Last week started out as good as it could get! Sunday was family day on the aircraft carrier so we went underway for the day to experience life on the ship. My spouse is a shooter; he launches and recovers aircraft on the flight deck. This video gives you a glimpse of his job (Hint, shooters are in the yellow vests. Gotta have fun on the boat somehow!). Best part of the day was the air show at sea. It. Was. AWESOME. Helicopters, fast roping, catching and launching aircraft, and hearing a sonic boom. To be so close to the jets on the flight deck and get even a partial experience of what his job is like was incredible.
Fast forwarding two days, I woke up with an itchy feeling in my throat. I had been on a ship all day, touching every handrail in sight and in close quarters with lots of people. Singers, you know this feeling; the dread that it's not going to go away with more water, that you're doomed to a cold. All of my best efforts to stave it off were in vain and by the evening, I was just miserable. I had an audition scheduled over the weekend and unfortunately had to cancel. I couldn't phonate even halfway up the staff and was attached to a box of tissues. Since the audition was during his pre-deployment leave, we had booked an AirBnb for the weekend to be able to travel together and experience the city. It was already paid for and too late for a refund so we decided to go anyway. The trip was physically exhausting (sick person keeping up with healthy person), but what a difference it makes to take an actual vacation instead of a working vacation.
Almost all of the times I travel, it's for a gig or an audition. Most times my spouse travels, he's taking a class or completing training for his job. It has sadly been six years since we've traveled together to only spend time with each other and not have work brought along! Even when I'm not gigging, there are many things on my plate. Translating, memorizing, emailing, updating materials and website, practicing, learning that new aria for my audition package, planning social media posts, etc. Because I work for myself, I have no limits to my day and rarely have a cutoff for when work is done and it's time to be off the clock. This makes me feel like I have never-ending lists and am not accomplishing anything. I didn't realize how much I need to make a change in my routine until this trip to NYC. I came home still not feeling well in body, but being recharged in mind. I had finally taken a true vacation to enjoy food, performances, and spend time with my spouse.
As I had written here in January, I left audition season feeling very burned out and have been using this spring to recover. Realizing that my at-home routine isn't working for me was a lightbulb moment and something I need to take action on. I'm still trying to narrow down exactly what changes I'm going to make but know this is a key to staying motivated and feeling creative.
What is your daily routine like? Do you take time each day for yourself? How do you self-manage if you work at home? Would love to hear about how you structure your work life to make room for your personal life.