Tuesday 9 March 2021

Jack of all trades, master of none!

It has been a rollercoaster of a week, I can tell you. Much as I hate those posts that tease the audience into wondering, what is going on, or coerce people into commenting, “you OK hun?” I can’t give you all the details about what happened to me this week but, do not fret, all is well now. I think.

This "happening" caused me to think about what I am doing with my life right now. Don’t worry this isn’t one of those “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life” or “something has to change” posts. I have fingers in many pies right now but I’m struggling to work out the best path to travel down. I am consistently guilty of spreading myself too thin which means I can turn my hand to many things but don’t feel like I am the master (or mistress) of any of these things.

So I'm not sure what my focus should be at the moment. I run a choir, Songsations, I teach private singing lessons and write a blog about singing Sing Your Song, I have an Instagram page called The 60 Second Singer, I teach for two theatre schools and I'm trying to write and set up some online courses. I haven't mastered any one of these things but I would love to be mistress of all of the things I have set up.

What to do about this? Well, I am a very impatient person. I remember when I was about 8 years old becoming obsessed with reading and, in particular, reading quickly. I wasn't very good at taking my time with books. If I started a book I had to finish it ASAP. This is not the case now. I have about 6 books on the go right now and I doubt I will finish any of them any time soon. It's too much like hard work. I think this is why I like blogging and why I'll probably never write a book. I can write a blog post in an hour but a book would take weeks or months and I do not have the patience to do it. If I start something I want it finished.

I think this is why I had trouble learning, or rather, retaining songs at college. I would learn songs very quickly, perform them and then immediately forget them. I also think this is why, when I have a to-do list as long as Beyonce's legs, I do none of it and binge watch something on Netflix instead (other streaming platforms are available) as I get too overwhelmed by the feeling I HAVE to do something. I am an excellent ostrich, constantly burying my head in the sand. To be honest I should be working now but I'd rather write this.

Do I have a solution? Not really, no. I know it takes willpower and I need to build new habits. A few years ago I Marie Kondo'd my flat to within an inch of it's life and I ended up creating 2 specific habits from that experience. One is I always wash up my frying pan when I make my omelette for breakfast. Without fail. I NEVER leave it in the sink to "soak". The second is I always fold my socks and put them away in a certain way in my sock drawer. I'm OCD about this. So I know I am capable of building habits, I suppose I just have to do it.

I am still a little obsessed with webinars and a watched a great one about forming habits the other day. I had planned to do everything the host suggested: getting up at 5am (never going to happen so I changed it to 6am), exercising for 20 minutes as soon as I got up, 20 minutes journaling every morning and 20 minutes of learning (all before breakfast) plus a couple of other things. I have managed none of this. 

What I should have done was take one of these ideas and run with just that for a while and slowly added the other elements. I think they say it takes something like 66 days to form a habit (I might have made up that number but it is another number if not that one) so if I had any patience whatsoever I would spend 66 days forming each habit like I did with the frying pan and my sock drawer. Perhaps I have answered my own question there. 

Another webinar I watched reminded me of the fact it takes 10000 hours of practise/learning to become an expert in something. This is why I am unlikely to be a master of anything. I have the concentration of a puppy so find practise or sitting down and concentrating on anything for longer than 5 minutes very difficult. One method that has been suggested to me is to set a timer for 20 minutes. Work for those 20 minutes and when the alarm goes off I can go and make a brew or do something else and then reset the alarm and do it again. It's an idea and sounds like a pretty doable idea actually. My problem is motivating myself to do this. I’m not going to blame Lockdown or the pandemic for this lack of motivation. I have always been like this. Perhaps I need to add a touch of meditation. Unfortunately I don’t have the patience which is ironic really.

I realised today I have actually developed a new habit recently. At the beginning of the year I made the resolution to "move my body” for 10 minutes a day. It is now March 11th and I have been for a walk everyday (apart from 2 but I did other exercise at home on those days) which means, after 70 days, I am now in the realm of this being a habit now. This adds to my steadily growing belief that I do have some willpower, I just need to be able to hone it and direct it towards the things I really would like to achieve in the fairytale that is playing out in my imagination. 

So, I definitely have much to think about and I desperately want to feel like I have mastered something in life. I shall go and set my alarm for 6am tomorrow morning. I will probably turn it off and go back to sleep but, hey, it's a start innit!

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