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Buddy System 2.0

Last Monday, Tina started a practicing accountability group on Facebook. The week before, she posted in the Twin Cities Opera Network asking who would like to join. I commented saying I would because for the past few weeks, I had been meaning to start practicing again in earnest, but I hadn’t. Since I hurt my back in November, I had not made practicing a priority or part of my daily routine again. On Monday, having completely forgotten I had signed up to be a part of the group, I went about my day. As I tend to go several days between checking social media, Tina texted me in the late afternoon that she had sent me an invite to the group and today was day 1 of practicing. A gentle, much-needed reminder. (Thank you, Tina!) Luke was teaching from home until 5:00pm and when the studio was free that Monday evening, I really did not want to practice. I was tired, would rather relax and spend time with Luke, and I could come up with a million reasons to not sing. But I looked at the group, and all the posts from people that day, including a clip of someone bouncing their beautiful baby and singing a lullaby. So I went into the studio, warmed up and revisited an old aria. The next morning, I knew if I did not practice early, I would not get a chance until the evening because of Luke’s teaching schedule. So, I put on some music (Brian Eno’s “Ambient 1: Music for Airports), lit a candle, did some yoga, and slowly warmed up before deliberately working on some repertoire— all before 10:00am! I continued to practice every morning last week (except for Sunday because a day of rest is necessary) and was in the studio again this morning. If you are struggling to achieve something, find a buddy. Someone who can motivate you (and you can motivate them) to stay accountable and consistent. It’s been nice to have a community and even though I haven’t logged onto social media since Thursday, knowing they are in this with me has kept me practicing. In the group, people ask for advice, share their struggles, encourage one another to sing (even just for 5 minutes), and share what they’re working on. It because of these lovely people, that I am sticking with my intention to practice (nearly) every day. OOPS MN would not be a thing had I not shared the nugget of an idea with Tina and Chip. Their encouragement grew the idea into the early stages of an organization. I know that without them and without support from so many others, it would still be just a thought I never pursued. I’ll leave you with a question: Who can I collaborate with to make this easier? (Fill in “this” with any situation with which you have been struggling.)

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