I went over 9 months I think, without having a serious cold. I had a few “under the weather” days and a couple minor stomach bugs, but I’m well into day two (or three) of a nasty cold, and I feel pretty generally lousy all over. I turned today into a “sick day” (I was bummed to miss a really cool violin teaching workshop and quartet rehearsal, but I’m seriously weak and need to be surrounded by massive amounts of kleenex at all times…it’s just not a pretty sight.). Of course, tonight the show must go on, so three hours of Opera it will be. I’m also hoping to rally and attend Celebrate Fitness tomorrow morning, but that might be the sun outside making me entirely too optimistic. Fingers crossed though!
I’m taking some time on the couch here (imagine me with my laptop on my lap) working on a few teaching related things and just trying not to pass out from exhaustion. I might be being a little dramatic, but I’ll tell you: showering was difficult—I’d thought it might help clear out my head—and moving around at all just isn’t much fun. Woe is me, right?
My brain wants all kinds of comfort foods, the sort of things I might eat when I’m sick. Mainly canned soup or cereal, neither of which I am “allowed” to have on my diet. Last night was a homemade chicken veggie soup which turned out surprisingly delicious, as best as my compromised taste buds can ascertain. Today I have had eggs for breakfast and that’s as far as I’ve gotten so far. I don’t have too much of an appetite anyway, though I’m sure I could murder a pint of ice cream…
(I ate about three bowls of that.)
I am in a slight panic over my (ha, surprise) lack of training for the fairly upcoming Go Half Marathon. I plan to run nonetheless, and while I haven’t been running as much as I should be, I’ve been working out much more regularly, and I figure it’ll be cathartic nonetheless. I’m not going to worry about time at all, and just enjoy being out there. I still have a few more weeks and I’ll be able to get a few short and long runs (run/walks to be fair) in and I’ll be just fine. Dropping ten or more pounds will definitely help, and I just don’t care enough. I care about getting back in shape, I care about getting my work done, and I care about having fun running, but I don’t care about sticking to a training plan that I am just not able to fit into my life at this time. And the ice and snow we’ve gotten this winter has certainly been a deterrent. Either way I’m in, I’m doing it, and I’ll finish, and that will tell me that I am still here.
Quote from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (p. 649 in my edition):
Luna: That’s right, Harry…come on, think of something happy…”
Harry: “Something happy?”
Luna: “We’re all still here. We’re still fighting. Come on, now…”
I often think of that quote. For me it’s not fighting as in violence, but fighting as in just keeping going, keeping moving, keeping pushing through. When things seem hopeless or out of control, I just tell myself, I’m still here, I’m still fighting.
(And that makes me want to read Harry Potter all over again. My students are often surprised to see the entire series on my bookshelf, but I can tell you I’ve read them all several times. It’s been awhile though and it might be fun to reread them. Then again, my stack of books to read, both actual and on my kindle, is getting pretty big, so maybe I should read a few of those first before starting on any repeat reading projects. )
I have a few friends who work traditional 9 to 5 style jobs. This is not to say that their hours are precisely 9 to 5, but that they basically show up early to work Monday through Friday, have their evenings and weekends free, and that is all they do. The life of a freelance musician is…somewhat different.
Not to say that many other people don’t have flexible schedules (and I should clarify that this generally means I have to be flexible to the client rather than the other way around lest you get too jealous) but that most seem to work more “traditional” hours. A colleague the other day pointed out how “boring” it must be to have all your evenings and weekends free and constantly being in search of entertainment to quell the boredom. I’m not sure that’s the case (though thank goodness, as your search for entertainment helps make my chosen profession possible!), but what I really wanted to write about was my calendar.
As a freelancer, one of the most sacred pieces of information at my disposal is my calendar. With smart phones and online calendars, life has been greatly simplified. Before online calendars, of course, we all had to carry our calendars around and handwrite everything. What a pain!
Lately I’ve seen a few bloggers saying they are going back to traditional style calendars for various reasons. I say, probably they aren’t freelancers trying to limit their load of what to carry (phone is already with you, why add another book, especially when you already have a bag of music, a music stand, and an instrument) or accepting a lot of email invitations to events (it’s SO easy to add events from an email directly into your google calendar!). Maybe that’s what got me thinking about my calendar. While I’m sure there are some freelancers who still write their schedules by hand, I am simply not one of them. To me that would be like consulting an atlas to figure out my route somewhere rather than finding out online.
So enlighten me, readers. What do you use to keep your schedule straight? Do those of you with “real jobs” even NEED a calendar? I suppose you still probably have meetings and appointments—do you obsess over it just like we freelancers do?
