Spinning Plates

I slept in today. REALLY slept in. It felt great!

Today was the first day in a while that I didn’t HAVE to be somewhere or HAVE to do something. That’s becoming more and more of a rarity.

I’m not complaining. It’s good to be busy. But more and more these days, I’m feeling like the guy on one of those old variety shows spinning plates on sticks. The key is to keep all the plates spinning by running to one after the other without letting any one fall. It’s challenging and highly entertaining for the audience. For the performer … well, it depends from one day to the next.

My life was already plenty busy. Working six- and seven-day stretches, plus overtime is plenty taxing as is. And on top of it, I’m actually considering testing for promotion. The amount of time that will consume boggles the mind.

The deeper I get into music journalism, the more labor-intensive it becomes. That’s not a complaint. This is truly a labor of love, even if I’m not getting paid for it (yet). But even that kind of thing can eat into one’s time in massive ways. And as my platform grows, so do the demands, real and potential. Oh — and I still have a book to promote before too long.

The sheer tonnage of music I’d like to play and study in depth shocks even me at times. This is particularly true where reviews are concerned. One listen is never enough for true objective research. Did I mention there are more than 600 albums waiting for me in my Bandcamp playlist?

I have at least NINE road trips planned for the coming year. Not much if music journalism was all I did. But as I’ve established, it isn’t. I’m looking forward to going on the road again for gigs and record store trips, to say nothing of all the stories that should come with them.

I have a pile of books to read and absorb. Most of them are research for my next book, which I hope to start sketching out late this summer. That’s on top of all the magazine articles I need to read from the incredible backlog of music magazines sitting in my iPad. I’ll get into that topic at a later date.

For every blog I churn out, two more are waiting to be written. This is a GREAT problem to have. I’ve been on the wrong end of writer’s block, and it is NOT pleasant. Still, I finding the time to write down the ideas I have … sheesh. One blog idea has been waiting for me to get to it for at least NINE months! Good thing the topic is timeless.

And then there are the concerts. Only three scheduled for this month. But this is a light month. As the weather gets warmer, I’m sure the number of gigs will increase.

My page Trey has talked me into making periodic visits to his recording studio. Never mind the fact that my chops have mostly evaporated. “Don’t worry about that,” he says. “You’ve listened to WAAAY too much music not to have it coursing through your fingertips.” He may be right. So there’s that, which may also lead to work on the Planks project I’ve been mulling over for God-knows how long.

Somewhere in there, I have to be Dad now and then. Luckily (I think), my daughter is a teenager. Which means she doesn’t need me as much as she did a few years ago. I am the chauffeur and the ATM, primarily. And the provider of the occasional road trip. Still, that’s time and effort I’m happy to give.

So much to do, so little time.

I suppose it comes down to priorities. As the new year begins, I realize many of the things I enjoyed doing will have to be set aside for now. On the plus side, my cable rate is bound to decrease rapidly if I have the damned thing shut off! (Ok, that was melodramatic. I will have the cable severely scaled back, to be certain. But the Cardinals must be seen during baseball season! There’s no getting around that.) It’s amazing how much I can get done when I’m not looking up at the screen every five seconds.

So, I’ll do everything I can to keep the plates spinning,  even if one of them wobbles a bit now and then. After all, being ridiculously busy certainly beats the alternative. It’s a lot to do, to be certain. But think of the sense of accomplishment once everything gets done.

Then I can get back to work on my golf game.


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