Life After Concert

Practice, practice, practice.

I’ll admit it: I have been feeling a little lost. As I prepared for the duo piano concert on May tenth, I let go of many of the other good things in my life. My house grew cluttered and dusty; I ate many meals out. I didn’t exercise and I didn’t sleep well. I neglected my Etsy store and did little with my fiction writing. It was all I could do to keep up with my practice and teach my piano students.

And then the concert was over – and I am so glad I did it! – but I found myself missing all those other pieces. And I wanted to integrate them back into my days. But I couldn’t remember how.
It’s been four weeks now, and I am finally, finally beginning to feel like myself again. My teaching schedule is slowing down for the summer; after my second student recital this coming Saturday, I will have almost three full weeks off and a much abbreviated schedule during the month of July, giving me time to de-clutter and deep clean, shop for groceries and cook healthy meals, spend some time on my beloved hobbies and get back to the business of writing. 
Still, I don’t want to lose the momentum I gained before. I am playing the piano better than I have ever played in my life, and the Asberry & Hardy Piano Duo has another gig coming up at the Georgia Music Teachers Association state conference in November. But how to find a better balance?
A few evenings ago I stumbled upon this article. It made a lot of sense to me. For now, I am going to emphasize the morning ritual/important work first thing, with no distractions; and a relaxing evening.
Moving through the summer, I am going to make the first 90 minutes of each day count, and do my best to maintain a consistent routine. I began implementing this today; I got up at 7, wrote morning pages, went for a 2-mile walk, practiced piano for an hour, and spent 15 minutes working on my fiction writing. Only after all that did I look at my emails, check in on Facebook and Twitter, and peruse my favorite blogs. I practiced another hour later in the day; I need to spend an equal amount of time on my fiction writing if I am ever to achieve my dream of being a traditionally published author. But this morning I made at least a small amount of effort in all the important areas of my life. 
As for experiencing a relaxing evening, I guess I didn’t do so well. But I did watch a funny movie on my DVR, then made a run to the grocery store and bought ingredients to cook nourishing meals for my son and my fiance over the next couple of days, and now I am writing a blog post (“spending time with a creative hobby.”) The truth? I have done much, much worse. 
What do you do when you are doing all you can seem to do but need to be doing so much more?