It felt like a scene from ‘The Godfather’.
Al Pacino’s raspy voice was almost audible: “Just when I think I’m out, they DRAG me back in.”
I could barely look them in the eye. Not only did I feel awful about letting everyone down, this had actually been a difficult decision to make. And it was my second attempt at it to boot!
I’d tried to quit the week before but caved in only 24 hours later, promising to ‘see how I’d go’.
It hadn’t been very difficult to talk me back just as it was now proving rather difficult to lay down my final decision. The fact is: playing in the band is a HUGE amount of fun.
Unfortunately though, this ‘there’s only 24 hours in every day – even for you, Miriam!’ thing had become an issue.
Being in a band, rehearsing & gigging is mountains of fun. Playing on stage while people are dancing, yahoo-ing & screaming for “More!…MOOORE!” is pretty cool, thank you very much. You do start feeling like a bit of a rock star – before you remember you’re just in some pub in Adelaide 🙂
Problem is – it still takes daily practise to pull it off, especially when you’ve only been playing for a couple of years like I have.
I’d been managing to keep up – just. I made it fit into my life by getting up early to practise each day. My kids became used to seeing me sitting in the kitchen with headphones, bass guitar on my lap, taking sips of coffee in between tracks.
It was working ok, I just had to stay on top of it & be really disciplined. I’d made my choice to be in a band on top of my business, mentoring & speaking commitments as well as being a mother and wife, so I did what it took.
My plate was full but still spinning fairly smoothly – most of the time.
And then – I decided to get serious about writing the book I’d been thinking about for years.
And the plate started to wobble.
“Life Balance Alert!”
If I spent the time I needed to on writing, my playing would suffer. If I spent the time I needed to on practising, my writing would suffer. I was starting to feel stressed & guilty no matter which way I turned.
And that is not how life should be, so it was time for a stock-take of my priorities in life:
So here I was: I had two creative things I really enjoy, both competing for the same spot in my life. It was like having to choose between my children!
However, when I sat down to think about it some more, it became no choice at all.
I do love the band and we worked hard to get to the stage we were at. If I had no other hobbies, interests or pursuits outside my main business & family, I’d be in the band forever. BUT.. it’s not my calling in life to be a musician. I mean, it’s great fun but not what I feel I was put on this earth to do.
On the other hand: I absolutely LOVE writing and there’s so much more than just the one book I want to create and put out into the world.
Since I started blogging, I’ve come to realise just how much my message resonates with other women out there. I mean: of course I’d HOPED it would, but like anyone who’s doing anything new, I still had the odd doubt as to whether I really had anything of value to offer or if anyone else would even care.
Luckily I know better than to listen to the nagging doubts of fear & limiting beliefs and pushed ahead anyway. Now I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have something important and of value to offer. And aside from that, I LOVE doing this so much I’d do it even if there was no audience out there at all.
And that is just how you should feel about anything you do. Know it’s of value but love it so much, you’d do it even if no-one else cares.
I’d never considered myself to be a writer before. I was simply a women with some life experiences who’d decided to write a book. That’s changed now. I’m now starting to understand what writers talk about. The obsession, the satisfaction, the fear, the exhilaration & the need to completely reveal and pour out your soul in order to write a genuine piece that touches people. It’s super addictive, extremely satisfying and I love it!
This was actually about getting back to my core values and staying focused on my priorities in life.
So in the end, as much as I hate to disappoint people I care about & let go of something I truly enjoy, it was no choice at all. I had to go with what fills my soul, is most in line with my core values and what I know can have the most significant positive impact on other people. And for me, that’s writing.
I’ll just have to leave it to the Mick Jaggers of this world to do it through Rock n Roll 🙂
If you’ve ever been faced with a tough choice like this, I’d love you to tell me about it. Just scroll down to leave me a comment below.
PS: Go Girlband (+1)! You Rock. Lots of love, your number 1 fan. xx