You know that feeling in your gut that wakes you up sometimes? The one that says, “You’re not doing enough, fast enough, completing enough, creating enough” or “you should have done this or that”, or “shouldn’t have or should have signed this or that”, or “you could have done it better”, “you’re capable of so much more”, “in effect, you’re not done, there’s so much to do with your life before you die”, “blah, blah, blah”? A sense of urgency?
Well, I do. It’s why I’m up so early. I used to get it so much it drove me crazy, literally. I could go into detail about my own unfinished life’s work, but this isn’t about being a musician, this is about being human.
I write to you, dear reader, to appease my own gut feelings and because I think I’ve learned something about this. Actually, I have a theory; I think this is an instinct that drives us to evolve. I think we have natural motivations and ambitions to become better and more productive. And that’s great until it grabs your brain and won’t let go, which is probably partly due to some childhood memories of critical family members or whatnot.
What to do when this happens? Hmmmm. I think the first thing is to look at what we HAVE done, what we have accomplished and be grateful that we’ve gotten this far (see, I already feel better!). I believe that when we do this act of self-awareness and self-support it actually helps us to focus. Also, I think it helps to know that we are all human and I would bet that most of us (over-achievers not included) have felt this way at one time or another. Especially since life has plans for us and it takes most of our time, effort, brain space, and energy.
I don’t think it’s an age thing because I’ve had these feelings since I can remember. But my sense of leaving a legacy and re-printing all of the albums and writing a memoir and making a box set, doing an interview series of our local genius musicians, webcasting our shows, recording new songs every day, and getting it all out in the world, etc. are more than likely magnified by it. So what I’m going to do and suggest to you, dear reader, is this; let’s work on it, together. My mom, Karen Yochim, always told me, “Baby steps, one step at a time.” Pick one small thing towards these giant goals and finish it today. The sense of accomplishment is beautiful and fills you up, encourages the next step. Much better than regret and beating ourselves up. That doesn’t do anyone any good. So let’s do it. I’m in if you’re in. What are you going to work on today? I’m sure it will be spectacular. And if it’s not, there’s always tomorrow……Me? I’m gonna take David Bowie’s act of turning even his death into a magnificent Art Piece and be inspired, it’s never too late to be awesome.
Much love, Yochim out
photo by Vicky Sullivan / Rock the Lens Photography