Learning to stick with it and not say 'Eff it'
Good morning world,
I'm sitting outside in the sun at the Coffee Bean down the street and wondering what in the hell I have to talk to about. I'm blogging because I have told myself I need to blog. I'm trying to learn discipline. So sometimes this is what it looks like.............................................
It's not always exciting when you are learning new behavior. Which is probably why I have not acquired the virtue of discipline for so long. It's just not fun. You do not see immediate results. Anything you don't see immediate results with is really hard for me to get behind. But I'm starting to see some gradual results in my life - tiny, but they are there.
For instance I have disciplined myself for the last 2 to 3 weeks to play 3 hours of music a day - that includes writing songs, singing, and playing guitar and piano. This may not sound like much to a concert pianist. But to me, it's monumental. I have NEVER practiced. I hate it. I would learn my lines for a play in one or two sittings and be done with it. I would cram for tests, write 20 page papers in one day and one night. The art of doing a little every day has completely passed me by. Until now. It has only been a couple weeks of this and I have already written 4 new songs. Learned 2 covers. Learned 10 new chords. Taught myself how to play the Baritone Ukulele. And mastered a few strumming patterns that I had no chance of ever doing before. Just by practicing a little. It is amazing. Who ever thought work would pay off ? And I'm not even saying HARD work. Just a little effort. A little concentration. A little persistence and commitment. It really goes a LONG way. And I'm learning so much from it. By getting past the tediousness of discipline and hankering down and getting to work - I am already reaping some of the benefits. I did not see them on the first day. But 3 weeks later - I see them.
It's the same with anything. You do not get buff your first day of working out. It doesn't matter if you go completely balls to the wall hardcore! It's going to take a few weeks of diligent working out to really see some results. And then...duh...you have to keep it up! There is the rub. Doing anything diligently for a few weeks is grand and you will make some baby steps towards your goal. But I can only imagine the giant leaps you would make over time - diligently taking baby steps everyday.
This sounds like such a simple concept. All adults should have learned this by now I think. But I am learning it now. And that is just fine. And I'm actually really happy about it. I'm ready. I'm also putting the footwork in with meditation and exercise. These are two disciplines I have desired and chased after for years! I have gone through crazy romance periods with both, but never quite got past the Honeymoon. I am hoping that if I take both very seriously one day at a time - carving out a little time for both - they will soon become a part of my life. We will become like a married couple - except the kind of married couple that blooms and grows and gets better with age.
That's the plan. So just to keep it real, I think that getting 'on the wagon' has helped me to learn this new skill. When I was actively partying - I was indulging a very childlike and rebellious urge in me to say FUCK IT when things got hard. When I didn't feel loved, when I was tired of working, when things weren't working my way, when I needed attention, when anything felt overwhelming - I would physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually say Eff it. Every time I did a drug, took a sip of booze, or smoked a ciggie, I was saying Eff it. I was giving the finger to my life. I was letting myself off the hook and indulging my feeling that there was no point in striving - at least not right now. It's hard to meditate when you wake up hungover and puking in a toilet. It's hard to exercise when you hurt your knee falling off a bar drunk. And it's hard to practice diligently at your craft when you have lost faith in yourself as a human being due to various humiliating experiences.
Long story short. I'm glad I'm sober. I'm learning day by day how to not say eff it. If I say eff it, I will get drunk. So I have to say "I care." I care about my life. I care about my health. I care about my career. I care about others. And I care about God. The discipline of actively caring about my life at all times is probably the biggest one of all. Actively loving myself and those around me. That is the most important. I'm learning the skills.
It's a wild ride, to be honest. It's really fun, to be honest. The rewards of discipline I am finding are much richer and more satisfying than any wild night of pleasure seeking and rebellion I have ever experienced.
Ok, that's all I got!
I'm in a major Bob Dylan phase right now. So enjoy this song.
'Honey Just Allow me One More Chance" - Bob Dylan