Bal­anc­ing act

Mu­sicNL nom­i­nee jug­gles per­form­ing and teach­ing, to bet­ter­ment of both

The Central Voice - - Front Page - Carolyn R. Par­sons Carolyn R. Par­sons is a cen­tral New­found­land au­thor. She can be reached at car­olyn­r­par­sons@gmail.com

Be­fore vis­i­tors ar­rived, just over a week ago, I did a great big tidy and clean and boy did it feel good. While do­ing it I still man­aged to com­plete work, write, make dead­lines, take walks, spend time with the fam­ily, do a short morn­ing yoga and med­i­ta­tion. I felt com­plete, steady, fo­cused and con­tent.

Then a fam­ily birth­day party mid-week, fol­lowed by two days of mak­ing up for missed work, strug­gling to meet a dead­line for a writ­ing project, a day of travel to a book tour event and a week later and my house is in sham­bles. And I am too. I’ve not gone for a walk or med­i­tated and I’ve barely slept.

I con­fess I had chips for break­fast twice be­cause they were easy while veg­eta­bles have died a lonely ag­o­niz­ing death in the fridge be­fore be­ing buried in the garbage still wrapped in the cel­lo­phane. I just haven’t had time to peel, chop and cook them. It makes me feel out of sorts, anx­ious. At the cur­rent mo­ment, my life is con­sid­er­ably un­bal­anced.

When I spoke with Camp­bell­ton singer-song­writer, Adam Bax­ter, he had no such is­sues. Fresh off an At­lantic Canada Tour, 18 dates in New Brunswick and Nova Sco­tia, as well as a bunch of New­found­land stops, he seems quite on track. Cur­rently back to work as a mu­sic teacher in Lewis­porte, he’s pumped about even more shows.

Adam is a suc­cess­ful record­ing artist with 10 Mu­sicNL nom­i­na­tions and three awards to his name.

And as if this isn’t enough, he just launched an­other al­bum called “Open and Shut”, an eight-song project, recorded live off the floor with a few songs from each pre­vi­ous al­bum and an un­re­leased orig­i­nal.

He tells me that he is “flat out and lovin’ it.”

“I wish I could (tour more) but I love my job,” he says of teach­ing af­ter talk­ing like an artist who tours full-time around the world. “I love the bal­ance.”

“This is the first Septem­ber he hasn’t taken time off be­tween per­form­ing and start­ing the school year, writ­ing songs in be­tween all his other work.

“Right now, I have a bal­ance be­tween my pro­fes­sion as a mu­sic ed­u­ca­tor with Lewis­porte Col­le­giate and Lewis­porte In­ter­me­di­ate, a bal­ance with my own art and be­ing a hus­band and home­owner,” he says.

“The mar­riage and re­la­tion­ship is the top pri­or­ity, It has to be. I love what I do and she gives me in­spi­ra­tion.”

In ad­di­tion to hav­ing a “crazy sup­port­ive wife,” he lauds avoid­ing par­ty­ing, eat­ing right, drink­ing lots of wa­ter as part of the key to main­tain­ing his sched­ule and stay­ing bal­anced.

Not so co­in­ci­den­tally, he has two 2018 Mu­sicNL nom­i­na­tions; The Long and McQuade Mu­sic Ed­u­ca­tor of the Year for his work at the schools, and the Al­ter­na­tive Artist of the Year for his own art. A per­fect bal­ance.

Quite of­ten my own equi­lib­rium is shaken by cir­cum­stances out of my con­trol. Har­mony in life is about tak­ing all the pieces of it and mak­ing sure they work to­gether smoothly so that the whole is bet­ter than the sin­gu­lar. Sure, there’ll be times of dis­cord and in­ter­mis­sions when one as­pect re­quires more fo­cus than the oth­ers for a time. Bal­ance hap­pens over time, not over a day but a con­scious ef­fort to bring things back into order is some­thing I work on con­stantly.

The trick is to de­lib­er­ately pull things back to­gether at the first op­por­tu­nity. Of­ten it only takes a day to put the house back in order, restart yoga the next morn­ing, make a good break­fast, go for a walk then boom, back on track.

To­day, while the sun shines, I’ll hang some laun­dry on the line, clean the kitchen, put away the folded tow­els and to­mor­row em­brace the bal­ance I’ve missed.

Mean­while, don’t miss Adam Bax­ter. His in­ter­view on Bridges Radio can be found on the Bridges Radio Show pod­cast and you can catch him on tour when he opens up for Daniel Cham­pagne in late Oc­to­ber.

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