I’m generally overscheduled, stretched too thin, and often exhausted. I’m used to it. For the most part, I like it. I find that having diverse activities keeps me balanced, and prevents me from getting too focused on any one thing.
The ups and downs of the different elements of my life happen on unsynchronized schedules, and tend to offset.
The tension of a stressful period at my day job finds outlet in a series of extra-hard evening workouts.
Feeling disappointed about a bunch of short fiction rejections hitting my inbox rapid fire? There are few things in life as humbling as making an attempt at something, only to fail 100% of the time for some long stretch. But then I put some effort into working on music or the record label, and find reassurance that an audience receptive to my creative output exists.
When I zero in too much on just one thing, the ups and downs take on an outsized importance. We all fantasize about being able to apply ourselves without distraction to THAT ONE THING, yet when life becomes that narrowly focused, it can be scary.
I remember talking to one of my favorite creative artists, who is able to make a living just about entirely from his art. I probably expressed envy, something about how nice it would be to wake up in the morning and worry about nothing except working on music. But this guy said, “I don’t know, I think it’s better to have a day job, because once you put the burden of making a living onto your music, it becomes an obligation.”
Not that I don’t still fantasize about eventually being able to have more time to focus on creative work, but at least for now I try to be thankful that the busyness and fullness of my life make it easier to deal with the speed bumps that occur on any single track.