And lo, as the season of festive lunacy descended, ‘twas written that the roadies and performers would return from whence they came, and seek answers to the big questions of existence. Where does the food come from? Where does the laundry go? And why do I keep waking up in the same place I went to sleep?!
It can take time to adjust to ‘normal’ (whatever that is) life when you get back off tour at the best of times. When you get back just before Christmas and return to a whirlwind of festivities and relatives, it can be downright bewildering! Lovely, and so exciting to see your loved ones and your home… but confusing and then some! Here are some of the things we do naturally on tour, which translate well into helping you navigate the silly season as smoothly as the best bus driver you ever had!
Ah yes, for the 7 Ps (proper planning and preparation prevent piss-poor performance) apply just as well to regular life, and especially Christmas, as they do to prepping for a tour. Make use of that marvellous tool the internet, or get to the shops early in the day (or in the middle of the night if you have a 24 hour supermarket!) to alleviate crowd-stress. Lists are your friend. Do the stuff that makes your brain hurt early in the day rather than when you’re tired (see ‘Eat Your Frog’ http://rocknrollyogi.com/?p=358) – you’ll get much more done with a fresh head. And make sure you factor in enough time to relax – there’s a huge temptation to cram in lots of socialising as soon as you get home, but don’t overcommit – can you see some people in the New Year instead?
We get pretty good at this on tour – there are lots of different, often big, personalities, but we generally all rub along pretty well and tolerate each other’s foibles. It’s a good skill to have, and yet we tend to be better at it with colleagues than with say, annoying siblings or critical mothers-in-law. So if you can feel that you’re going to bite, be the bigger person. Take a deep breath, step away and handle it like the professional you are!
We’re also pretty good at being kind to each other on the road most of the time. Of course you don’t want to bring your troubles to work, but things happen, you’re away from home, and when someone is going through tough times it’s heartwarming to see how the unlikeliest of people rally round and lend a shoulder or a sympathetic ear. So take that compassion home with you this Christmas – maybe the person who’s winding you up has a whole story going on that you don’t know about. Maybe give what you can afford to a homeless shelter or charity close to your heart. Are any of your tour-mates going home to a lonely Christmas? Maybe a friendly text wouldn’t go amiss. And be kind to yourself – notice when you’re being unnecessarily self-critical. Would you speak to a friend like that? Cut yourself some slack.
Finally, one of my favourite things about life on the road is the amount of sheer silliness that goes on! How great is it when you have a bunch of people who can do a top-notch job and have a real belly-laugh whilst they’re at it? It doesn’t get better than that! So let your hair down, put that paper hat on, play the fool and have a wonderful time doing just what makes you smile and laugh this Christmas – I wish you a very merry one indeed!