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Routine

Hi my name is Kate and I’m addicted to mundane routine.

It is well known that people on the autism spectrum thrive when they have a solid routine. I find that I am much less anxious, less agitated and a lot more calm when I have a routine in place.

My routine over the last few months has been wake up, bathe, get dressed, have breakfast, wash clothes, clean the house, have lunch (while watching Star Trek TNG),welcome students (my husband is a vocal coach who mostly works from home) go to work (most of my shifts are at night), come home, eat dinner, waste my life on YouTube/Facebook, sleep. Repeat.

This rhythm has kept me (for the most part) from losing the plot. On January 1st 2014 I released my debut EP after four years of blood, sweat and tears – oh yes, tears, plenty of them. There were many tears as a reaction to the chaos that embracing creativity brings. You see I’m a creative person – hence ‘Art and Aspergers’ I claim to be an artist, although lately, you wouldn’t know it. If you had been a fly on the wall in my house over the last three months or so you would have no idea that I have this ridiculous dream to write songs, sing them, record them, distribute them and have an audience, listeners, a response, my voice heard blah blah blah.

From 2010 to 2013 I was writing and recording tunes and partnering with a man who I married in 2011 who helped get my music out. Without him I would have got nothing off the ground.

It was a chaotic journey though. I found the recording process especially stressful. Just the sensation of wearing headphones and muffled voices against the crisp, loud recorded music blasting into my ears was sometimes unbearable – Luke (my future hubby) didn’t understand at the time. This would happen numerous times plus adding more stress when my voice wouldn’t do what I wanted it to. Of course having a vocal coach for a husband he would try and coach me through it. But it would still take a while before he would begin to understand, which is fair enough when I couldn’t really communicate what I was feeling at the time.

Then there was the schedule changes, changes in recording times, changes in instruments and arrangements, changes with release dates and other plans. The creative journey is not 9 to 5 Monday to Friday. It was all over the place and when people would ask me when the EP would be released I couldn’t give them a clear answer which made my heart ache. It was like I had been pregnant for four years. I just wanted to pop it out already but being the creative people hubby and I are it had to be done right or not at all. There were times when we nearly gave up on it all together. But we had friends put finances towards it so we decided it wasn’t fair on them to give up. I’m glad we stuck it out. We reckon it sounds alright (if I do say so myself).

So after all that now I just want to do the mundane. I want to escape the chaos that comes with creativity. Unfortunately they are hand in hand so I thought that I’ll just drop the ball. I stopped writing, I stopped doing the vocal exercises, I stopped. The thought of starting all over again was just too much.

The problem is my husband hasn’t stopped. In fact the vocal coaching is growing (which I’m so grateful for). He is practising every day to one day get regular gigs. He has joined a vocal academy and constantly studying. I love and admire him for that but of course he is constantly trying to get me to get back on the horse. We need to have momentum now that we have released the EP. He’s right we should.

Instead I’ve got the ‘be the supportive wife’ excuse. I’ll have the responsibility of keeping the house clean for students, keep the schedule up to date, payments up to date etc. I’m avoiding my own projects and focusing on Luke’s. I’m finding areas of the house to clean to fill in time when I could be writing a song or vocalizing. Ironically I’m writing this blog post instead of spending time on other creative projects.

Late last year I submitted one of my songs to be played on the Woolworths instore radio. It was accepted and plays in every Woolworths and BWS stores in Australia. I work at a Woolworths store so I hear my tune come on the store radio from time to time. Every time it plays it’s like a call out of my mediocrity. I know I have to get creative again. Couple that with what I believe is the still small voice of God Himself whispering in my ear every now and then. I can’t afford to be too comfortable. I hate it when that happens. If it’s not my husband nagging me it’s the creator of the universe Himself.

Unfortunately as much as the routine keeps me somewhat balanced, I know I’m not happy. I need to find a slot in my schedule for creative chaos. Even if I just start with 20 minutes of vocal practice.

If you would like to listen and/or buy my debut EP ‘Freedom’ go to katekent.bandcamp.com 🙂

Here’s to creativity and embracing the uncomfortable.

Kate.

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2 responses to “Routine

  1. As an Aspie, I too function much better on routine.

    • It’s very common for people on the spectrum to function better with routine. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. It helps with stability in life which leads to less anxiety. But I find as a creative person I need to break away from routine to complete my projects. There is a level of chaos that comes with the pursuit of achieving one’s creative dream. It’s one thing to function in life but to achieve what I want to achieve I’ll have to deal with changes to routine.

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