Calm the fuck down.

My plan this year is to leave behind a lot of what I love.

I am leaving behind the excuses I love to give. I am leaving behind the glamour I saw laid over my relationships, obscuring them. I love that fantasy. I am leaving behind my laziness of over-focusing on others because I love to avoid doing my own work. I am leaving behind my love of safety and stability and will look towards what I fear – change and uncertainty. I am leaving behind my love of love, and embracing my love of people.

I’m doing this with a whole lot of help from the Improve Your Relationships community, and a skillful therapist.

This week’s self-directed healing plan:

I have got to get my anxiety and anger levels down out of the red.  I was taught how to shut down, not how to calm down. Who knew they were different?

My healing-focused task this week is to commit to a daily practice for self-calming. Eventually, I’d like to be able to recognize when I need it, and to do it in the moment. I want to just do some simple breathing exercises or bilateral exercises.

I have a book on understanding anger, and my goal is to read it by 1/14.

At the end of this week, I would like to feel less… less Kermit-the-frog-flinging-his-arms-everywhere-ish, emotionally.

I’m committing to 15-20 min each day spent practicing a beautifully ridiculous instrument. I’m also committing to 20 min each day revamping my writing practice. On Tuesday is couples counseling. At least one day this week, I will catch up with a friend.

Wait, let me read that again. An hour? A whole hour a day selfishly spent on my own goals and health and inner workings? I dunno, man. The world may end.

And here is today’s joyful uke mangling:

31 Day Ukulele Challenge for 2018

I picked up a beginner tenor ukulele a little over a year ago, and I’ve done nothing but noodle on it. It’s just one more project I haven’t quite committed to. Well. The hell with that.

I’ve picked a song to learn for January. I’m going to practice daily for 15-20 minutes. That’s doable without no excuses. Hopefully I won’t get sick of the song before the month is out.

Why? Because music is a way to connect with a couple of my friends who play instruments. The ukulele in particular is an undignified instrument, so it seemed like a good place to start. It’s a way of healing and improving my relationship to my own creative self, to my humor, to my body, and to my emotional self. Learning music is a clever way of bypassing the usual well-worn routes.

If you really want to subject your ears to some abuse, at the bottom of the page is a short recording of day one of learning chords.

31 Day Ukulele Challenge for 2018:
January 1: Today! Now! This very post!
January 2: Calm the fuck down.
January 3: Hush, Grannie. I’m playing.
January 4: And thus began a tiny rebellion.
January 5: Whole-body earworm.
January 6: I’m learning to be gentle with myself.
January 7: Harmony is any note your neighbor is not singing.
January 8 & 9: Stitching myself together four strings at a time.

*This index is a work in progress, and will change frequently.

Day one of my 31 day ukulele challenge:

I’m coming for you, 2018

I’ve been pushing hard for healthy change in my life. I feel like I’m just barely, barely starting to get a grip on my life. Like I’m finally starting to see the code behind the Matrix.

This year, my big goals are that I would like to have more fun and spend less money.

2018 Concrete Relationship Goals, in no particular order

  1. Ukulele, the learning of. (relationship with self, relationship with child-self, creativity, play, willingness to fail and to take the risk of looking silly)
  2. Attend an Obsidians meetup. (relationship with body, relationship with others, relationship with nature)
    Writing group, online or in person (relationship with mind, relationship with others)
  3. Pick up a smattering of ASL. (relationship with others)
  4. Career goals laid out and put in motion. (relationship with work and finances)
  5. Begin getting set up for car camping? Go with B? (relationship with others, relationship with self)
  6. Restart my daily writing practice. (relationship with mind, creativity, 20s self, perceived failure)
  7. Join a writing group. Maybe this writing group.

Further, I’m not going to volunteer for tasks that no one else is willing to do, and I’m done saving people who aren’t trying to save themselves.

I’m coming for you, 2018. Oh yes, I am.