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Niclas Thorsteinsson – Tunesmith and Performer

Category: The Unfulfilled Life (Page 2 of 2)

Week 1 Review – Steady as she goes.

HopWell, the first week has gone by. Overall, I’m ok with my performance since I wanted to start slow. I had a lot of work hours this week and a lot of nesty type projects to take care of, like putting up blinds, putting together a table, errands and whatnot. Your apartment is never as clean as when you’re writing your dissertation, as they say.

Now that I’m attempting to carve out extra time in my schedule, the value of proper time management and communication has never been more apparent to me. We’re a special needs family, including a 5-month old, so everyone is just sorta milling about themselves unless we plan. Thusly, I spent a morning checking out various organizing methods. I tested the family organizing apps Famjama and Cozi (what’s with these names?). Up until now we’ve been using a paper calendar, and although the family organizing apps were interesting, we ended up using Google Calendar which was the only tool which successfully allowed me to automate my work schedule which spans three weeks before it starts over.

So, how was my week? I’m glad you asked.

The first thing I did was to roughly define my projects:

  1. I’m writing a song in our bedroom studio.
  2. Second, I’ll create a Cubasis song. I’m often out and about and I recently purchased Cubasis for my Ipad (which my awesome girlfriend gave to me because she never used it, love you, hon) so I’ll put it to the test by making a whole song exclusively on Ipad. Cubasis is Steinberg Cubase’s baby sister and allows me to transfer any on-the-road projects into my studio, so we likes that quite a bit, innit?
  3. A (short) short story.

 

So, these were my intentions for the week gone by:

  • (Creative Work) 2 hours of project work – Done! Actually quite a bit more than two hours. I wrote a tiny short story (690 words) which turned out decent. I worked on the Cubasis tune, but didn’t really get anywhere and haven’t had time to begin the studio song. As stated in my last post, I’m going to move away from amount of hours and state more defined goals. I prefer tangible goals rather than aiming for x amount of minutes, which means nothing in itself.
  • (Wellbeing) Only eat junk and sugar on Saturdays (exception: when friends and family visit our vice versa) . Done! I’ve eaten quite a bit healthier this week. There were occasions when we had family over, but minimal sugar was involved on my part.

So I got 100% on my week. I realize it wasn’t much of a todo list, but it’s still better than I’ve managed lately due to depression.

 

My list for this week (week #2 – turning it up a notch):

  • Create – Make a good effort on a daily basis, using what time I have (habit)
  • Create – Cubasis Song – Three pieces with at least two instruments in each.
  • Wellbeing – Run once this week. (habit – will grow)
  • Wellbeing – Become a reader again – Read some fiction every day (habit)

 

Some elaboration:

  1. I want to work on a creative project every day. Of course, there will be days with 10-hour work shifts and sick kids at home where 5 minutes of project work will be acceptable, but there will also be days when I’ll have a lot of free time allowing me to do more substantial work, while also making time for family, other habits and moderate relaxation. I want to be able to say: I did the best I could today with the time given to me.
  2. Self-explanatory.
  3. I want to feel better, sleep better and have more energy in my life. Bonus: Running and hiking in Faroese wilderness. Going to aim for 3 times a week of running, hiking or dancing or similar.
  4. Previously I ploughed through several books per week. Now I don’t even manage a book per month. I seem to always choose what shuts off my mind the most, which happens to be video games and netflix. So my intention is to become a reader again. It’s my form of meditation and makes me focus like nothing else.

All righty, I’m off. Hopefully I’ll manage as well this week.

How Long Was I Out?  – Coma’s End

I’ve decided to add a bucket list and habit tracker to my blog. I’ve kept track of my goals since the early 90’s and have previously posted a few of them here, but this time around I’ll turn it into something more substantial. The reason being that for the past few years I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression for long periods of time. A state which has turned me into an aimless blob without any sense of direction or drive. There has always been an undercurrent of anxiety in my life, but lately it has really tightened it’s grip, reducing me to someone who’ll sit and absorb ungodly amounts of netflix episodes or play hours upon hours of console games. Anything to take my mind of my mind, I suppose. My current state is a far cry from the Nic who used to read endless books, pound away at the piano, write songs in a state of euphoria and flow, write short stories and release albums. I find little joy in anything except my family and the fact that I’m fairly good at my job and feel like I’m making a difference, however small. For those things I’m very grateful but on the creative and ambitious side nothing comes naturally anymore. Thus it’ll take commitment and hard work and me publically declaring my intentions will hopefully make me work even harder. Of course, it won’t be that public since no one visits this site and I don’t exactly go out of my way to advertise it.
My method will most likely change over time but for now I’ve decided to start small with some habit building. Later I’ll add larger projects and more bucket list type items. I’ve decided to check in once a week.

For Week 1 (this week) I’ll focus on:

  • Project Work – 2 hours I realize that two hours of project work in one week is temporal chump change, but I want to start small and my current work week is pretty hectic. Of course, just putting in hours does not necessarily finish a project, so I’ll add some named projects with deadlines later on. Projects might include songs, short stories… anything creative.
  • Only eat junk food/sugar on saturdays. This is a pact my girlfriend and I made recently in order to become slightly healthier individuals. Exception: When we’re having friends over or the other way around.

 

So that’ll be the first step of my journey, hopefully I’ll get to those 1000 miles and beyond. Looking forward to add some running, reading, writing and jamming. I’ll also focus on shipping… getting my stuff out there.

Sixteen Tonnes and More…

Hmm, nothing much has been happening this week. Working and commuting a lot. I told my boss on Thursday that I didn’t really see a future for myself in the company and that I would start looking for other jobs. He was fine with it as I knew he would be. He’s a good guy. The problem is that my travel time has been tripled since my workplace moved to a remote location about a year ago. I’m actually quite surprised I’ve lasted this long, but hey.

Let’s see, what else? Oh yes, been watching a bit of Mad Men of late. It really is one my favorite shows and the only thing I bother to watch at the moment. Great characters, clever writing and endless drinking, smoking and tales of debauchery. Do watch this one, Martha dear.

Hey ho, showing my apartment again tomorrow. Who knows what’ll happen?

2010 – The Year We Make Contact

I have two New Year’s resolutions for 2010:

  1. I intend to get to a place where I can live solely of my own creativity. This means mostly music, but I also have a few other ideas.
  2. I intend to become completely debt-free. I’m battling a rather monstrous mortgage, a student loan and one smaller loan.

I realize these intentions may seem like tall orders, but I’m with Michelangelo on this one:

The greater danger is not that your hopes are too high and you fail to reach them; it’s that they’re too low and you do.” – Michelangelo.

Frightfully good point, I think.

Personally, I think New Year’s resolutions are a bit silly (why not start any time of the year?), but nonetheless I always find myself making them come the end of december. I’m fired up about my resolutions right now, but as experience shows, the challenge is to keep that fire going as “life” happens during the year. We’ll see how it goes. There should be some motivation in keeping this public. Yes yes, I know no one will read this and the few that will, will most likely not give a rat’s ass about what I have to say.

That was a lot of wills.

In any case, Onward, Christian Soldiers.

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