One of my best friends was very depressed one day, and he came to see me and asked, "Judy, why am I so depressed? I don't even know why...all I know is that I'm on the verge of tears all the time." After talking with him and learning of his work schedule, and discovering that work was pretty much all he was doing, I gave him an answer. "The key to being happy is to balance out all aspects of your life: spiritual, personal, professional,family life, romantic life, health (not necessarily in that order). If you don't give each part of who you are equal attention, there becomes a deficit." And although I haven't found myself on the verge of tears, thank God, I do feel a little used up. Lately, (only in the last few weeks), I feel like a machine that everyone rents out, uses, and returns it without a second thought - person after person, but no one thinks to bring it somewhere for maintenance...I feel like a bank, Judy's Bank. People everyday continually making withdrawals...not deposits, and before you know it, there is no interest & the account becomes depleted.
Oh,yes, that's the word I was looking for: depleted. Now, I'm not talking about my average week full of shows and radio shifts and a few favors along the way. I am also not talking about anything I do for children. I would do ANYTHING for children in need of a boost...very hard to disappoint children. It's a policy of mine. Don't promise anything to a child unless you are 100% sure you can deliver. And when children need help, I have a hard time saying no. Okay, I diverted a bit. Getting back to feeling depleted.
I always do my best to put myself in other people's shoes - it's a good habit to develop - it teaches empathy & compassion...and if I put myself in other people's shoes BEFORE I talk, I find it keeps me from saying something stupid, lol. In the spirit of doing so, I put myself in so many people's shoes in the last month that I need some comfy, fluffy slippers. Here's the problem: No one thinks to put themselves in my shoes. And my shoes can be very very high heels that fit a bit too tight. And everywhere I turn someone is asking me for a favor. And there is really nothing wrong with it, but no one knows whether or not I've been sleep deprived or that I'm having difficulty with my voice because I have nodules on my vocal chords (they are like tiny callouses on the vocal chords that interfere with your singing - sometimes requiring surgery. The cure? Speech therapy can help, but it takes a LONG time...ideally a dcotor told me 'just shut up.')
I don't want to sound ugly here...I want you to know that I go out of my way to do EVERYTHING possible to help ANYONE who needs me...I believe in karma, and want to be sure that what ever comes around is a good thing. But...I am a human being...and when relatives and friends and strangers and deejays and promoters and booking agents and managers are all asking for favors - well, it's exhausting. Who do I blame? Myself. I have learned over the years to say no; and when absolutely necessary I will, but it never comes without an overwhelming sense of guilt - and sometimes I get yelled at, or hate letters because they are upset that I cannot help. Allow me to give you a taste of what it's been like of late.
I have received 8 requests to speak at schools (which I WANT to do), 11 requests to perform for fundraisers - and 14 requests for internet radio interviews all in one month!!...most of the dates falling around or on the same day. I want to be VERY clear - I am NOT complaining...I'm simply venting. To me complaining happens when you don't want to do something & venting happens when you do want to do something but don't know HOW. LOL. I was asked just yesterday to do a favor and "show up" at a party and sing one song. I couldn't do it because I had KTU from 4pm to 10pm and then a show with the band, Mirage, in memory of my friend Michelina...where, how could I make this private party? When I apologized and told the woman I couldn't make it, she proceeded to tell me I am a bitch and don't care about other people. Que que????? Whaaattt??? Although I know she spoke out of anger, she doesn't know that I gave a free concert to a school just this past Wednesday to special education students at Hungerfoot School in Staten Island. She doesn't know that I went recently to my local utility company and asked a representative there to give me the name of a random woman whose bill was not paid and I PAID it for her - complete stranger. So, Ms. Thang, don't presume to think you know me, lol. I'm acting all tough now, but last night I cried. Part of me cried out of sheer exhaustion - part because I felt hurt - part because I don't like to disappoint because I felt bad I couldn't do it all, and part because sometimes, dammit, I am NOT a machine. I am a human being. Being a performer teaches you very quickly that people don't want excuses - they paid to see you sing - You had better sing...they don't care if you're sick, or you have some family emergency, or that you're just tired. Oh, by the way, I was also asked to help a gentleman from Gaza City come to the United States because I'm a broadcaster and I can afford it, OMG!!! If I'm feeling like this, I can just imagine what Rihanna or J-Lo go through!
Well, I'm going home in a little while, I'm going to take a long bath, put on my coziest pj's and find a way to get rid of the migraine I've had since last night. On a positive note, I was asked about by one of the teachers today, lol...I said yes, but I have to check my calendar, lol. I need to figure out how to bring back balance in my life...and I have to clean my house too! LOL. Help. Someone hug me!!!!