Tonight I did something that was very hard for me right now. I auditioned, for people who I respect a lot. Even though I consider some of the kindest people I know It was still very hard and I made it through. The panic button was on but I also got to sit there waiting for my audition with some of my friends. They too were panicked, they too seemed on edge and somehow sharing that with them helped me a lot. I was able to worry for them and it helped me not worry about me so much.
As we watched each other go in and come out and each one dealing with their stress in different ways. we all were the same. Some came out and analyzed each thing they think they could have done better. some were emotional. Some used humor. Still we all survived. And I would surmise that each one of us was our own worst critic.
I'd really like to make it back into this group to travel to a wonderful convention and sing and hear other singers. It would be amazing, I've been to a few of them (the conventions) before and had the time of my life. Singing with this group of people also seems to fill my reservoir. A good friend counseled me the other day that often we are trying so hard to fill every need out there that our reservoir gets to the bottom and that is where the sediment collects and all that you have to give is sediment filled sludge. He said he had seen it a lot with moms who are trying to fulfill their church callings, and be everything to their kids, a lover to their spouse, and everything in between. Dad's can feel it too and not just stay at home dads like me.
His counsel to me said that we have to close down the release valve a little and spend some extra time filling our reservoirs. And once filled we need to try to match our intake with our output.
I hadn't thought about it that way. That in trying to give and give to my family and feeling guilty for doing something that filled my own cup, not only did I have less to give but the quality was becoming worse and worse.
My panic is dying down, though I do think a long late-night run will be needed to help finish it off. But as my stormy sea calms tonight I"m refreshed. Just going and singing for those I respect and being if only for a short time with those who I have come to call friends, some of whom have become almost like family, I filled my cup a bit.
I look forward to filling it more and by so doing improve the quality of what I have to give.