Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Tying together poetry, parenting, and advertising in a neat little package

From torn tendons to tenderloin: a week’s worth of life lessons

This past week has been another crazy-busy one. I know everyone has more and more responsibilities weighing them down these days, but for me, sometimes it’s hard just keeping those responsibilities straight – much less actually accomplishing them.

As a stay-at-home dad to my 3-year-old son and 10-week-old daughter, it’s a constant struggle trying to take care of them while running my voiceover business, writing my children’s poetry and picture book manuscripts, being a supportive hubby to my lovely bride, and trying to find a few spare minutes for myself to be able to recharge.

Grey - baking 4

My sous chef, working on the pizza dough

Oh, but first, I need to get a load of laundry in.  Hang on…

Ok, now as I was saying, I — oh, dang, wait a sec – I forgot to load the dishwasher…

Anyway, my point is — ugh, I just realized I was supposed to vacuum the house today! Oh, well, it’ll have to wait…

Before I try to write anything else, let me just put the dogs outside in their kennel and give the baby some milk so she can nap. I’ll have to pay these bills later today.

Let’s stick with bullet points

Indeed, that may be the best way to put this post together, all things considered. You see, although it’s been a stressful and challenging week, there are always rays of sunshine peeking through here and there – little glimmers of inspiration or encouragement that you might miss if you’re too busy trying to just get through the day. Here’s what my past week has been like:

- My Men’s Over-30 Indoor Soccer team’s first game of the season was last Tuesday night, and although we lost, it was to a team that has been playing far longer than we have. We held our own and did an admirable job. Of course, I would have preferred not to have torn a tendon in my left middle finger, but it happens. My finger will be in a brace for the next 6 weeks, but I’m not letting the injury stop me. I won’t be goal-keeping for half the season, but I don’t need fingers to play defense, halfback, or forward!
Lesson learned: Don’t let adversity stop you!

finger

Like I would let THAT stop me!

- A good client of mine asked me to produce a new series of radio commercials for her. We met at a recording studio and, as we have in the past, talked about her business and the various points she wanted to focus on.  I then had the audio (about an hour, total) sent to me, and I’m in the process of cutting up all her good parts into testimonial- style commercials. It’s a major project, and I anticipate being able to produce about 14 or 15 commercials, which she’ll be able to use throughout the rest of this year and next. Why so many? Because there many angles to her business, and I don’t just ask her questions when we’re recording; I listen to her answers. We converse. And that sense of comfort comes through.
Lesson learned: Talk less, listen more!

- One day last week, the baby started crying and wouldn’t stop. She had been changed, fed, held, rocked, changed again, held again, and nothing I was doing was altering her decibel level. Knowing that babies cry because – well, that’s just what they do - I tried not to let it get to me. Eventually, after holding her for what seemed like 182 hours (I’m pretty sure it was less than that, but my arm felt like it had been 182 hours), I decided to try putting her in her baby swing. She immediately stopped crying, closed her eyes, and fell asleep for 2 hours, allowing daddy to finally get some work done. At that point, all I really wanted was a really quiet massage – but since that was out of the question, I decided to work on those commercials.
Lesson learned: Patience, patience, patience!

Best Green Bean Casserole

I could buy 2 pounds for $50, or make twice that for $6. Let me think about that…

- I received a mail-order food catalogue over the weekend from a company I’d never heard of, but which tried tempting me with photos of succulent tenderloin beef, sirloin steaks, and filet mignon. I really wasn’t interested in anything that cost $48 per pound – I kid you not! – but I figured I’d continue to peruse the catalogue and see what else they offered. Then I came across the Green Bean Casserole. Yes, that’s right…the dish your grandmother used to make for Thanksgiving was available by mail-order, for only $25 a pound! Green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and cheap fried onion-things on top, and I could have a 2-pound package sent directly to my door for only FIFTY DOLLARS.
Lesson learned: If I ever have so much money that a $50 Green Bean Casserole sounds like a deal…slap me.

Pay attention to Life!

We don’t always have to be hit with disaster or suffer a major traumatic experience to recognize when Life (or God) is trying to teach us something. Really, there’s something we can learn in everything we experience, if we’re willing to look.

Like you, I get busy, I get stressed, I get uplifted, I get shot down. But in each circumstance, there’s wisdom to be gleaned. I’ve lost out on voiceover gigs; perhaps that’s Life teaching me tenacity. I’ve had numerous children’s writers tell me how much they love some of my poetry; perhaps that’s Life encouraging me to keep writing.

I have four projects I need to work on right now; perhaps that’s Life’s way of teaching me time management.

Or, maybe Life is just telling me everything’s going to be OK.

Either way, I’m listening.

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16 thoughts on “From torn tendons to tenderloin: a week’s worth of life lessons

  1. Words of wisdom! Hang in there, Matt.

    Steven Withrow

  2. Funny and inspiring… well done, Matt. What I’ve learned from you is to keep that sense of humor lubricated and the positive outlook will shine!

  3. When my kids were that young I craved for moments alone that never came. Matthew was so jealous he was always hitting the baby. I’d just moved continents had no toys for a bit and no kids down street. Walks were a saving grace but not easy woth M on a bike. I can’t imagine juggling writing too. Is there a playgroup you can go to? Lots of poetry ideas there and books and kids are occupied. I would get outside for walks as often as poss before weather turns and take a camera. Fill the poetry well.

    • We go to the library story time each week, which Grey LOVES – and he spends as much time there as he can! Plus we go to the park, he helps me bake, he likes to read and play with his trucks and trains for hours on end…so he’s an easy fellow to take care of. Phoebe, on the other hand, is MUCH more needy – which is stressful for both me and her mom!

      • Hmm.. What is she like in a stroller or a high chair. Mine would never stay in a high chair for a minute more than lunch but my best friend has daycare and she can give them toys to play with for a few minutes. Amazing! Have you got a front pack, fussy babies like those too, not sure if you do though. They’re not for everyone :)

      • She likes the stroller…sometimes. She likes her swing…sometimes. So far, she hates the front-facing harness we got for me to carry her around in. She just has her own specific preferences and needs – and it’s tough trying to figure them all out!

  4. Pingback: From torn tendons to tenderloin: a week's wort...

  5. Hey Matt, Thanks for reminding me that I’m not the only busy person in the world. I also appreciate the reminder to look for something positive and to learn from each ‘busy’ experience! Deep Breath my friend!

    • Thanks, Derek. It’s also helpful for us as service providers to understand that, as busy as we may be, there are plenty of folks who are even busier – and a lot of them are clients!

  6. Karen Eastlund on said:

    Hi Matt: I have wondered how you were doing with the little ones. It sounds just as I remember. Good luck with it. You have the perfect attitude. If the vacuuming isn’t done, oh well. Also, three year olds sometimes love to vacuum. If Grey gets the middle and you get the edges, why not? Anyway, best of luck. Your labors will be rewarded. Or reworded… whichever you choose! ;0)

  7. You certainly brought me back to an earlier time, and you wrote it so positively! I don’t remember getting much of anything done, so admire you indeed trying to fit the other two careers in as well as being an at home dad! My daughter’s oldest (now 4) was a hard to care for early baby. It does pass, but so stressful. Just as you said, the swing worked sometime, etc. Best wishes-thinking of you!

  8. Pingback: 11 Top Voiceover Blog Posts This Week - November 2, 2013 | Derek Chappell's Voiceover Blog

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