Today was back to the grind.
Which meant that I, like the rest of the world, spent the first half of my day unburying my inbox and summarily removing my head from the sand. While I did do e-mail triage when I was away (I really can’t help it; I absolutely hate seeing those little red notification numbers pop up on my iPhone and not doing anything about them), this still took up a significant chunk of my time. Which was a shame because my to-do list today was mammoth and included a large number of tasks, most of which could go on for an indefinite period of time.
I haven’t, until recently, really tested the outer limits of my juggling skills. I know that my time management skills are superb, and I know (relatively) how much I can take before things begin to slip through the cracks. As such, I tend to take on projects (especially short-term or intermittent projects) until my plate is absolutely at its breaking point. I recently did a count of how many jobs I am actually working right now. To qualify, I
considered a “job” as an ongoing project that has to do with my professional resume (either as an artist or an academic; because at this point one feeds the other and so they are essentially the same thing… I’m a mecha-demic). Since I’ve been taking on various fight directing projects and small acting gigs (to keep up with these or where you can see my work, bop on by to my extracurricular activities page which I regularly update), the number fluctuates somewhere between five and ten on any given week.
It’s gotten so bad that my boyfriend, when I mention “my boss” or “my job”, has taken to asking “which one?”. When we go see a show, which we do on a regular basis, he has to ask me “where did these tickets come from again?” Usually he remembers to ask this question before the show so as to temper his feedback accordingly (you don’t know awkward until you’ve experienced a car-ride home from a show which you slammed before asking your companion how she was actually involved in its production only to find out that her input was exactly what you just vehemently protested*).
Occasionally I think that perhaps I should scale back. When I have these thoughts, I like to remind myself that despite working long days, late nights, odd hours, and weekends on occasion**, I actually enjoy 80% of the things that I do (and that lingering 20% consists of necessary by-products; i.e. paperwork, annoying administration stuff, etc.). There aren’t many people who can say that their job is consistently rewarding, always interesting, and ever-changing. So even though paying my bills every month is a constant struggle, I can’t help but feel inescapably lucky.
I’m lucky to have the opportunity to pursue the level of education that I have, and I’m lucky to do so at an institution which is geographically located in a place where I actually want to live.
I’m lucky to have friends and loved ones who support (even if they don’t fully comprehend) my endeavors and are willing to listen to me ramble about history when I’ve had a bit to drink.
I’m lucky to be an artist of enough varying types that people are willing to pay me to
execute my art, and give me the opportunity to showcase and stretch it on a regular basis.
I’m lucky to encounter so many talented and intelligent people in my travels: students, mentors, and colleagues.
I’m lucky to have the means to participate in all the extracurricular activities which keep my multitude of jobs going; conferences, workshops, seminars, performances, classes, lectures, etc…
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a great start. As I look into 2014, I see some changes on the wind. It’s nice to take stock of what I have, even as I know it’s going to become what I had.
One more week of break before classes start and I’m determined to make it count.
*please note that this hasn’t happened in quite some time; whether that says something about the growth of my skills or the quality of my current company is yet to be determined.
**…okay, fine, on a regular basis.