It's hard for me to believe that in only 27 days I'll be on stage once again. I realized that I haven't really thought about the week of or the day of much at all yet. I have been so busy living in each moment, getting the job done right each day that I haven't bothered to give much thought to "what's gonna go down." The make up, the hair, the suit, the shoes...I've got it all handled. I used to lose sleep the weeks before a contest with worry about how I would look, how I would place, how my hair and makeup would turn out. I'm not the slight bit concerned about it this time. Knowing what to expect, I've got it all handled this time.
Each day of this contest prep I have done my best to focus on getting the job done that day. Managing my contest prep around the crazy chaos of a summer with changing schedules for 4 children has been challenging to say the least. I found that when I started stressing about weeks ahead and how I would manage my schedule added an immense amount of stress and anxiety. I forced myself to just deal with each day as it came at me, while doing my best to plan ahead and schedule our lives in a way that would minimize my stress level. Focusing on "today" has been the best gift I've ever been able to give myself. While life is busy and chaotic most of the time, I've found that it has given me a sense of calm that I don't think I've ever had before.
I can't say that I've ever loved contest prep before but I am really loving it right now. It is a place of order and calm and competence. At the end of the day I can go over my mental checklist and know I did everything I was supposed to do. There's no worry and there's a sense of accomplishment and then there's the reason I did this in the first place...I've done something for me, something that I wanted to do just because it mattered to me and no other reason.
I am not anxious to be done with this. I don't have a list of all the things I'm going to do once I am "free" from contest prep as I have had in the past. I am enjoying the structure, the routine and mostly, I am enjoying doing something that is only for me. And as an added bonus I am learning not only to live in the moment, but to love it at the same time.