't jump at the chance to snap up?  Am I supporting friends and their performances as much as I can?  Am I going to every masterclass, every coaching, every lesson I can possibly afford? Am I watching the Met performances on PBS?  (The Ring was a huge education for me, and I didn't even watch all of it!  I wish I had)

4. Am I giving compliments when I see something worth complimenting?
How many times do we each feel we are accomplishing things and doing things that feel huge to us, but that everyone around us seems not to even notice?  I can't even count the number of times I've been impressed with someone and been too embarrassed or awkward to verbalize it.  Which is so dumb, because i can think of so many times that I've gotten a two-word acknowledgement from someone I've respected and it's made my entire day.  It costs me nothing to say something uplifting to someone, and who knows, if that's the energy I'm putting out, I just might get more of it back.

5. Am I wasting time with people who do not respect me, uplift me, or do not seem interested in working on a relationship by making time and effort for it?
This goes for friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers, coaches, and pretty much anyone you are investing in that doesn't invest in you.  Have you spent love, time and energy on someone who isn't seeming really that interested in reciprocating?  It's time to start the slow, civil fade out so that you can spend that time on another person who really is there for you.  You're a singer-- you have enough to take up your time, sap your energy, and make you feel weird.

6. Am I a martyr? 
"There is nothing noble in failing to discover and cultivate your pleasures." -- Mireille Guiliano
Don't feel a bit guilty about spending the evening reading.  Don't feel bad about changing your nail polish every three days like I do, or going for long walks that mysteriously end up at a frozen yogurt place.  It's called mental health, people, and it's a good thing.

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