Be okay with being bad at stuff
One of my super powers is I'm not afraid of being bad at something. It's the only way to get good at something! It's rare that I think, "Oh I'm not going to try that - I'll be wretched at it." Often times it's the opposite, I try it because I know I'll be bad at it.
One of the benefits of teaching is that you see, on a daily basis, people acquiring skills. Whether you're young or old, it's possible to get good enough at nearly anything to make it enjoyable. And once it's enjoyable, you want to keep doing it. And guess what?
You'll get better at it.
The worst that can happen
Probably won't happen.
Try a to-don't list
I love a to-do list. I know I’m not alone in that. I love being organized and on top of my game. It provides me a ridiculous amount of pleasure knowing that I’m doing what I say I’m going to do. No matter how grand or trivial. It just feels good.
A few months back I told my therapist I had made a massive to-do list because I was feeling wonky. That was the actual word I used. Wonky. It covers a lot of bases, but in that moment wonky’s closest synonyms were likely confused, overwhelmed, and lost.
So my therapist, being the brilliant human she is, said to me, “Amy, I don’t think what you need is a to-do list. Why don’t you try a to-don’t list?”
A to-don’t list.
It’s easier for us to attempt to get out of our own way by adding things we need to do in order to make our lives more, well, orderly. Or more salient. Better. It’s a lot harder to figure out what we need to stop doing.
My to-don’t list is several pages long. I do not succeed at all of it even a fraction of the time, but I’m working on fixing that.
Here are some examples from my list:
The list literally goes on. It was challenging to start but once I got going, oh man, did I get going.
These are not dogmatic. They’re reminders. Life is more than a to-do list. And it's more than a to-don't list, but a gentle nudge saying, "Hey, remember what we're working on here," can go a long way for all of us.
The constant nature of change
Change is happening 100% of the time. We are always changing. I think we don't think about it that much because it is a wild thing to think about.
Me? Changing? No way! I still like all the same things! I still do all the things I did yesterday and behave the same way! How am I changing?
Time marches on, and if you're lucky, you get to march along with it. Some people dig their heels in in an effort to not be dragged. All they end up with are sore heels.
Some people are not lucky and time knocks them down. Game over. Bleak? Maybe. Honest? Yes. At some point we all lose the game.
So we might as well have fun playing it.
Isn't always more.
Sometimes it's too much.
Under the Wire: Volume 1
I was writing in my journal and realized, "Oh snap! Blog!" So I shifted gears and mediums.
Blogging daily is still new enough that it slips my mind. When the singer of my first band became a vegetarian, a few days after that decision, we were at a friend's apartment and she looked down at her meat-lover's pizza and said, "Oops I forgot I'm a vegetarian now."
Oops I forgot I was writing here every day,
But I didn't. Because I'm here now. And now is as good as time as any.
I will get this to be a regularly scheduled thing. But until then, doing it at all is better than not doing it.
PS - this will happen again, hence the title.
Thoughts on two wheels
Becoming a motorcycle rider is one of the best decisions I ever made.
I'm often asked how I got into riding. I feel like it was always in me. I remember some adults in my life with motorcycles when I was a kid and thinking how cool they were (both the person and the bike). And then I played countless video games where riding a motorcycle was involved. Not to mention I've always had a taste for adrenaline. One of the first jobs I ever wanted was to be a rollercoaster test-rider.
When I look back, it seems inevitable. It also seems like a few chance encounters made all the difference. I wonder if that applies to everything and everyone. If we had one different experience along the way maybe everything about our lives as we know them could be different.
As I was riding under the moonlit sky tonight, several thoughts struck me. Riding is one of the few places where I can't reach for a notebook or a phone to capture anything. I don't mind that though. One of the best parts about riding is the complete immersion of it. If you stop being in the moment, you die. I'm barely exaggerating here. If you stop paying attention, you risk fatal injury.
Getting a regular dose of near-death experience is not everyone's cup of tea. And I don't want to say I like it, but I can honestly say I don't dislike it. Am I out here looking for an accident? Absolutely not. But I do love the rush. I love the freedom. I love the dynamics of and relationship with my bike.
And it is a relationship. Her name is Black Widow, (yes, as in that Black Widow) and she's just the greatest. I walk into my garage with a smile and a loving sigh whenever I see my bike because I know that riding is always better than not riding.
I've been riding for just over two years and I've already had some of the best experiences of my life astride my bike. Every view is better from the bike. I don't know why. I can't explain it with any sort of coherency, but any rider will tell you the same. There's a magic to these machines that a car cannot compete with.
Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.
And who doesn't want to have their soul moved?
We begin again tomorrow
I just remembered I forgot to do my vocal practice today. I broke the chain
The chain begins again tomorrow.
I would love to get every single thing done that I want and/or need to get done every single day. Alas, earwax, I do not accomplish that goal. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I go for days and days without a misstep but one inevitably comes.
That's why we begin again.
We begin again tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow. Even when we're hitting our stride, we begin again tomorrow.
To piggy back off of yesterday, execution is everything.
And it is time for me to recognize that I did not execute a project I set my sights on.
Let me rephrase that - I did not execute on a project I set my sights on within the time I had given myself to do so.
See I wanted to learn and make a video of me playing every Killers song in hopes that I could play with them at their show in Boston in three weeks. I have learned the songs. Of the 104 songs or so that they have, I can confidently play 75 or so. That's the easy part. I love learning songs and the Killers are my favorite band.
But the video part really threw me. It's so much more time consuming than I realized, and I thought I factored it all in well. Nope. I did not.
I'm bowing out of my Killers Quest in regards to the time limit. I admit defeat; I could not do it. Or rather, I did not do it.
But I will still carry on with the learning and sharing of what I've learned - both musically and otherwise. Starting with the otherwise:
- Give yourself more time.
- Stick to a schedule
- Keep it simple
It seems that everyone right now is talking about condensing 10 year plans to 2 years and while I agree with the premise of that, not everything needs to be rushed. A good idea is timeless. Sticking to a schedule allows you to execute on that good idea, keeping it simple makes it as easy as it will ever be, and you gotta have fun along the way,
Execution is what matters
This is proof that execution is everything..
I had loads of ideas for what to write today, but I didn't sit down and get to it. So now I'm a living reminder of what happens when this exact moment happens.
Do your best to avoid it. That's also a reminder for me.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.