On Balance

It’s another casual day of school holidays. I can feel the holidays starting to slip slip slip out in to the background. Like an inkblot bleeding into a bucket of water, this intense vibrant experience of freedom I felt ten days ago slowly dissipates with time into nothingness.

I spent the first week of holidays floating, aimless and free towards the weekend. I’ve been training for a triathlon for the last three months (much more to come on this in the near future), and the triathlon date landed neatly in the middle of the school holidays. As part of my intense training regime (mainly riding my bike to the pub and running up and down the road out the front of my house), I’d incorporated a ‘taper’, essentially a couple of days off before the triathlon to let the muscles recuperate. I came down with a sickness at the end of last term, so my taper wound up being a whole week of lying in bed eating pumpkin soup and re-watching the one TV show I like (I’ve watched all nine seasons twice a year for the last six years running, something my partner assures me is a coping mechanism for something). So for the first week I had this upcoming triathlon to ground me, and that was enough to make time feel formless.

With the passing of the triathlon as a grounding point and this incessant sickness (probably exacerbated by exposure to Shepparton Lake water) I start to feel the rush of time towards the end of this second week of holidays. School and life are pulling me back towards normalcy and I worry that I’ve wasted this mere briefest point of time that I could have used to write a new album, reimagine my teaching style or learn to play a 12 bar blues on banjo.

Nevertheless, time she passes on and I find myself staring down the precipice of a busy term, busier indeed than any term in my past. It’s ok, this busyness. It allows for progress and the deception that I’m happy. A deception that becomes a reality, for in busyness we achieve flow, and in flow we achieve everything. Without this flow we flounder along the shore, we fumble as we attempt to finagle accomplishments from the future. It’s ok to not have flow, but I find life is so much better when we have it.

I’ve been puzzling through a handful of things over the last week. I have an album that’s in its final stages, literally being mixed on the other side of the world. I have a banjo project that’s in its starting stages, literally playing its first gigs next week. I have a desire to get back to drums, but no real outlet for it. I’ve had this realisation that while I wandered into the singer songwriter world, I neglected this thing that actually got me into music in the first place. I’m not consistently practicing drums, but every time I sit down to play drums I fall in love with them again, so I think this is something I need to start prioritizing this going forwards.

As always, it comes back to balance, and as much as I often pride myself on the way I work through problems, I need to acknowledge that balance is incredibly hard to maintain. This life is a teetering seesaw.

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