"Don't stress about it..."

But didn't you anyway? Why?



3/3/20222 min read

If I had a dollar for every time I'd been told that in my life, especially before the age of 25, I'd be rich enough to be retired now.

I was a bonafide Type A personality growing up. I put LOADS of pressure on myself to perform, to compete, to be as good or better than my classmates. I got involved in tons of things until I found what I was good at and then pressured myself to be the best at that. Piano. Viola.

I got to college and competed there too. I was much quieter about it, but in my mind, it was always a competition to score the highest, to play the most difficult pieces, to learn additional skills so that I could compete in the job market.

Yes. I tried to learn it all. That's why people joked about not knowing what my major instrument was in college. I played trumpet and then clarinet in the marching band. I played violin then viola in the orchestra. I was a piano major.


It was fun. Definitely. But I was under the impression that I needed to have lists and lists of experiences backing up my skills on my resume because I wanted that full-time teaching position after my grad school graduation (1 semester early after writing not a thesis but a research-based dissertation).

The job market tanked around 2008 and even though I was teaching privately almost nonstop since Y2K, I got a .4 position at a Catholic school. The position added many responsibilites besides teaching 250 students in 9 grade levels general music. It was crushing. The salaried position barely paid my health insurance cost.

When offered the ownership position at Music Room, I was ready for new experiences again. I felt an insatiable need to be busy all the time, even though my schedule caps out at 50 students, or 51 3/4 like I have right now somehow...

I played in an orchestra, did Civil War reenacting, arranged music for fun, took pole classes, bellydance classes, all while growing the business.

These were choices. But they were choices based on the need to outperform myself.

And what for?

Playing music for fun anymore is not a thing. I have been burned out by the very thought of it. I support fully any adult that wants music to be a grounding hobby in their lives. But I, myself, can't do it.

Then pandemic hit and many of these things went away, at least for awhile. Even teaching live at the store did for 4 months. I went nuts not knowing what to do with myself.

And what for?

As restictions wind down, I'm left with choices of how I want to structure my life going forward. I now have two businesses, both focused on helping people, which is absolutely my purpose in this world.

But what's funny about both of them is that I'm focused on teaching people to not make mistakes that I did.

To enjoy it all more fully than I did.

To not struggle in the same ways I did.

To not tear themselves down in the ways I did.

To have even better support than than the amazing support I had.

To not waste time the same ways I did.

To not get distracted by shiny objects the way I did.

To help people know so clearly what they want so they can get after it with the same focus.

Without stressing about it.

Attaching stress to a passion is a quick path to burnout.

Let's do it differently.

I hope this helps someone to hear this today.

This was totally not the plan for a post today, but something spoke to me earlier in some research and these thoughts needed to be said.

How can you enjoy something that makes you a better person, mentally, physically, emotionally, without it stressing you out?