January 9, 2017 - Don’t Think, Just Do It.

This is my first post in a long series that I intend to continue on over the next several years.  The series is called “Family Amplified Musicianship” or F.A.M. for short.  I intend on going further into detail about what exactly I am trying to accomplish with this series (really it’s more of a side project), but in a nutshell, I am attempting to figure out how to balance being a professional musician without alienating my children and my wife.  Along the way, I will gather tips from other musicians who have families (or family bands, etc.), and share everything that I learn. 

I will get more into what I am going to do with this side project later…I want to share something that I have had to learn over the years.  I was not taught how to be a go-getter, I was pretty much trained in the art of sittin' on my butt watchin’ the boob tube.  But when I became an adult (and maybe a little before) I realized that I had very high aspirations and sitting around doing nothing wasn’t going to get me anywhere or anything that I wanted.

Can't he see I'm busy watching the third loop of Saturday Morning Sports Center?  Little brothers just don't get it.

Being an adult, or a parent, or both in my case…there are things that I just have to do.  Things that I don’t really want to do, things that I don’t have time to do.  And being an aspiring musician with 5 kids and a wife, that is a lot more things I don’t want to do than I ever realized I would have.  Things like dishes, cleaning up bathrooms and toilets, taking out the trash, etc.  Of course we all do these things, but if you are like me…you’ve let them slip while trying to get other “more important” things done.

you know how hard it is to find stock photos of dirty dishes? I should have just let ours slide for a day...
Of course when we let these things slip (even for one meal in our case), everything else goes down the crapper.  The kids destroy everything twice as quickly when the place is already dirty, causing us to not think as clearly when we are working on our music.   This caused us to have to create routines that make sense (the easy part) and execute those routines on a daily basis (the almost impossible part).

This is just one of my many daily routines.  Gotta love Todoist.
After creating these routines, it is so easy to get out of them.  All it takes is one broken routine without a contingency plan to get back on track for the whole thing to come crashing down.  Then the 3 year olds start running your life…and nobody wants that.

Remember Lord of the Flies?  This is what happens when the kids call the shots.
Since these things have to be done, and career success and household bliss hang in the balance…we have learned to just do all the things we hate immediately without even thinking about them.  In fact we are doing them and thinking about the things we actually want to be doing (playing with the kids, writing, jamming, photographing, etc.) and that makes us get the monotonous stuff out of the way faster.  And when we’re done…the work and play we do is more focused and more enjoyable.  


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