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Monday, July 30, 2012

Tick Tock Tick Tock goes the Clock

Tick tock goes the lock.......tick, tick, tick, tick, tick....goes the second hand as time passes me by. I am continually amazed how quickly time can pass even as it stands still. "As time passes me by the clock stands still."  that phrase just resonates in my mind as I think about the speed that life races at while so many things that I struggle with remain the same. It is said that everything changes. Nothing remains as it is now, as it once was. I continue to struggle with sugar addiction, and using food to deal with my emotions. I continue to struggle with self discipline in managing my life and not becoming narrowly focused on my music.

Since I began playing the guitar just 2 years ago, I have done what I typically do when I invest in something or someone. I go full board, full steam ahead, "pass go" and keep on rambling on at a neck breaking speed.
Last summer I took a slight diversion from my music because a person from my past that I invested a great deal of time in had come back into my life. This person demands attention and focus of my every waking hour. So, my guitar and music took a back seat to that. However, I recall back to the prior summer. The summer I picked up the guitar. The summer of 2010. I kept to myself a good amount of time and hunkered down in my house with my guitar and played it for hours upon hours upon hours. I would wake up, pick up the guitar, remain playing all day and night. Eventually, I would drift off to sleep, then awaken and pick up the guitar and repeat the process again. I assumed that pattern would eventually balance itself out and the novelty of learning a new skill would wear off and I'd find a balance in life again. Yet, 2 years later I have not found that balance. I am 6 weeks into my summer and as I reflect back I have done very little of what I love about me summers, with one exception, guitar time. I have plenty of that!

It is hard to believe I have been teaching 7, or 8 years. I sort of landmark my life now by the summers. I recall what was happening in my life by how I spent my summer. The school year is completely consumed by teaching. So, the time is a blurry faint memory. But, the summers are very clear and memorable. My first 6 years teaching, each summer was land marked by what I was going through with my ex-boyfriend. This is the first summer that hasn't been mandated by my ex in one way or another. Since I began teaching he had occupied my time during each summer, even during the summer of 2010 when I was no longer with him. I was still "with him" in my head which is what the guitar helped me work through. This is the first summer that he is not a part of my physical space and time, nor a part of my mental space and time. I no longer feel even an ounce of connection to him, nor even an ounce of desire to ever have any connection with him again. I  have moved on from that relationship on all levels. The relationship that is occupying my time and my mind is Taylor, my 6 string friend which resides in my living room.

I have 3 weeks left of summer vacation before school begins. I put the word "vacation" in italics because it hasn't felt much like a vacation. I think of vacation as time spent with family and friends in leisure activities, such as long walks, hikes, trips to the beach, campfires, evening chats over a glass of wine, morning talks over coffee, early morning walks followed by a latte' and good book. I have done none of that this summer. I have played the guitar. I have played the guitar. I have played the guitar. There has been very little of anything else. I do enjoy playing the guitar or I wouldn't do it so often. However, I don't enjoy the constant drive that pushes me to progress higher and higher and higher and it's never enough. The progress I make is never enough because it only leads me to set a new goal, to reach another level, learn another set of songs. It isn't just the guitar however.  It is singing along with the guitar. If I am only wanting to learn new guitar skills I wouldn't feel such a push and drive. But, singing along with the guitar playing is more challenging for me. So, this is what pushes me and drives me. Today I am asking myself this; If singing is so difficult, if I have to struggle so hard through each song, then perhaps singing isn't something I should pursue.

As the "Days of my Life" slip through the sands of the hourglass I don't want to be stuck in this force field of music obsession. I want to enjoy playing the guitar. I want to enjoy singing. I also want to enjoy hiking the way I used to. I want to enjoy early morning walks the way I used to. I also want to have my daily routine back. I haven't had that in a very long time because I am up until early morning hours working on my music. I eventually fall asleep. But, only sleep for a few hours before I'm up thinking about music again. This has put me in a perpetual state of sleep deprivation which makes every other are of life difficult. As I type this, I am on just a few hours sleep, after being up all night working on some new songs. I am making  a decision today NOT to learn any new songs at the moment. That is a difficult statement for me! There are so, so many I want to learn! But, I simply can't learn them all, sing them all and do them all well. Many songs are easy for me to play, sing and learn. I learned Bob Seger's Turn the Page in about 5 minutes. It's an easy one for me to sing and play. Just comes naturally. Compare that to numerous other songs that I have been trying to learn for weeks, months and years. Some of these songs I will work on 10 hrs a day, 7 days a week for months and still not get them just right. It is these songs I am going to temporarily abandon. I'll abandon them long enough to get balance back in my life. Then perhaps slip one in. Just one!

As these seconds, minutes, and hours tick away through my life which literally gets shorter by the passing second, I will gain some balance. I will get back to my exercise routine which makes me very happy. I will set limits on the amount of time I spend on the guitar. 2 hours a day. No more. I will set a time and not allow more than 2 hours a day. I will get back to yoga and get back to being in tune with my body again. I will get my juicer out and serve my body, mind and soul what it needs nutrition, exercise, balance, and care. I am clearly aware that if I don't make these changes my life will change. But, not in the direction I would like it to.  I intend to "change" that!