I am writing this on July 2nd. Looking back at my calendar, I have pretty much been on the go since March, and at full throttle since May. Today, after a driver brake-checked me and I got out of the car at a stoplight to have a little face time with the driver, I realized I am overwound like a rubber band on a balsa wood airplane. You want it to fly so badly that you just keep winding and winding that prop.
I’ve also been fighting with Yahoo Small business because their email servers have been down more than they have been up lately. And I like my email address to work. Just saying. The wonderful Mumbai based tech support team is nice and all, but they just don’t get it.
I am overwound like a rubber band on a balsa wood airplane. You want it to fly so badly that you just keep winding and winding that prop.
On top of all this I have a summer cold. I was hopeful that it was just allergies, but no. It’s a full-on cold. So yeah, overwound.
Needless to say, I don’t do well when I’m in this pattern and the hardest thing in the world for me to do is slow down. Way down. My slow gears often look like other people’s overdrives. I know that going down this current road leads to bends that eventually break.
You might be feeling this too. What to do? I’m not going to preach to you here. It’s just what I do. It may not be for you.
Consult my dog. I am serious. My dog, Bruce, is a rescued Pit Bull who, as far as anyone can tell, spent a lot of his life in a dog fighting operation and because of his smaller size was used as a sparring dog. A professional victim. Bruce never complains. He never has a bad day. He always sees things for what they are. He’s never pissed off about what the past did to him. So we chat. A lot. And it helps. A lot.
Bruce never complains. He never has a bad day. He always sees things for what they are. He’s never pissed off about what the past did to him.
Change my food. I’ve been really strict with my diet and my eating. Fasting 16 hours. Only eating between noon and 8 pm. And only eating certain things. The results have been marvelous. And I’m not suggesting that I go on the Ice Cream Diet favored in the summer by many. I am, however, going to look for some different things to eat. To cook some of my fave foods (namely Thai) and enjoy that journey. My more regimented approach means that I don’t take time to savor and to engage in the procurement and preparation. And maybe even in sharing my skills with others.
Change my company. A few days ago, I tweeted: “Misery loves company and Happiness could care less”. Meaning, that somehow, when I am not doing so well, I seem to find others to bellyache with. Bad. It’s the equivalent of driving at the back of the pack and wondering why you got in the wreck. Being a solitary dude has pluses and minuses and if I pay attention to what I am saying inside my head and to others, I can feel that happiness.
“Misery loves company and Happiness could care less”.
Change my music. By now I hope you know that I have spent most of my life as a lover of the bass guitar. It’s my instrument. And few other passions have held my attention as much as having my fingers on the big strings. But in my busy state, I haven’t had any bass in my hands for a long while now. No outside gigs to fill in. No studio calls. No worship sets. No punk. No country. No metal. No prog rock. So as of today, it’s back to my 14-year old self. Wearing out the rewind button and learning (relearning) to play. I’ll put on Rush’s “Moving Pictures” and Geddy Lee will lend me his smile, and maybe some of his hair. And I will remember why I fell in love with the bass. Today’s Tom Sawyer, Mean Mean Pride….
Change my sleep. When I am over-stretched, I don’t sleep much. And when I do sleep, I have vivid dreams. Some call them nightmares. So it’s time to take notice and do better with sleep. Now that I realize the quality of my sleep pretty much has sucked, I can change.
Change my Messiah Complex. If you never read or remember any of my drivel, please take this in. The world will be OK without you for a moment. And the world will suck without you forever. Taking a moment to regroup is fine, because if you don’t you may not get that choice again. I’m dead serious. If you think that anything you are doing is so important that you work yourself into heart attack, panic attack, stroke, major depressive episode or any other version thereof, you are a fool. Plain talk. Today, I purged a couple things from my calendar that were “nice” and a couple things that were “important” and reforged some things that were critical. It will be fine. They will be fine. And most important, I will be better suited to the task.
The world will be OK without you for a moment. And the world will suck without you forever.
Change what play means. For many of us in the business, we can’t get away from the business. We play golf. We have drinks in the grill. We hang with people we know and maybe even work for. Here’s the question… why? Why tie yourself to this and try to convince yourself that if you aren’t actively growing grass, you aren’t working. Bullshit. Show me any turfhead worth their salt who doesn’t play their own place or any other with an experienced and detail-seeking eye. Sorry. That’s work. Go play. Go and get away. Even if just for a bit. Catch a fish. Ride a bike. Take a tour of the jelly bean factory. Something different.
Why tie yourself to this and try to convince yourself that if you aren’t actively growing grass, you aren’t working. Bullshit.
So that’s my list. And I’m giving it to you, so you can do as you wish. But if any of this resonates with you, I implore you, I beg you, to stand up for yourself by standing down and unwinding that rubber band.
Before it snaps and breaks.