When Life is Quiet
Autumn is a quiet season after the rush of summer. Venues and events simmer down, it is darker outside and moods begin to drop when the realisation of summer being over hits. Although autumn is my favourite season, I too get the dreary feeling when summer sets. However, it is during this time that I do most of my thinking and reflecting on the year. People often see a quiet season as a negative thing but I hope to write today and convince you otherwise.
I love being busy. In our culture today many people love to be busy and when they are not they feel as if they are doing something wrong. I certainly feel this way on a daily basis. I was booked for gigs less in September and October and at the time I was stressed. The main reason I was stressed was that I wanted to continue to be busy and I wanted more opportunities. Although people always congratulate me on my hard work, sometimes too much of this attitude can be a bad thing. I found that I felt completely over worked and that I was making so much effort and getting nowhere but it was in this season that I learnt to enjoy the break. If you are a musician you will know that your voice gets tired. Your body also gets very tired from the late nights, lugging gear around and having to perform and be on form constantly. In October I had a few weekends of no gigs and I could have chosen to be stressed but instead I chose to be thankful because Rest is so important.
If you are reading this and thinking 'this is me!' I hope this blog encourages you today. You are not alone in feeling down the quiet seasons. After such a busy summer or season in life it can feel isolating and lonely when there isn't much going on. It is especially hard in the world of social media. In every job now it seems we HAVE to post about ourselves, we have to be successful and we HAVE to be the best. Although social media is awesome for many reasons it can also be very deceiving. I cannot even begin to count the amount of times I posted something because I wanted to seem like I was doing something worth posting about. The amount of times I felt I had to post not for me but because I had to show those online that I was busy. In a quiet season seeing your friends and family posting so much or doing so much can be discouraging but it is also a good time to challenge yourself. Congratulate those who are busy. Everyone has a different season in life and although it isn't always fun having a quiet one, you can learn so much. My autumn period taught me so much about rest and it made me think about why I love my job again. If you are in a career where you always have to work hard and you don't rest you will start to resent it. This is why rest and enjoying a quieter season is so important.
I remember in 2018 before I had started music full-time. I was singing on a Christmas Stage in December. I felt so ill, I was tired and I was contemplating life constantly. I had won an award for my music and all I kept feeling was 'Can I do better? Where do I go from here?' My thoughts were centered around the season before so much that I wasn't appreciating the moment infront of me. It was during this gig that something remarkable happened. I had no idea at the time but an amazing couple thought despite my voice not being on form that I was perfect for their wedding in Santorini. An adventure had begun without me even knowing it and I was there moping around. In this season of rest I recovered and my voice was back to normal. Had I of been busy I am not sure this would of happened. Had I also not been in such a quiet season I probably wouldn't of been brave and ventured out into new experiences. I hadn't been on holiday since I was 10 and performing at a wedding abroad was something I thought was way into the future. Come September I went to Greece and had the best time and I had even more experience. Had it not been for the quiet season a year before I can't say these events would have taken place. It is vital to be content where you are and not compare yourself to other peoples paces in life.
My advice to anyone who resonates with what I am writing about is this:
> Enjoy the quiet and use it to be creative and rest.
> Do not compare yourself to others or you will never be content and you will find it hard to rest.
> If your friends/family are having a busy season celebrate with them and be happy for them. This will grow your character.
> After a busy season ease yourself into a quiet one by scheduling meet ups with friends/family. Set yourself little goals for a quiet season that you can't get done in a busy season.
> Don't get discouraged and know that success isn't overnight. You'll appreciate things so much more in life when you wait for them and also work hard for them.
Thank you for reading and I hope these little tips help you today. Whether you are a musician or you are in a completely different job, I like to think this subject applies to everyone. No matter what season you are currently in know that you are doing well and that the quiet season does not reflect your success, it just teaches you how to rest.