Since the very beginning of this year, I have had several unusually chaotic and overly stressful weeks. At any given time it seemed, someone was sick, a deadline was looming or any manner of crisis was trying to rear it's ugly head. It was tough few weeks, but I made it through unscathed, and my little family doesn't seem to be any worse for the wear.
What's more, I actually emerged from those tough weeks somewhat happier, more peaceful and feeling as though things were still happening for me. It's amazing, because to a certain extent - that is not me. I am a secret pessimist. Yet, these days, despite my bouts of stress, my messy home and the calendar I cannot seem to manage, I am doing well and really sensing that life is as it should be.
My first epiphany - or life discovery of the year is this.
Before I start - let me disclaim - this is my discovery for today. Next week I may be a miserable sobbing heap questioning the validity of it all. Epiphany #1:
The more fun I have - the less pressure I put on myself
The less pressure I put on myself -the more productive I am
The more productive I am - the more I achieve.
Here is my take on this revelation: When you are having fun - fear is not as much of an issue. In the midst of your joy you find yourself doing those things that you were previously to worked up, stressed or just plain scared to do.
I actually went to a jam session - invitation courtesy of a close friend of mine. I was a 40 something in the midst of talented 20 somethings and had the nerve to take my guitar and play. The last time I did something like that was over 25 years ago, when I used to frequent jam sessions and coffee houses. Well, I was a mess. My guitar playing was just...sad. I was self-conscious and anxious when I started, but by time I finished playing, all embarrassment and anxiety had gone. So much so that the next thing I knew, I was standing next to a piano in a house I had never been, surrounded by musicians and singers I didn't know, singing My Funny Valentine for the very first time. A song I love and know so well it's a part of my DNA. I sang with my eyes closed and hand over my heart. I sang it as if it I was alone in a room with just the pianist and my husband. I don't know what everyone else felt while in those moments as I sang. For me, those were four beautiful moments.
I'm gonna do it again...real soon.