I am sorry if this isn't normal faire around here but I think this topic might just be as relevant to a musician as strings or tone and all that crap.
I am lucky enough to be touring quite frequently recently and for all its merits it does also bring up some interesting quandaries with home life and relationships.
I am just curious how you or others you work with deal with such things as:
-being away for long stretches of time.
-working most or all weekends when you are home.
-enjoying amazing things around the world without the company of your loved one...
I don't do it anymore for durations that exceed 3-4 weeks at a pop. But when I was gone a long time I did a lot of "iChat", now "Face Time". Even now I still do that. Plus lots of extra time to hang out with family before and after leaving.
I don't work Sundays anymore, so that rule is now ironclad.
Enjoying amazing things, as you say, is not difficult. I think that it would be hard for me to simply "shut off" the enjoyment because they aren't with me. THe enjoyment of travel is a treasured, personal thing for me, so I don't feel inclined to feel guilty about it.
My wife also travels for work so we each get a taste of of what it's like for the other to leave... We have a deal worked out that's worked pretty well. If I'm on a tour that ends somewhere shed like to go (or vice versa), I usually fly her out the last show and then we hang for a few days wherever we are. My transportation has already been covered so its actually a cheaper way to work in a little vacation. My last tour ended in LA so she came out and we rented a convertible and drove up the pc hwy. Last winter I had one end in Aspen, so she came out and we snowboarded for a few days(the club also hooked us up with lodging and lift tickets). Our lifestyles still challenge our relationship (as any others probably do), but we try and be creative and make the best of it.
Anyone that gets to travel to play music, and is supported by their family is living the dream. Its the best of both worlds, IMHO. However, it's important to never take either of the two for granted. Its important to make sure I call or Face Time home before waiting too long in the day. And to share the ups and downs of the day or week w/ my wife personally before she reads it on FB or Twitter. Its important to be in the moment when you are where you are supposed to be, wether with the fam, or the band family. Plus we make the best of our surroundings (within reason), so I try to enjoy the road and its random and radical offerings, rather than sulking in the trial of being separated from my loved ones. But every dog has his day, thats for sure.
Well said, Branden. Words to live by.
I always feel a little guilty when I go on the road. Not as much as I did when my son was younger (he's 24 now) but when he was growing up I struggled with being away. I make it a point to call home a couple of times per day. Even if I'm playing locally, I still call home when I arrive at the venue. My wife has always been understanding and supportive. She doesn't mind as long as the bills are paid. The funny thing is that when I am on the road, I can't wait to get home and when I get home, I miss being on the road, meeting new people and seeing new places.
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