Spring semester of 2018 is looking like it will be the most difficult semester of my life. I have a graduate recital, 3 operas to perform, 2 children, and a job search after graduation that I continue to worry about. My wife, Allison, reminded me of the Charles Spurgeon quote "By perseverance the snail reached the ark" but in my situation the snail is worried too much about his life on the ark. I worry too much about my job post-graduation. It is one thing to plan well, but another to obsess about how everything is going to work out. Proverbs 17:24 says "Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth." Thinking about the future isn't necessarily bad, but I have responsibilities today (and Musicology articles I need to read by tomorrow). The big decisions are already decided by the little decisions you've made leading up to the point of the big decisions. (I'm sure someone else put that more eloquently than I just did). To worry and over plan for the big decisions of the future is ignoring the tasks that I have for this semester. I have a lot of work to do before I graduate and having 2 children during my last semester adds another level of stress.
I wouldn't have it any other way. Allison and I wanted to have kids early. Statistically, people are getting married later in life which leads to having kids later in life. Being the youngest of 6 boys, family is very important to me. I read about famous singers and how they waited until their 30s to have children and I didn't want my family to be like theirs. I respect how they live and how they worked hard to achieve the goal of being world renown singers. It's great that they are famous and there are hours of work that they put into their craft. These are the hours I spend changing diapers. By diapers, I mean the ones with urine in them. If they are of the "feces" category, my wife graciously volunteers because of my gag reflex. It's a blessing and curse. I want to give my children the younger years of my life so when they ask to ride on my back, or swing them around, or ride on my back, or pick them up by their feet, or ride on my back, I can do it. Having children is a great joy and is exhausting.
Something that I've continued to face is the same issue that people who have kids after their career face: "is my career more important to me than my family?" When I move my family to Germany, am I okay with getting a chorus contract rather than a fest contract so I can spend more time with my family? (I'll probably write about this after the semester. I have to stay focused). It's a question I would like to honestly answer "Yes" to instead of saying "yes" but not show it by my actions. Currently, in this semester, I feel like I am not able to love my family in the way I would like. I feel overwhelmed to the point of needing to take life a day at a time. I'm reminded of the Israelites in the desert and how they could only gather food for that day. That's my life right now. They had to trust that God would provide food each day. I hope I have food for tomorrow and that I don't try to hoard anything from the fear of losing it. I want to make little decisions of diligence today that will effect the big decisions later this year. With that said, I also hope these musicology articles read themselves.