Miss Kara's School for Wayward Girls
Addendum: I might have been wrong about brute force...

I don't care what I think, brute force is not sustainable


I do think that. Ground into the marrow, I believe brute force has no half life. Worse: I believe brute force is a moral imperative. Lunacy, I know it. But still, what's hard wired is hard wired and surgery isn't the solution. I think it's called making mindful choices, which makes me giggle because the word 'mindful' has become a horribly dogmatic cliché. 

But still, it's the truth so there it is.

Why I think brute force is a moral imperative (for me, not you) has no relevance in this post, so I'm not going there. I hope.


I suppose this is an update of some sort, mostly because it's been smacking me in the face several times a day since last Tuesday when I made an unusually graceful swan dive back into the workforce. Here are things that matter right now, possibly in order of importance, but I might need to re-evaluate. 

  1. Embracing my current employment situation with all the love, respect, and attention it and I deserve
  2. Music, specifically doing my best to make music (these days I call it music-like noise). Two instruments is a lot to focus on but they both matter. However:
    1. Fiddle
    2. Banjo
  3. Family relationship and household contribution; yes, those things really do go hand in hand
  4. Physical well-being:
    1. Moving my body, often and vigorously
    2. Eating well
    3. Sleep, quantity and quality
  5. Writing. Every single day. Doesn't matter if it's posted or published, it matters that I do it.

I don't think that list represents order of importance but maybe that's not relevant right now. Maybe it's because they have equal relevance, sort of like the rocks in the illustration. I don't see 'balance' when I look at those rocks, I see the rocks that matter. They might tip one direction or the other, but that doesn't change their importance in someone's world. 

I've been told I'm wired for hyper-focus which is some sort of ADHD, and not necessarily a bad thing (we're wired to believe that acronym is heinous and needs to be medicated or surgically removed at any and all costs. Sheesh.).


I like what I'm doing right now. It scares the bejesus out of me on a daily basis because I'm being asked to do things I've never done and certainly never seen. I was clear about my skill sets and experience and I know they were listening, but they also noticed I figured out how to do something and did it. And so they asked for another, and then another, and so on until I was drinking from the firehose again and I like that, despite fear of failure, fear of letting someone down, fear of being a disappointment, fear of wreaking havoc, and for the love of dog, FEAR OF BLOWING AWAY ANOTHER DATABASE. Oops. 

But it wears me out. I don't have the capacity to work much more than nine hours a day and my four o'clock brain happens at two. And I brute force the next three or four hours. I know this will change, but right now, that's my actual capacity for peak performance - ha! See what I just did? 'Peak Performance'. Uh. Hmmmn. 


I need to be playing that fiddle every single day. When I don't, I slip. I listened to a recording of Mairi's Wedding made in early August. It took me nearly three minutes to struggle through the first three phrases. I made another on Saturday and I was horrified until I compared the two. I made it through four phrases in 55 seconds. I can also play a waltz (cockles and something), and the first three phrases of Old Joe Clarke. That's quite an accomplishment for a 57 year old anybody who picked up the instrument first week in June. I'll accept it, but I want the more that comes with consistent practice. I play by ear and memory, by the way. I do not read music. 

I want to play that banjo as often as possible. It matters and there's great joy to be had, but the love affair is with the fiddle.


I need time with my family. I need to be an integral part of the household. I isolate very easily. Takes no effort at all and when isolated, we have no support structure, no love, no human interaction, blah, blah, blah, very bad.


Those three things on the physical well-being list? Maybe they should go at the top. Without them, everything else falls apart. 


Writing. Well, that's who I am; it's what I do and like the fiddle, if I don't keep at it I don't get any better. I also get worse. Ick.


Mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being aren't part of the list; they are the container. The list is how I get there. I learned that just now, which is another reason I write. I learn an awful lot about myself and the world around me. 

I've tried blocking out time. I get up at 5:30 and I go to bed at 8. I don't fight it, that's my clock these days. Blocking out time on paper, filling up those hours isn't the hard part. It's not a good idea because it tends to break everything.

What it's going to take is consciously breaking the hyper-focus link and hooking it up to another before I'm too tired to function. This isn't quite new information. I understand the mechanics but I'm still working on the how. Today I tune the fiddle, rosin the bow, and leave it sitting out on the bed, ready to pick up. Same with the banjo but it gets to sit in the corner. 

And we'll see how that works. 

See what I did there? Or, what I did not do there? I cut myself some slack (OMG! The brute force throttle just let up a bit). I cut myself some slack by not making a plan for anything else. Baby steps. One new muscle at a time. 

That concept is so novel I'm still wrapping my head around it. 


More slack: as with the pieces parts of a database migration I'm working on, I probably won't get it right the first time because I've never worked in this environment before, but I will get it right eventually. The best part is I'm not worried about how. If I did that, I'd never get past the command prompt (everything has a command prompt, including getting out of bed in the morning).

I don't think I have to know the why of the fiddle either. The new muscle is the belief that I can and I will and I have no idea what it will look like from one command prompt to the next.


Time for breakfast. You all have a fabulous Tuesday.