15 Minutes (2/5/20)

Let’s face it, I’ve been quite comfortable, in every sense of the word. Straight up, too comfortable. Like zero growth comfortable.

The maybe last year and a half to two years, I fell into a routine of sleeping late, and waking up late, then going to gigs, perhaps the gym afterward, maybe watch a movie (or two), and sleep late again. Sometimes two to three weeks straight of gigging every night was the only excuse I needed not to touch my guitar or sing when I was at home.  

In a month, sprinkled here and there, would be a few good days where I woke up before noon (and got 8 hours of sleep), took care of my emails and invoices/contracts, picked up my guitar, practiced and studied some theory, and tried to learn something new. Sometimes I’d even do a little songwriting. 

In the last month, I’ve had more good days than I probably had all of last year. It’s sad to say that, but I’m still happy to say it at the same time. I’m hoping I can keep this up for as long as possible. Maybe I’ll have more good days in the next two months than I did in the last three years! It’s been a comfortable last few years, and I thought maybe I needed some poverty to be uncomfortable. It looks like I just needed to build some daily habits, with the help of some friends. Being uncomfortable in the beginning, but feeling proud and accomplished afterward. 

Oh, the title of this entry, “15 minutes.” That’s the minimum amount of time for certain things like “writing,” practicing piano, learning some music theory, listening to/learning new music, moving of some kind, that I want to commit to every day. If I happen to go over 15 minutes, great, but 15 minutes isn’t too daunting for me to not start at all. Baby steps.

Keeping up with these things as a daily habit would be amazing, but if I happen to take a day off or two in between, it’s still better than I’ve been doing the last five or so years. Here are a few of those things I’d like to stay on top of:

  1. Running. After two years of saying I missed it, I started running again. I can’t run everyday, cause I’m pretty sure at this bodyweight, it’s not great for my joints. I need some recovery time between what feels like marathons. For the last few weeks, running two to three times a week has been the norm. I’m okay with that! From my triathlon days, I was told by my coaches that endurance exercises don’t hurt less the more you do them, you just start going faster. It’s still true.
  2. Diet. Diet is a loaded word, but I’m comfortable using it since I think I have a pretty healthy relationship with food. Luckily I don’t have a sweet tooth or unhealthy food cravings, so I generally, to the best of my knowledge, make smart food choices. I’ve been overweight most of my adult life. Never seen my abs, though I’m sure they’re nice under there. Not that having visible abs is a sign of good health, but just my way of saying I’ve had excess body fat. It’s sometimes hard because when I eat around other people, they tell me I don’t need to eat like that, they say, “you’re not fat!” For whatever reason, the way my clothes fit on me, and the way my body holds onto excess fat (mostly in my midsection), it’s true, I don’t look to the outside eye to be “fat.” Sometimes they’d convince me, and I’d grind whatever. But I have no illusions or delusions of my body fat percentage; it’s some number that’s not in a healthy range. I see more and more young people in their 20’s and 30’s, with health complications from having too much body fat. It’s heart stuff, diabetes, and even gout. That shit scares the hell out of me! I need to decide for myself not to care about other people’s perceptions of my body and know that what I’m doing is for the benefit and betterment of my own health. 
  3. Writing. It starts here, just writing anything. 15 minutes of something on my mind. A song idea. A to-do list. Write. Write anything. Let’s keep it simple for now.
  4. Music. I decided to leave my engineering job to pursue something in music. I believed that I could positively affect more people through music than I ever could as an engineer. What I’ve learned in the last year was just how expansive the music business world is, and how many different types of jobs are included in that. It’s almost overwhelming, but luckily I can play to my strengths for now and use that as a filter. I’m pretty good at singing. Like not to toot my own horn, I’m objectively a better-than-average singer, and I can check that off as one of my strengths. Musicality, however, is not one of my strengths. But I’m not willing to concede to that just yet. 15 minutes of musicality practice a day. I primarily play guitar, but I also want to learn to play the piano. Music theory has been quite daunting to me for years, but from what tiny glimpse I’ve had, it conceptually clicks more with me through the piano than on the guitar. 
  5. Email. I’m not terrible at replying to emails promptly, but I’m not great at it either. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been really on top of it. Since Cat has been waking me up and says, “go write,” I listen (when I’m not playing dead for 30 minutes). I open up the computer to write, and when I’m done, I just pop on over to the Mail app and get to work. 
  6. Catherine. I never get tired of seeing her or talking to her. Even when she’s venting to me about work or a case she’s working on, it feels like watching a TV show, and I want to know all the details. Sometimes she smiles at me and says, “what?” I don’t realize I smiled at her first, and she’s just smiling back. She makes me smile, shoot me. I definitely want to spend more than 15 minutes a day on this part of my life. I’ll take all the time she’ll allow me, and try and facilitate more 🙂

Catherine said the other day, after reading one of these posts, “if anyone actually reads this, what are they going to think you ever did without me?” I said, “Nothing. I did nothing without you.” Thanks, Cat 🙂 

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