I’ve been thinking a lot about minimizing, but I don’t really just mean getting rid of stuff. I would like to unburden myself of things, but I think of minimizing much more broadly, to encompass tasks, and decisions, online presence, hobbies and interests and other obligations that turn out to be stressors, etc. Whenever I read up on minimization, it’s always so focused on stuff. Then I discovered that when I search on simplifying, I get that more holistic guidance that I’m looking for. To me it’s all part of minimizing. But to them it’s simplifying.

See, I’m worried that even when I retire I will be overwhelmed with all of the things I want to take on and I still won’t be happy: languages, drumming, writing, reading, biking. When will I have time to watch TV all day, binge watching old episodes of Highlander, and Stargage SG1 and Star Trek of course, plus all of the new shows that have to be discovered.

But seriously, been thinking about giving up on drumming. I know I could have been really good, and I feel remiss that I never proved that to anyone, and I might still could, but so what? Do I have to do everything that I could have been great at? Especially when the reason I was never great at anything is that I couldn’t decide what to be great at. I took on too much. I divided my interests. Divided we fall, don’t you know?

If I just give up drumming, I not only take pressure off for the big time suck it would take to be good, and finally admit that it just wasn’t a path I chose to pursue, but I also could get rid of a lot of stuff. The drums, the sticks, the cowbells, the shakey things, the cymbals, the cases, the extra skins. The conga even maybe sort of? Do I have to? Don’t go half way, Andy. I’m sure I could find an appropriate person who would want an old classic fiberglass LP from the 70s, even though it has a sticker that says “Vote for Carlos Danger” on it after the band “Carlos Danger” that I miss playing in.

I’ve been thinking about it.

3 thoughts on “Minimize/Simplify

  1. Reading this reminded me of Up in the Air, a 2009 George Clooney film in which a guy, who spends more time traveling for his job staying in hotels than in his apartment, gives workshops along the way about decluttering one’s life to extol living free of burdensome relationships and material possessions. The fact I saw this film in an airplane makes it even more memorable, but I digress. Practising a musical instrument in an attempt to achieve a certain level of competence (or any skill or craft, for that matter) can be time consuming and often disappointing. Very few musicians make the professional grade, so resort to doing other things: teaching, arts management, etc. Even though they will never make a living playing their horn does not mean that being a part-time amateur does not still bring them pleasure, probably the reason they picked up that horn in the first place. Getting rid of your kit and conga (not the conga!) might seem like the reasonable thing to do now, but when that day comes when you don’t have a 9 to 5 job to go to and see an ad in your local paper for a drummer in a band of retired guys, or suddenly feel the urge to play because you love the feel of the sticks in your hand or the skin beneath your fingers, where will they be?


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