Need to get the foot out of my mouth (that’s where the clarinet goes, dammit)

For once, the “To-Do List Monster” has kept quiet and not reared it’s ugly head too often the past couple of months. Busy, busy, busy, and still not much of a to-do list.

I never thought that’d make things worse as far as long-term goals went.

Surprisingly, my most common procrastination method is more helpful than I thought. Then again, it’s a to-do list. They’re meant to be helpful.

I just wish I’d been thinking about my music and art goals more than taking things a bit at a time getting my house in order.

I keep biting off more than I can chew, and my ambitions are like a size 12 lodged between my teeth.

Yes, get that foot out of my mouth, because I should’ve been putting a clarinet in there. Even when days were long or things just stank, I should’ve been working on wringing beautiful tones from that instrument.

I should’ve been digging in, getting started on working on that new life I’ve wanted for so long from the inside.

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I have never gone to a doctor for any kind of real health screening, physical or mental, but considering what I’ve read and how my behavior’s been the past decades, I wouldn’t be surprised if I could be classified as bipolar. I get intense moments of incredible energy and a feeling like I can take on the world (generally followed with some heavy planning and shopping to make my newest desire happen), and then when I get toward the end of the prep work, I start winding down and the thought “am I freaking kidding myself?” comes in to make me second-guess myself. Self-loathing and worry over finances becomes the norm.

Wash, rinse, repeat for 20 years.

I have tons of hobbies: model building, clay sculpting, drawing, needle-pointing, knitting, woodworking, cycling, etc.

They’re all largely solitary pursuits, too. So many things I’ve tried to do or learn in the past and I haven’t stayed with most of them.

I don’t want music to be one of them.

Yes, I’ve gone on a buying binge with guitars the past few months. I know that when I find a color or type I want that’s affordable, I’m going to be in terrible shape til I get it.

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At least I do a good deal of research before dropping the dough, and go for the on-sale options each time. I wanted a few different guitars to try out and get the feel of them. And I smile every time I look at the case holding them all, and I pick them up and get the feel of them every few days.

But in the back of my mind, as things have gone sideways and I’ve gotten really tired, I have that thought in my head: “are you freaking kidding yourself?”

I want that answer to be “hell no” more than ever! Enough craziness has gone on the past few months with this house and all these things I still need to do to get things together.

The problem is I’ve forgotten how and where to unwind.

Music would be that perfect escape, to listen or to re-learn how to play.

I wanted to start with the clarinet again, and a little learning with my acoustic guitar. I still haven’t found that realistic study plan, the one that’ll let me read books, work on my house, do my Masterclasses and play music for hours on end…once I get that stamina to play going.

I never was good at studying, and practice was a foreign concept once I got sick of trying to improve my clarinet playing only to get nowhere. And I made all these plans to be a great artist, to be a fun-loving and social person and guitar player.

I made myself too many promises too soon.

Open mouth and insert foot. It’s going to take a while to swallow this one.

Realistic goals have always been problematic for me, because I get in the highs of dreaming about what I want, but the reality just never quite matches up.

As much as I’ve scoffed at the “perfect world” notion or daydream, I admit it’s a bit funny and strange to be such a victim of it myself.

I think the person who coined “know thyself” was a smart egg. Wish they were here now to help me know myself a little more.

Music and books are about the only things that have ever made me happy. Hanging out in the workshop making some weird art was another when I got the chance. I bought a house and designed it for a person who loves music, art, and books, a place where I can create and be myself without judgment or worrying about taking up too much space for once.

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I’m figuring out it’s not enough.

It’s not working…because I’ve gotta put in the work to make this a house of music and art and learning, not just have the stuff around. Now I admit, I’ve got a lot of improvements to do still and boxes to unpack, so it’s not all wasted time. Yet, I’ve noticed that I’m making myself too busy being too busy to do what I need to do for my inner voice and my hope.

Even with a fresh start, I can’t step off the edge and let go. I’m a coward, or at least, I sure as hell feel like one.

I still haven’t written a story in years, though I want to be a great storyteller and writer.

I want to sing and play music, though I’ve never been in choir and don’t know how to sing, let alone tell if I’m in tune.

I want to paint and create, though I’ve done plenty of creating the past few years. I’ve given most of them away, the things that aren’t gathering dust in the corner. I have totes full of yarn for needlepoint and loom projects, far more than anybody would need in their lifetime, and yet I have zero interest in continuing those projects. Besides, if I tried to sell the few coaster sets and other items I’ve needle-pointed, the labor cost would make the price ridiculous.

I always tried to keep myself busy, but have never made a living from anything I’d come up with. That’s been my life: you have to focus on the practical and anything else is a hobby, something to do on the side.

But what if my “hobbies” and daydreams are so much more meaningful than the job that actually gives me a paycheck?

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I’m drowning in too much to do. I’ve even stopped putting my jigsaw puzzles together this whole week because I was too tired and worn down. I had such a wealth of choice that I shut down and just did a little here and there, without focus, without a good list of responsibilities and a timetable to work from.

And I’d love to make a living doing what I want to do most, because this paycheck to paycheck thing will resume being my reality as far as finances and lifestyle go if I’m not prepared. After paying my taxes, my spending will be reduced and I’m just gonna have to get into the swing of using and learning from what I already have.

It’s time to self-improve, find a way to get help and really learn how to get from A –> B–> Z (and even further, improving all the while). Time to take those steps, even if they are half steps, but constantly going forward, building a new foundation for my future.

I swore that 2019 would be like starting a new life. I have a little more than 10 months to make that true, and be off to a great start.

First thing’s first: put the files away, get some sleep, get taxes taken care of in the morning. And when you get home from work tomorrow, play with the dogs and then shut the door so you can start your music career by coaxing a few decent notes from that licorice stick.

One thought on “Need to get the foot out of my mouth (that’s where the clarinet goes, dammit)

  1. Crystle Jenson says:

    Sounds like you’d benefit from life coaching classes. You’re actually in the perfect spot in life for them! I am certified in life clarity too now 🙂 It’s an awesome process! Also look up what a renaissance person is. My instructor I think said it was a book. I know how you feel with the many things, I’m like that too!

    Liked by 1 person

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