I’m on a roll. Here’s a list of everything I did today.
- Took Tink to Juhu for a thing.
- Finished a Bleak post, and then realised that I’ve lost my book with the necessary drawings in it. And also that all my other books have the wrong type of paper in them.
- Quickly saved the day by learning to play (and sing) this song.
Now that might sound like I only did three things, but I did the third thing for hours. The song is fairly simple, with very easy chords. But. The rhythm is a bit tricky for me because it’s so consistent. I’m not used to such tight strum patterns, and I found that though I could play it, I went off if I tried to sing along.
I’m a lazy, sloppy player, Zonk. And I need to be more disciplined. So I asked myself – what would 18 year old Kitu do?
Now 18 year old Kitu was almost entirely jobless. She also had an incredible guitar teacher who taught her complicated songs that she practiced (sometimes) for days together. 18 year old Kitu would have been appalled at 28 year old Kitu’s inability to play this silly little song right off the bat. But she was also a nervous wreck, at least 10 kilos lighter, and a whole lot more broke. So screw that.
Anyway, I tried to channel my inner 18 year old. I practiced the strum pattern alone, and then added the vocals in. Which, by the way, goes painfully high at one point. Singing was never my strength. My vocal range is very, very narrow, and my falsettos are painfully thin and strained. But I practiced till it got better. Or at least a little bit less creaky. I also phone-recorded several sessions and listened to them to figure what was wrong and then tried to fix those things as I went along.
I’m not sure why I’m telling you all of this in so much detail, Zonk. I thought I might upload one of the recordings from today, but obviously I’m not going to actually follow through on that impulse. *shudders*
Anyway, that’s all for now. My 10 minutes of Doing Something Worthwhile turned into 5 whole hours of it.
And it feels nice :)
It’s been one week since January One, and three since I explained my problems (and their solutions) here to you. I’ve kept track of how I’ve fared with my tiny resolutions this week, mostly because I got a book with square-ruled pages. Also because I got some really nice red and blue pens. And because I’ve kept track, a Report is in order.
Note: In order to keep things simple, I’m going to let December slide and start these resolutions off from Jan. Clean slate and so on.
Another note: I’m not very clear on how grades work. And I also don’t really care. So I’m going to grade me based on how I feel about it. Also, I’m going to be using Harry Potter grades, because they’re so much more descriptive and fun.
Just so you know, this is how the grades go:
- Outstanding (O)
- Exceeds Expectations (E)
- Acceptable (A)
- Poor (P)
- Dreadful (D)
- Troll (T)
- Unplug the internet. I’ve done a pretty good job of disconnecting and focusing. 5 out of 5 days, in fact. This doesn’t mean I was a hermit. Just that I was distracted only when I chose to be distracted, I’ve worked pretty consistently all week, and my attention span is beginning to get back to an acceptable normal again.
I get an Outstanding!
- Go home on time. 2 out of 5 days, I left work between 7 and 7.15pm. Some of the other days though, I sort of ended up staying in office till 9. And I worked a little over the weekend too. I am not proud. This shall not happen again.
I get a Troll.
- Do something worthwhile for 10 minutes everyday. 5 days out of 7, I played my ukulele. This is a bit of a cheat, because the ukulele is tiny and always handy and not very demanding at all. But hey, baby steps.
I get an Acceptable.
- Work out thrice a week. I worked out zero times. Ugh.
I did work out today, though. Jatin (the yoga teacher) showed up after ages, and I worked out for a good hour and a half. He’s given me things to do for the rest of the week. The deal is that I message him every time I work out. If he doesn’t get 3 messages from me over the week, he won’t show up next weekend. Let’s hope the blackmail works.
I get a Troll.
- Eat more real food. Okay, this is hard. I am not built to eat real food. And everything that’s not real food tastes about 2398742389 times better. But. I’ve been trying. I’ve done a good job of it on 1 day out of 7, a half-assed job of it on 4, and failed horribly twice. I didn’t expect much out of me anyway, to be honest. But oh well. Try again tomorrow.
I get a Poor.
- Sleep more. I slept a lot on Friday and Saturday. I intend to sleep a lot again tonight. But weekends are a no brainer. It’s my weekdays that need fixing. Although honestly, I have no clue how to make this happen. The numbers just don’t add up. Sigh.
I get a Dreadful.
So I suppose I didn’t do a stellar job last week. But I tried. And also, I had too many pending chores to really stand half a chance.
I hope you’ve had a nice First Week Of The Year, Zonk.
Ps. I think these tiny resolutions of mine are inspired from Wil Wheaton’s life reboot series. If I hadn’t stumbled upon that, I’d probably have had a bunch of grand scale and impossible resolutions again this year. Which is actually why I decided to do a somewhat regular report, and fashion it like so.
If you haven’t read Wil Wheaton’s posts, please go check them out here sometime. I followed this series all of last year and, unlike most other change-your-life type posts, it’s done in a very real, story-like and understated way.
Pps. We’re calling these Tiny Resolutions now. Because ‘Red Flags’ just feels a bit too alarming.
There are just not enough hours in a day. Either that, or I’ve designed my life all wrong.
What would you give to remember everything? I have this power. I absorb your memories: when you hear me, you relive them. A first dance. A wedding. The song that played when you got the big news. No other talent gives your life a soundtrack. I am Music. I mark time.
– from the Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom.
I actually came here to give you a Red Flags report, but it feels wrong to ignore the rest of the year on January One. So, here it is. A random and highly subjective evaluation of 2016.
- I failed at all my resolutions . In fact, I don’t think I even remember most of them. I spent an entire evening last Jan putting resolutions on an Excel sheet with Rahul. I got excited. I went overboard. We both did. Of course we failed! (Okay to be fair, I failed way worse than he did.)
But here’s the thing: I think resolutions are nice. I’ll make some again this year. But I also think it’s unrealistic to expect to do too much. I’ll make a more detailed post about this later, but for the short term, I think my Red Flags fixes make for good resolutions. Unplug the internet. Go home on time. Do something that counts for 10 minutes everyday. Work out thrice a week. Eat more real food. Sleep more hours.
Just this much is hard enough to do. And a little can go a long way.
- I moved from a tiny team to a not-so-tiny team. In terms of work, of course. And it’s nice enough, but it made me realise, again, that I fit best in tiny places.
- I finally finished The House Project. I can keep making it better, but I love every room of my house now. I love almost every object I’ve put in it. I love coming home at the end of every day. Fun fact: I stopped talking in my sleep once my bedroom was redone.
Spaces affect us in more ways than we think.
- I did my first long trip, my first international trip, and my first real break from work in forever. And it changed everything, in so many fucking ways. I wish I could tell you more, Zonk, but now is not the time. I have a lot to figure out first!
- I said yes. This time next year, I’ll mostly be married. And I think it’ll be a pretty epic ever after. It’s surprising how quickly excitement replaces worry sometimes.
- I kind of figured what I want. In life. It’s a lot of work but at least I know what I’m working towards.
- I made no music. At all. I think the last song I wrote was written in 2015. I went a whole year without writing a single fucking song, Zonk. That’s alarming and horrible and I better fix this soon, before I turn into a person who can’t write songs at all. Because let’s face it – my guitaring has always been mediocre, my voice has always sucked. Songwriting was my only real ability. I can’t let that die.
I hope I’m not leaving anything out. And I really hope I haven’t made too many typos in here, because I’m too sleepy to proofread and edit now.
I hope 2017 blows your mind, Zonk. I hope you completely kill it.
“Remember this, Francisco,” he said. “The secret is not to make your music louder, but to make the world quieter.”
– Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom