This is my first week of marathon training, which called for an eight mile long run. I tend to be inconsistent with my long runs, since I’m not usually training for anything, so having an actual coach had been a big help. It’s just my first week, sure, but I’m feeling good.
Had to remind myself a few times – slow it down. I tend to speed up as I feel good, but going to fast can lead to running out of gas, and then there’s no long run! So had to remember – this is a long run, so make it a long run. Tempo runs and such? That’s when I run faster, but not today
Maybe it’s because of my emotional reaction to the new Star Wars (I loved it), or the quiet time with work right now, but thinking about making music as intensified. And I think part of it has to do with… legacy.
Part of “my story” is both my parents were gigging musicians when I was growing up. They both played in bands, my grandparents played music, my uncles (my one uncle was in a band that self-released a record in the early 80s).
So thinking about my mom’s passing in 2017, and how the world will never hear her sing again. Oh, how I wish I had recordings of her. My dad is still playing, mostly jazz guitar, into this 70s. He’s got thousands of original compositions, though none of them are recorded.
It’s like I’ve pushed down that part of me, like I’m “just” a computer guy now, who also runs a bit. And while the energy required to also work on music is slim, I know it’s bubbling up. Something I can’t keep running from.
I track my time using Toggl, just to ward off Parkinson’s Law with my work. And I find I really flame out after five hours.
Mind you, that doesn’t mean I work from 8-12pm then fizzle. No no, there’s morning walks, making coffee, making more coffee, etc. But with the actual tracked WORK time? Oh yes, after five I am useless.
I grew up around musicians, and eventually became a musician when in high school. I was surrounded by friends who played music, and grunge was exploding, so it was easy to maintain momentum in that world.
These days, I work in music, everyday. I earn a living from it. But I don’t make it, and I’ve been sad about it. Like a loss.
I think part of it is that I feel that in order to make music is needs to follow the formula that I’ve known since I was a teenager: make music, play shows, record an album, repeat forever.
And while I know there’s so many other avenues for music, I’ve been hesitant to really dive in. Mostly because it’s the unknown.
Of course, running has been a major part of my life the past few years, which requires a bit of energy and time. But lately the itch of music making has crept back into my thoughts.
Sometimes we have to stay at the office late, or experience back-to-back days of drinking too much caffeine and cramming for exams, or take 12 flights in a month (and drink a few too many glasses of wine). That’s okay, as long as we invest in our health when that period of performance is over, and restore equilibrium, setting ourselves up for the next stretch where we’ll be tested.
I’ve stared at my inbox, or my laptop screen in general, trying to think, forcing myself to be creative, to fix a problem, come up with a solution, and rarely does that method work.
Before you make a big decision, walk around the block. If it’s raining out, take the dog for a run. End the meeting a few minutes early and go for a stroll with the team. Instead of an afternoon snack, consider some sunshine. The less convenient, the more it pays.
A hard habit to create, but definitely worth it. When in doubt, go outside. Especially when it’s inconvenient.
Did you know there’s a whole underground pirate radio network that’s delivered via… conference call?
The shows weren’t the traditional kinds you’d find by tuning to an AM or FM band; they were operated independently from media companies by ordinary Hmong citizens, aired live all-day, every day and were free to call into for as long as you’d like. They used free conference call software to do it, a network that is still in place to this day.
The best piece of advice my dad ever gave me was that you start learning to drive after you pass your test. To contrive that to serve my point: your software can only reach its potential when it’s live. You are not your users, so don’t pretend you know what they want/need. Give them the best thing you can make, then let them tell you how to do it better.