From our Music Therapy Intern…
The homeostasis in one’s life which brings peace and assurance. The dance that is choreographed by discipline and routine. The equilibrium that provides discernment and fair consideration.
The seemingly unattainable steadiness in life. The unknown combination of stacked priorities. The complex boundaries between our personal, professional, and restful lives.
This week challenged my perspective of balance.
I travel an hour, one way, from home to internship and I have the best husband in the world waiting there for me, whom I miss constantly. I have five younger siblings, three of which still live at home. I stay at my parents’ house twice a week due to scheduling and travel complications, and to save on gas, as they live 15 minutes from HGMTS. I had to have a minor medical procedure done this week which kept me in bed all day to heal. I have weekend plans with in-laws, friends, family, and my husband booked out for months. I have car repairs in need of time and money to solve them. I have a house that needs cleaning and a fridge that needs stocking. I have a wallet that needs filling and loans that need paying.
This list may sound very familiar to every reader. This list is life! Everyone has their own version of the previous paragraph and some may have novels. Although these lists seem endless, aimless, and hopeless, it is balance that can put them all in perspective.
I have not yet mastered this balance in life, but this internship is convicting me of my lack of it. I am realizing that I need to consider how I decide to prioritize tasks and relationships amidst a seemingly overwhelming load. How much at-home time should I spend on internship tasks? When is enough, enough? Which weekend plans do I accept, and when do I just stay home? When am I sick enough to call in, and when do I push through? What is self-care, and what is laziness and entitlement? How do I know I’ve prepared enough for the upcoming week, and when do I need to stay up later to come up with a few more ideas? Should I wake up early to work out and read my Bible, or get the extra sleep so I am sure to stay awake on the drive in?
I am starting to feel the pressures of being an adult, and I’m learning a lot about myself and my tendencies. I have a tendency to turn on my “work” brain during the week, and turn on my “family and rest” brain on the weekends. I am discovering, however, that these two brains can, in fact, work together. I can be a wife and an intern all in one day. I can work on documentation while watching a movie with my siblings. I can plan interventions while driving to visit the in-laws. I can catch up on emails while sitting in bed after surgery.
I can also allow myself to go to bed at a decent time once the tasks for tomorrow are prepared. I can release myself from the fear that I haven’t done enough. Each day has its own challenges, and it is important to take each day as its own. Wallowing in stress or anxiety for the coming days is neither healthy nor productive. Balance begins with accepting the day for what it is, being as prepared as possible, and letting go of the rest. Balance is understanding that perfection is impossible, and challenges are simply learning opportunities disguised as “stress” or “failure.”
I am still discovering what balance means to me. Amidst all the uncertainties, I know a few things for sure: I will give this internship my best, I will make time for those whom I love, and I will rest when I need it. All else will fall into place.
Hannah Avery is our very first Music Therapy Intern here at Harmony Garden Music Therapy Services. Stay tuned for her blog posts as she goes (and grows) through her music therapy internship.