Resolutions, Sacrifices and Benchmarks

I don’t know why we bother making new year’s resolutions when Lent is so close by. Unless it’s so we can use Lent as a benchmark to evaluate how we’re doing so far and what changes we can make to achieve the goals we set nearly two months before. That seems logical to me. Perhaps there should be benchmarks set throughout the year, roughly 40 days apart. Little mini-Lents.

I didn’t make any new resolutions on January 1. I had some vague ideas about being more productive, about trying new things (I started a bucket list! Does that mean I’m trendy or just getting old?), but I didn’t really resolve to do anything specifically.

So I decided, after wasting numerous hours on the computer playing Bejeweled and the trial version of its even more seductive cousin, Bejeweled Twist (which downloaded itself after an update of the original version – uh, thank you?), that it was time to make a specific resolution, even if it was for 40 days. I’m not going to play either of them at least till Easter, and on Easter, I will decide if I’d like to extend that resolution for another mini-Lenten period. Perhaps till Memorial Day!

It’s still on my computer but it’s not in my Start menu. I could access it, but it’s not right there. The first day was really hard – I realized how often I play it while waiting for a file to open, as a break while typing a lecture, when I can’t sleep at night and don’t want to involve myself in something that will keep me from going back to bed. I can rationalize that it’s a great way to fine-tune my eye-hand coordination, to think quickly, that it’s “only one more game,” but honestly, it’s a time suck. A bigger time suck than Facebook, than AIM, than the phone. And it’s keeping me from things I should be doing.

Like practicing. Or working out. Or writing my lecture. Or taking the puppies for a walk (well, the latter will happen more often when it gets warmer). But if I resolve to “practice more” or “work out more,” I’ll find a way around it.

I resolve to schedule things that I need to do for specific times. If I have “practice” on my calendar for a specific daily time, there’s a good chance I’ll do it. If I just think, “I should practice now,” the thought will be finished with, “Maybe later. After one more game.”

It would be even better if I scheduled “practice Moore songs” rather than a generic “practice.”

I’ll set a benchmark. On Easter Sunday, I will evaluate how not playing Bejeweled (or its mobile counterpart, “Jewels,” also on my Droid!) has caused me to be more productive. And how my scheduling is going.

And now my 3:45 student is here – so I resolve to teach!

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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