Life is what happens when you’re making other plans. — Allen Saunders
Priorities are what unexpectedly change when you’re busy living life. –Me
Many years ago, when Andy was barely a year old, I joined a moms group. I was the only person I knew with kids, so meeting up with other moms was a relief. They knew what it was like to have no time or privacy, that sleep was the most precious thing in the world, and how everything changed with the first newborn squawk. My music friends didn’t have those experiences so it was hard to stay connected to my music world as my personal world was rocked (and continued to be rocked on the regular, tyvm twice-exceptionality). My priorities changed when I didn’t expect it, when I didn’t necessarily want them to. While I still belonged to the music world, it wasn’t the only one for me any more, even though it was my only world for a very long time.
My life is a series of overlapping spheres, building a 3D Venn diagram of me. They rotate and orbit around and within me, occasionally welcoming a new sphere but rarely dropping one. Once added, I belong to all of them and they belong to me. They are my roles, my passions, my responsibilities…the very essence of me. When I added MOM to the mix, the other spheres shifted to make room, twirling further away so the new parenting sphere could take priority. I didn’t expect that, but in retrospect it makes sense. Many of them have inched back as the boys have gotten older, which is awesome, as that’s allowed me to do more things for me.
Thing is, though…those spheres really do have a mind of their own. They can (and do) shift when you least expect it. I’ll be going about my life, doing my thing, and have the sudden realization that my priorities had changed. No warning, no inner turn signal alerting me to an upcoming lane shift, nothing. Looking backwards it’s almost always obvious, but in the moment it’s startling and often followed by deep grief for the sphere that is moving out for awhile.
I had to acknowledge recently that one of my spheres had shifted, and is floating away for awhile.
I’ve taught flute lessons for the better part of the last 25 years. My current studio is 30 strong after 7 years of hard work. I love it, I love the kids, I am a teacher through and though. And it gutted me to accept that my priorities had changed and that it was time to close my studio; I’m unlikely to open it again but I’ve also learned to never say never. There were many factors in this decision, most notably that my family needs me to bring in a more consistent and reliable income. I intend to continue playing, and hope I’ll be called for adjudication, but I’m giving up private teaching. That sphere is spinning itself to the outer ring of my personal 3D Venn diagram where it will probably come up with an interpretative dance of my life. Can’t wait to see the costumes, frankly.
The other spheres are knocking about, jostling for position now that such a prominent one is sliding away, leaving a void to be filled. I’m propping that void open, determined to fill it with a full-time-job sphere in the upcoming weeks. They may have minds of their own, but I’m conducting these spheres and I’m in charge.
Life always finds a way to surprise, doesn’t it?
As a multi-potentialite with skills and experience that don’t always transfer to traditional career descriptions well, I’m asking for a bit of help. If you know of a position (in the northern Illinois region or remotely anywhere in the world) that would well served by someone with experience in the arts, education, gifted/2e advocacy, writing, and getting things done, I’d be forever grateful if you’d drop me a note. My LinkedIn is always open, which is good, because sleep is one of the spheres I keep close to me.