Learning how to stop

Anyone who knows me knows I keep a very busy schedule. Usually every day of my life has something going on. Some of this is a natural result of working full time in addition to a very intense hobby of opera singing. But much of it is also a natural internal drive I have to always be doing something.

Really, one has to do with the other. I sing because I love to sing, but I would not put the time and effort into the relentless number of rehearsals and practice time needed if I didn’t have this internal drive always driving me forward. And there are a relentless number of rehearsals as I close on a show! Generally the last two weeks before a show means rehearsals every night.

But on those days I don’t have rehearsals? I often pack in seeing friends, playing Ingress, playing board games, travel to other places, or going out to other shows. Even on the rare nights I spend at home, I end up planning something I need to do around the house to be done.

And yes, this internal drive means I get a lot done, and I do a lot of things! But it also means I’m too often exhausted and discombobulated. I do have a few routines that I do to ensure that I rest from time to time, but they often are far and few between. And some friends of mine might be really familiar with how I end up going to other locations so that I am out of my frenzied life and can actually spend some time resting! (Really, I think this is why I love going camping — I force myself to rest for a weekend.)

So this year I’ve decided that I need to work on STOP. As in, I need to take more time where I just stop and rest. There have been days where I’ve just said, “OK, this is a day off, and I need to not schedule anything.” I feel awful when I tell someone that I can’t see them because I want to do nothing, it feels like I’m telling them nothing is better than them, but that’s not really what I mean! Fortunately, my friends so far have understood when I say that though.

I am looking for other ways to really embrace this though, and so I do encourage y’all to leave me messages in the various forums on how I might implement more STOP time.

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