Friday, March 1, 2024
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Honest Reflections on Feeling Overwhelmed


I may or may not have a bad habit (just one, I’m sure!) of feeling overwhelmed that I’m not doing enough and then adding more things to my plate and feeling even more overwhelmed. Take this week for example. I’m writing this from a cozy Airbnb about an hour from my house where I’ve been holed up the last three days subsisting on granola and Stouffer’s lasagna. The purpose of my trip was a business vision and planning retreat regarding the direction of Music Matters Blog this year. I had begun to get that nagging feeling that I wasn’t doing enough with the blog, not contributing as much as I should, not keeping up with the hundreds of other teachers creating worksheets, composing music, sending newsletters, airing podcasts, recording videos, presenting workshops, and so on.

So at the suggestion of my husband, I took some time off to leave town and research the possibilities. And that’s part of the problem. So. Many. Possibilities. I’m sure if you spend any time on-line, you know exactly what I mean. Do a simple search for a music theory worksheet and spend the next 6 hours falling down rabbit holes until your eyes glaze over on a website about The Scaramuzza Technique and you’re finally jolted back to reality. But I digress. In my case it was my simple plan to integrate a mailing list and newsletter into the blog that turned out to be not-so-simple when I discovered that the service I had set up a free account with years ago and intended to use was going to run me almost $200/month! Thus began the searching and researching of mailing list and newsletter services and trying to determine if there were any that wouldn’t require me taking on another job just to pay for them.

After numerous hours in the internet rabbit hole yesterday, I had finally set up enough new accounts and automations and templates and schedules to fill a spreadsheet. As you probably know, I enthusiastically announced the inauguration of the much-anticipated Music Matters Blog newsletter (I’m sure everyone had been checking their inboxes for years wondering when I would start sending a newsletter, right?) at the end of the day. And then it happened. This morning I woke up and felt completely overwhelmed. What was I going to include in every issue? How long would it take me to write it? Should I write them all ahead of time and then schedule the mailings? What if I ran out of things to say? Reality sunk in. I didn’t even want to write a monthly newsletter! Somehow it had just seemed like the thing to do. The thing anyone with an online presence should do to be successful. The thing that’s been haunting my to-do list for years. Sounds silly now, but I wonder how many times we allow our own expectations and pressures to overwhelm us when it’s completely unnecessary.

This morning I was encouraged by Psalm 86:11-13, “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.” [emphases mine]

In this season of my life I want to free up more time to grow in my relationship with God and with others. My children are grown and I have another grandchild on the way (oh yeah!). I’m loving the small studio of dedicated students that I get to teach every week, and I want my focus to be on helping them grow in piano skills and character. Turns out that maintaining a mailing list and starting a newsletter isn’t a good fit for me right now. Instead, I plan to stick to blogging. This is the place where I love to share ideas, resources, personal updates, store sales, and whatever else happens to come up! So if you want to keep up with the latest, just use the simple email subscription option in the right side bar and each new post will be delivered right to your inbox (sorry to the three of you who signed up for the newsletter yesterday and will have to resubscribe with this form. :-)). And of course, I always love corresponding one-on-one with other teachers, so feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email anytime!

Many blessings to each of you on your teaching journey this year (a journey that will happily not include any newsletters from me…haha!).

A recent picture of Julian and me on our anniversary trip at the easternmost point of the United States (does anyone know where we are?!)

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