summer ennui

Lately, I feel under-inspired. I think it's because it's summer, truly summer now. The kids and I are together full-time, now that preschool is on vacay until September, and we're still finding our footing with the new routine. This includes swimming lessons, occasional playdates (that are a surprising amount of effort to coordinate, as it turns out), gardening, and a little too much television. Notice I have not included "time with a sitter so I can teach " or "time with a sitter so I can go to a rehearsal" or, for that matter, anything piano-related on that list. That's because it's summer, and I don't have a lot of work right now.

I found I had better balance over the winter, even though we were feeling cooped up inside. True, I spent so much money paying sitters so I could pretend to be a professional musician that I'm pretty sure I didn't even break even with my various teaching and playing projects, but at least I spent a few hours every week engaging in activities other than preparing snacks, washing diapers and negotiating screen time. At that time, I had a healthy interest and enthusiasm in my crafty pursuits (mostly knitting), and a healthy perspective on things like housekeeping and how the kids are doing.

You see, when there is nothing going on in my life unrelated to being a - gulp - housewife - I get a little neurotic. I get twitchy if the dishes aren't washed immediately after meals, I feel like a failure when the laundry goes unfolded for more than a day, I worry about the kids for no good reason (Daniel just sneezed OMG HE'S GOT THE SWINE FLU, Anya scratched her foot WHAT IF SHE HAS CHICKEN POX), and I waste time doing things like reading Ravelry forums about things I will never, ever knit and op-ed articles about the oil spill that make me feel helpless and depressed.

As much as I love summers in Madison, and as much as I love being with my children, I still think there can be too much of a good thing. Right now, that's what I'm experiencing. I have a lot of joy in my life - I'm not unhappy, believe it or not - but I am currently lacking that magic, healthy balance between home life and professional life. And I have some thinking to do about my long-term goals (as in, what are they?). I guess it's starting to get to me.

This means, when it comes to knitting, that I look at the sock I'm currently working on and I'm relieved I'm only an inch beyond the heel. Because that means it will take me a few more days to finish it, which means I have a few more days to think about what's next, and I have that long to postpone any planning of my next project, that long to think about my next goal. Knitting, or otherwise.


Steph said…
You ARE a professional musician. You are not "pretending." Even if the money goes straight to the sitter, by taking gigs you're still investing in a number of things that serve you professionally and will continue to serve you at the point when you have more time to pursue your career. It may not be literal money in the bank, but it's still money in the bank. You're letting those morons who treat piano like a cute housewife hobby get to your understanding of your work. It's real work, Dr. Gaeddert. Don't denigrate it.

Popular Posts