It’s been over a week of eating Whole 30 style. I feel like I’ve been eating this way forever…
I miss not thinking about food all the time, I miss having free time that isn’t dedicated to food preparation or shopping, and I miss being able to go out to eat without worrying about whether or not I’ll be able to get something compliant. I also miss feeling full for more than 30 to 60 minutes at a time (I eat until I’m full, but then it never lasts) and I miss having enough energy to run.
But my clothes feel loose, I have enough energy to get by, and it’s definitely true that I don’t feel ups and downs in my energy throughout the day. And I’ve been eating pretty darned well, actually. I’ve been eating and preparing things that I never did before, and that’s been fun.
Homemade marinara sauce with hamburger over spaghetti squash. Which, for the record, does not taste like spaghetti or pasta at all, but is okay for eating a delicious sauce over.
Two eggs over some fried sweet potato hash. This felt pretty decadent, and was one of the most filling meals I’ve had. I’m not entirely convinced that dicing and frying sweet potatoes is what the diet means, so it’s a once in awhile breakfast.
And a entire roast chicken over veggies. No, I did not eat the entire chicken. Yes, I wanted to. I got full pretty quickly, and then as usual…about an hour later had mild hunger which I am just getting used to. I’m ignoring what that might mean because I really don’t feel like I can eat any more at meals. No, I don’t think this diet is sustainable long term for that reason, though perhaps over the next week the somewhat constant dull hunger will start to fade away.
What else have I been up to lately? Well, like I said, mainly food prep Saturday a big storm was predicted so I took advantage of my day off to…go food shopping. Trader Joe’s was packed but I was able to get quite a few delicious foods there (I live very near a regular grocery store, so Trader Joe’s is a once in awhile trip). Most of the rest of the day was spent preparing and eating food.
Sunday was a bit of a snow day. I was supposed to have a church gig followed by a double opera rehearsal, but my church gig got rescheduled for another day and the second opera rehearsal got canceled due to the weather (which didn’t end up being that bad, but I think for some folks who live further away it was still a wise decision.) I ended up watching some TV (currently working my way through Sons of Anarchy) and going to bed EARLY. Today I did an upper body workout at the gym and soon have teaching.
I’m looking forward to this week. Quartet and opera rehearsals, a workshop on Friday for violin teachers, and then Saturday I have BOOT CAMP at Celebrate Fitness! It should be a good week of eating (ha), practicing, playing violin, and hopefully I can knock off a bunch of items on my to-do list to. And do some running…hopefully…if I feel like I have the energy. Any suggestions for that, people? Last week I felt like if I did too much cardio (i.e. 10 minutes) I would pass out so I was taking it easy. I might have to start ignoring the recommendations for pre workout and start eating more fruit, I’m thinking?
That’s the weather for here in St Louis. Now you don’t have to go outside to tell, since I just told you.
Okay, so since starting the Whole 30 diet, how am I feeling? Well, I’m feeling okay. A little tired, and generally hungry all the time, but not wanting to eat anymore (technically you aren’t supposed to be hungry, but I find I can’t eat enough at meals to NOT be hungry afterwards, but I’m okay with that at this time as it’s only the third day.) The other thing is that I find myself thinking about food and planning my next meal constantly…I’m not sure how I feel having to think so much about food, but again, it’s only 30 days.
Yesterday I had a long run around Tower Grove Park (more than one time, as I’m sort of half marathon training…) and saw this awesome birthday cake. St Louis is having its 250th birthday this year and there are cakes placed all over the city! This is the first one I’ve seen, but I’ll have to seek out a few more. (They aren’t actual cakes, just FYI.)
Can you tell exactly where it is?
I had a rehearsal last night for a church service this weekend at St Francis de Sales Church. It is the second largest cathedral in the city (after the Basilica) and is absolutely gorgeous. And absolutely not heated, so it was quite cold last night. Luckily beautiful choir music (a Mass by Mozart) and great string playing kept us a bit warmer than we might have been…come check it out Sunday morning at 10 am! It’s a traditional Latin Mass.
My view—this is a very unimpressive picture, but it looked really awesome at the time, except for that light ruining everything.
I think my cat has managed to gain back a fair amount of her weight loss. This is of course, all my fault. But I love her anyway. Look at that soft creature!
I realized I have a lot of practice and some studying to do–we are preparing some new quartet music, I have a solo violin/piano recital booked for the fall and am being pretty ambitious with that repertoire, and there’s lots of other random stuff that I need to look over (opera…opera!).
I also have a couple books (one on Prokofiev Sonatas and one on Baroque String Playing) that I want to delve into a bit more than I have so far, and I need to figure out a bunch of stuff for my private teaching (repertoire, theory, that sort of thing) that I’ve been neglecting. I’m hoping the warmer weather and the diet (and thus, less social activities, ha) will make me a very productive Hannah!
