These past few months have been a whirlwind: My family and I moved to Ann Arbor, our girls started new schools, we got situated in a rental, then bought a house, Frank and I performed our annual sold out show at EvanstonSpace amongst other shows, I produced an EP for an amazing 16-year-old pop songwriter and then I recreated and am now hosting two online songwriting programs, Creative Happy You & The Beginner’s Youth Songwriting Circle.
And then I took a trip to Mexico! Wow.
I mention all this because I believe it’s important to acknowledge.
I don’t know about you but until I write this all down, I forget most of the above and fall prey all too often to berating myself that I’m not doing enough.
It’s like there’s this person who lives in my head that doesn’t actually observe what goes on but is constantly commenting.
Here are some things it doesn’t seem to acknowledge: trips to Trader Joes, reading bedtime stories, finding new pediatricians, saying prayers for people who may be sick, paperwork or taking up swimming!
What it does seem to see clearly is all the emails I didn’t return, that I don’t have our summer plans figured out and that a certain 10lbs is keeping me a little better insulated 🙂
I’ve come to accept this voice’s presence, like one of those balcony Muppet guys, I can laugh at him, but I certainly don’t take his words seriously.
Do have a voice like this in your head?
If so, how do you engage with it?
I like to shower this voice with all sorts of activities that are more about being and less about doing.
Activities like having long leisurely conversations with some of my women friends (I had the pleasure of having several such slow conversations this week – it felt amazing!)
When I give Muppet guy less to do (he can’t count how much I’m doing when I’m just being), he does start to relax a bit. It’s much harder to berate someone enjoying a massage or engaged in great conversation with a friend than someone running around frantically.
And Muppet guy has NO IDEA what to make of activities like “making flower crowns” at my daughter’s May Day school celebration or selecting a good hammock in which to lie down 🙂
Eventually with no work to do, Muppet guy nods off in his dusty balcony.
The funny thing is when I’m having more fun being, more life-giving things actually do happen.
When I was on vacation, for example, not doing anything, all these beautiful ideas about an upcoming project just flowed to me effortlessly.
Then today, when I didn’t know what to write in this email, instead of forcing it, I took a nap, and when I woke up, I knew.
The answer came to me while I was sleeping.
What about you?
How do you deal with YOUR inner Muppet?
And what do you feel about just being in your life?
Feel free to share your comment below.
I’d love to hear from you!
Ps: Tour Dates in Boston, Chicago, Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Grand Haven, New York, Old Saybrook, CT are here!
Amanda Garrigues DeMouey says
HI Anne. This is Amanda Garrigues DeMouey. Stage name: Amanda Garrigues (you might remember from days long ago) I really related to your latest post. I have those 2 old men in my head as well except mine are a committee whose only goal in life is to make me feel bad about myself. When they surface, I just thank them for sharing and tell them I am not listening. I have a 2 year old so I don’t get much time for much of anything except being a mommy. My free time (which now includes swimming too!) is when he goes to preschool and then I have a battle in my head that goes something like this: I really should do laundry, but I really want to learn that song on the piano, then there’s the songs I need to write plus get ready for my students. ACK! Anyway, many days I end of napping and the “stuff” gets done when it does. Being vs. Doing…I will have to think about that. Best to you.
Thanks Amanda! It’s soooo great to hear from you! Congratulations on your 2 year old! You are such a beautiful woman and spirit! I hear you. Sometimes I set a little alarm and do 30 minutes of a song, 30 minutes of laundry or anything that feels good. Chunk it down so it can’t overwhelm me. & Napping is awesome!!