Relaxation or laziness?

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There’s a fine line between taking much needed thinking/recovery time and just being lazy – and I’m not quite sure which side I’m on just now!

Towards the end of last year I was struggling to deal with the double whammy of a break up and a series of set-backs in taking forward singing professionally. And I made things much harder by pushing myself to recover quickly – I couldn’t mend the relationship but I hoped at least to be able to take forward the singing. But I underestimated just how deeply these blows had affected me, and how long I really needed to recover.

Having problems simultaneously in different parts of your life makes it so much harder to cope with each than it would be if they came along individually. The problems were also all compressed into such a short period of time that I had almost no time to process my emotions as they came up, so lots of the stored up emotion took time to really make itself felt. My ex’s sudden termination of communication left me with a lot of unanswered questions and unexpressed feelings. And all the time I heard in my head a drumbeat of “it’s almost too late, it may already be too late” to take forward my singing – which was tormenting me because at that time I was unable to practice, still less take forward my audition plans. It all added up to a really difficult time.

Eventually, with the help of some wise friends, I started to give myself space to
recuperate, to accept just how much I needed space and time – to think, to feel deeply, to recover. And almost immediately I started to feel so much better!

That was several weeks ago, and I’m doing hugely better. So I wonder now if I’m getting too comfortable. There’s something addictive about having low expectations of yourself, and allowing yourself to do whatever you like, because you’re convalescing. Yes, I needed some down time. But there are also things I want to do, plans I want to take forward, and I don’t want to get stuck in an endless period of reflection!

My favourite of Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements is the last: always do your best (no more and no less) and recognise that this changes from day to day. It’s a good principle to try to live by!

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2 responses to “Relaxation or laziness?

  1. Just found a fantastic article on TED.com on exactly this – the concept of good slow versus bad slow!

    Carl Honore praises slowness

  2. Pingback: Singing, practice and expectations « Words that sing

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