So my “crazy” diet (Whole 30) has begun. I’ve never been one to believe in fad diets, nor have I been willing to give up my beloved grains, but I wanted a bit of a shake up and a challenge, so here we go. So far breakfast and lunch have gone well (eggs, salad, eggs, shrimp, etc.) and dinner is already prepped as I have to run to a rehearsal after teaching. Normally I would have packed a sandwich to eat while driving, and this time I have food I need a fork for, so my hope is to get to rehearsal in time to eat, and if not, then that’s what break is for?
(this was a fun gig—background music for a school fundraiser—they were really nice and the gymnasium was absolutely transformed!)
The weekend went well. I’m getting back into the normal swing of things, which means lots of gigs on the weekends and extra rehearsals during the week. It’s not that I’m incredibly busy, it’s just that I have very few days off (no such thing as a weekend for a working musician) and lots of different concerts and gigs, and I am also trying to re-dedicate myself to working out and eating well and it’s tough to reconcile everything—along with practicing and keeping up on housework and errands. It’s just a matter of planning and trying to use my time wisely (and get out of bed at a reasonable hour…which means GOING to bed at a reasonable hour…)
(view from Winter Opera’s rehearsal rooms—poster from last month’s production)
On an unrelated note, today is my mom’s birthday. Happy Birthday Mom!
(those are actually beautiful flowers a student gave me for Valentine’s Day but it works, right?)
Tell me that I’m not crazy and that I can go 30 days without grains, dairy, and sugar…so far today is good and I have that feeling of “yes, I’m doing something good for myself and I’m going to eventually fit back into my purple pants even though by then they will probably be out of style” but I suspect the next few days may be a bit challenging as the new-ness wears off and I start missing the ability to eat a sandwich with one hand while driving with the other.
Or tell me that I am crazy…either way.
I had a couple student cancellations today (this is what I get for attempting to schedule students on Saturdays, I think…not a regular thing for a reason) so I have a quick moment to blog. I have so many things going on: lucky for me it seems that late February is when the gigs really start picking up, so it’s a concert tomorrow afternoon, a ton of rehearsals for various things, and background music for a school fundraiser tonight. Whew!
But I promised you cats:
Regular readers will of course recognize my cat. Did you know her given name is Oistrakh? I’ve been calling her the fatness for a long time, but lately I’ve been trying Oyster, or Dr. Oysterman (seems more official, and respectful…technically the Fatness was short for Her Royal Fatness…so it’s all pretty respectful as you see.)
I texted this to my sister Leslie and her husband and they were shocked that I could have cords out around my cat. Theirs destroy cords.
This is a picture of both of their cats. Somehow. Albergo (black and white) and Catalunya (black.) Interesting fact: I have that same pillow with the camel on it.
My friend April sent me this one: it’s her parent’s cat enjoying a little car trip with the family. Sometimes I think that I should let the Fat Oyster come along on trips with me but then I remember the last few times she rode in the car and how she acted like I was obviously trying to kill her. (I’m sure she can read my thoughts as she just gave me a dirty look.)
If any readers want me to showcase their photos, send ‘em on! I lost track of Caturday for awhile, but I’d like to bring it back as a more regular feature, so email me at hannahviolin at gmail dot com with pictures, comments, or whatever.
1. Whole 30 Starts Monday…I bought avocados and sweet potatoes at the store today in addition to some other stuff. My freezer has some meat in it, fridge full of veggies and eggs, so I’m ready. I’m trying to eat up all my “non-compliant” food in the house. I’m worried this will affect my lunching abilities for the month, but we all have to make sacrifices, right?
2. I only made it to the gym once last week. I also went on a run and a long walk (it was going to be a run but there were extenuating circumstances.) I considered running this afternoon but today is the one day per month that I definitely allow myself not to do any workouts (don’t make me elaborate!) so tomorrow will be a workout/run day. I have a 6 miler on the schedule for half marathon training but with my current busy weekend schedule I’m looking at pushing that to Monday or Tuesday instead to have a little breathing room. (Or heavy breathing room.)
3. Leslie is coming to visit in late-March. This is good timing because it will be right after the Whole 30 concludes so we can eat normally together. I was looking at a race we could do together (it’s the weekend before the Go Half but I’m really not even worried about that—it’s simply my goal to finish and have fun, and feel good about what I’m doing for myself.) Anyway a little research and I found this race, which includes a COMMEMORATIVE HONDURAN COWBOY HAT. I’m hoping she’ll give it the go-ahead.
I just read this article–
and thought it was worth a read…(snippet) “They had a dream. They overcame great adversity. And now they may reap the ultimate reward — public glory!”