Friday, January 30, 2015

The Seven Stages of Gigging Grief

For your edification, what follows are the Stages of Gigging Grief I seem to perpetually put myself through.  Maybe I'm not the only one?  Maybe these apply to those in other lines of work, too?

1. It begins.

Get asked to play a gig.  Happily accept, because money and great music and get out of the house and talk to adults who speak in full sentences.  Teaching every afternoon is great and all, but it's nice to play something other than Twinkles and Minuets, too.

2. Denial.  

Blissfully ignore how much practicing needs to be done for said approaching gig, because practicing and taking care of two kids don't always go charmingly hand in hand.  Forget to get a babysitter far enough in advance, or do anything else to prepare.

3. Acceptance.  

Realize that the gig is just a few days away.  Panic.  Scramble to get a sitter if necessary.  Shut yourself in music room.  Practice violin while baby fusses and toddler asks for hugs and snacks and trips to the potty.

4. Depression.  

Complain to husband about how hard it is to work part-time and care for kids full-time.  Swear to never take another gig, not ever, because it's all just too hard to balance.

5. Bargaining.  

If husband is the one assuming all childcare duties for the occasion, attempt to soothe his nerves as necessary and promise him all the frozen pizzas and other junk food he wants.

6. The Happy Part.  

Go to gig.  Play an acceptable percentage of right notes and feel thrilled that the practicing, albeit chaotic, paid off.  Enjoy the feeling of putting degrees and skills to their proper use. Mentally formulate a plan for Greater Career Success.  Resolve to practice every day, to work up audition repertoire, to finally master those excerpts that have heretofore been elusively difficult, and to be brave enough to actually take some auditions.

7. Reality.  

Return home to find house in shambles.  You thought it couldn't be worse than it was when you left it; you were wrong.  The dishes you neglected last night while practicing are still there, and have multiplied with breakfast dishes now stacked on top of them.  The kids are still in pajamas, and it's noon.  The baby needs to be nursed, the toddler needs lunch, both children need baths, and Mama still hasn't had a shower.  The entire house needs to be cleaned.  Home from working, and somehow the work has just begun.  Resolve never ever to ever ever play a gig again.

Rinse and repeat every week or two.  And so on and so forth.

1 comment:

  1. Ha. I feel that way...and don't even have kids yet (although our first is on its way!). My students are starting to ask me if I'll be coming back after having my baby; honestly, I don't know how it will be possible since we don't want to pay for childcare and don't have family super close by. Curious how you do it? Because it sure would be nice to not have to completely stop teaching (or playing for that matter) altogether!