Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Jack Of All Trades

Photo by Josh Geyer

"Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than master of one."

That's me. A true Renaissance woman.

In the beginning, I was a little girl who dreamed of growing up to be a piano teacher. Towards that end, I earned a Master of Music degree - although in this day and age, a doctorate is really essential in order to be considered a "master." I got married, established a home studio, and strived to be the best piano teacher I could be.

A few years later, my then-husband and I started our family. I ran the household and raised children; piano teaching dovetailed with those tasks, as I had hoped they would. To further help make ends meet, I got a part-time job in a sewing machine store; I learned how to sew and I learned the art of sales. I made clothing for myself and my boys; I taught classes in quilting and heirloom sewing and English smocking and sold sweatshirts I painted myself.

In 1994, we moved to Atlanta. Piano teaching fell to the wayside, but I taught my boys how to read and write and do arithmetic; we baked cookies and made nature journals and went on field trips. I wrote articles and spoke to home school groups about the teaching methods I discovered; I even developed an all-day seminar on how to homeschool.

Long story short, my marriage ended in May, 2001. I continued to teach my children while returning to my roots as a piano instructor. Ten years later, I have relinquished my role as home schooling parent but taken on the challenges of jewelry design and fiction writing. My life has become a three legged stool: Asberry School of Music, The Wishing Box, and Author Pam Asberry. Single parent and dog whisperer, friend and sometimes lover.

I expect a lot from myself. I work sixteen-hour days and actually feel guilty when I sleep. The only thing I'm absolutely sure about is the piano teaching; the rest is a time-consuming experiment, a leap of faith. But there's no going back. I'm honing my skills, making personal connections, pushing the limits of possibility. My universe keeps expanding.

Today, though, I felt myself coming apart at the seams. I woke up exhausted, my body ached, and the weight of the world was on my shoulders. My piano students have a festival and performances at area assisted living centers looming in the next couple of weeks; I must continue to improve my photography/marketing skills and add new pieces to my Etsy site; my novel is begging to be finished and revised.

But wait, there's more. My children need me. And I am oh so tired of waking up alone.

Still, I dragged myself to my weekly meeting with my critique partners, my forever friends. I printed my five pages and arrived armed with ideas. The three of us had a lovely breakfast and completely nailed down our first group project. Then there was a tiny disagreement over something absolutely trivial and I completely fell apart.

I cried all the way home.

I'm not sure how to fix this. I don't know how to prioritize when everything is a priority; I don't know how to do the next thing when there are so many things to choose from. My daily schedule would exhaust a machine; I never quite live up to my expectations, but I feel that I have to keep trying.

Oftentimes, I wish I didn't want so much. Sometimes I think I am too smart for my own good; other times I beat myself up for the stupid decisions I have made.

And if I ever knew how to relax, I have completely forgotten.

As my children often remind me, I am beyond middle-aged, as it is highly unlikely I will live to be 102. So what am I doing, trying to reinvent myself at 51?

I'm doing the best that I can, that's what.


Carley said...

That's everybody's life story @ some point with such variations of events & different scenarios. The ups & downs of living in a nutshell of expectations not met, failures, & yet all you can do is the best you can @ the time & realize human limitations. When one has done all they can with human limitations & limited vision then we know & either have already or come to the point where we continue to do the best we can with what we have & leave the rest up to God Who has all the answers & can do the impossible with our lives. Don't box yourself or God in. Anything is possible with God's help & if it His will. Just like Jesus prayed on the cross--"Father, if it be Thy will let this cup pass from me" When we get to that point then we know we can expect Him to take over & His will may not be the same as the goal or the path we are looking for, but we will know that whatever happens when we put Him in control that He is working for the good for all those who love Him as promised in Romans 8:28 You are expecting too much of yourself or even a good machine to keep doing. In short don't expect so much of yourself!

Pam said...

i love you, Mom!

unstoppablestart said...

And when it comes time to blog about our are mine. I love you, Pam!

 Casey Geyer said...

I think you're doing pretty damn well! I'm really proud of your writing and your beading and whatnot, and I actually think it's cool that you're letting yourself evolve as you get older.

Pam said...

Humble thanks, Lindy. It's gonna be a wild ride!

Pam said...

Wow, Casey. You just made my day.