Where did the first half of September go?! It seems like just a moment ago, we were frantically stuffing welcome packets and eagerly waiting for students to come in for their first classes.
Now, September is half over and we’re thinking about October events, Halloween, and booking details for our Christmas show. WOW!
I have ALWAYS loved being busy – to a fault (just ask my parents)! I was the student in high school in every school arts activity, plus a part time job, plus dancing… plus I wanted to take every AP class and be in every club and have friends and, and, and, AND….
Being busy is good – especially for kids, it means that they have school work plus enrichment activities like dance, sports, or other activities in the arts – usually busy kids are talented and smart kids who are trying to soak up the opportunities they have to be involved in so many things while they can. I know I’m sometimes nostalgic because high school was the last opportunity I had to be in a musical, to be in choir, to try and explore new activities. I don’t always miss the days I was away from home from 7am – 10pm, but I wouldn’t trade the experiences I had because of my busy schedule for anything. The late dance classes, show choir or play practices, and marching band rehearsals made great memories that I’ll cherish, and – more importantly – they taught me to be tough, focused, to manage my free time, and to be present with what is right in front of me.
But, the hustle and bustle can take a toll on us if we aren’t careful. My little sisters would tell you that I have always given lots of unsolicited advice… but it always comes from a place of love and hoping someone else can learn from my mistakes!
Here are some of my tips and tricks for enjoying the hustle & bustle rather than letting it take over:
1 – Don’t say “yes” to everything! Being busy to a point is great, but only if you love the things you’re doing. If you’re only in that club at school because you think it might impress a college admissions panel or because a friend is in it, that isn’t going to be worth the time you spend. Pursue activities that energize and excite you – then focus on those!
2 – Take care of your body! Too often, busy people don’t think about their body – and the lack of sleep or lots of physical activity can take its toll. Drink plenty of water, be sure to eat nutritious and healthy food, and listen to your body to be aware of any soreness that might need a little extra attention.
3 – Be only where you are. This lesson from yoga class is one of the hardest to grasp – but it is so important. For example: in a ballet class, there is nothing a dancer can do about their test in science tomorrow. Instead of being distracted in ballet by science and not having a great class due to poor focus, set aside the science test for an hour and only think about your dancing. Have a fantastic ballet class, get a great workout, and leave feeling energized and refreshed and ready to take on the science studying.
4 – Remember your WHY – when the busyness seems crazy (like a late night homework session after a full evening of dance classes), remember WHY you have the busy schedule that you do – and be thankful for the opportunities to do so many things. Algebra homework at 10pm is not fun – but would you really give up the opportunity to be in that class (or show, or school group) to do algebra homework at 7pm instead? (If you’re not sure, go back to #1!)
My fall is full – teaching 12 weekly classes plus directing our competitive program, coaching the Linn-Mar Color Guard, judging at marching band festivals across the state, learning as much as I can while living my first year of owning a dance studio that I’ve dreamed of for most of my life… the great news is, my busy schedule and activities in school have equipped me with the tools I need to thrive on a busy schedule. I absolutely love every piece of what I do, and have the BEST staff, students, and families that I work with on a daily basis. It’s hectic, it’s crazy sometimes, but every piece is worth it. That’s my wish for you – that your busy schedules (do we know anyone who doesn’t have a busy schedule?!) are satisfying and rewarding and worth it.