Monday, May 28, 2012

Attacked By Days

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.
~ Jennifer Yane

Saturday was one of those days. My son started his new job at Waffle House at 7AM; I dropped him off, came home and practiced piano for a few minutes, took a shower, put on a pretty dress, and drove to Piano Works in Duluth - a thirty-minute drive - to accompany a friend and colleague who played the first movement of a Mozart piano concerto in her student recital at 10AM. I came back home, pulled together recital programs and goodie bags, picked my boy up from work at 2PM, then was back at Piano Works for my own students recital, which started at 3:30. Afterwards, I joined a student and her family for dinner - the only relaxing thing I did all day - before I came home and collapsed.

Everything ran smoothly. The piano concerto went well and my students played exceptionally. Despite this, by the end of the day, I was physically, mentally and emotionally depleted. Which is the case more often than not. When a person wears as many hats as I do, it isn't obvious how the crazy can be avoided. But there have been many extra stressors this spring, and they are finally taking their toll on me. My complexion is sallow; my skin is dry. I can't fall asleep at night and then wake up tired. I burst into tears over nothing. Give me a reason and the crying becomes hysterical.

Something's got to give. On Thursday, I am traveling to Tahiti with a girlfriend who won an all-expenses paid cruise and invited me to be her guest. Tahiti! I have spent a few minutes reviewing my French and taken a stab at reading a biography of Paul Gauguin. But I feel woefully unprepared for what I am about to experience. I expect I will be tossing my clothes and toiletries into my carry-on bag Wednesday night and staggering sleep-deprived into the airport to catch my 7:15 flight the next morning. I spent yesterday and today reviewing seventy pages of manuscript for submission into the unpublished Maggie Awards; tomorrow and Wednesday I teach in addition to providing chauffeur service for my high schooler who tomorrow alone is scheduled to work at two different locations, visit the orthopedist, and go to another job interview.

Yes, I am very much looking forward to unplugging, to spending lazy days on beautiful beaches and exploring a part of the world I never even imagined seeing. I am hoping this will clear my head and heart from the sludge that fills them now and that I will come home rested and restored, excited again about doing the work I believe I was put on this earth to do. I am going to ceremoniously bury my fear and hopelessness in the sands of Tahiti, for it is fear and hopelessness that are keeping me from my dreams. And as my friend Denise keeps reminding me, the Universe has already dreamed a bigger dream for me than I can ever dream for myself.

I don't want to miss it.


S.M. Carrière said...

You certainly deserve a break. I have a trick you might find useful. It was taught to me by a High School friend of mine.

If ever you're feeling overwhelmed, stop, close your eyes and take ten long, slow breaths.

Open your eyes and resume. Repeat as often as necessary.

Make sure you have fun in Tahiti! You deserve it.

Pam Asberry said...

You know your life is out of control when you have to be reminded to breathe, S.M. Thank you. And I *WILL* have fun in Tahiti. :-)

Janel Gradowski said...

Enjoy your time in Tahiti! Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery to make a world of difference in our attitudes. Bury those burdens on the beach and build a sandcastle over them. :)

Pam Asberry said...

Thank you, Janel. That sounds like a plan to me!

LisaAnn said...

This vacation will be exactly what you need! Soak it in... You deserve every single moment!

Patricia said...

I can't wait for you to get there. You deserve distance from the sludge, a chance to get a different perspective and time to begin healing.

Pam Asberry said...

This time tomorrow I will be on an airplane, LisaAnn. It's surreal. I'm starting to get excited now... ;-)

Pam Asberry said...

Thanks, Pat. Ready or not, Tahiti, here I come!