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Monday, 22 April 2013

Chapter 11 - A story about #leggewed and a question about time

It’s been a packed week that has included returning to the cinema for the first time in two months (incidentally that’s not a good enough record for a supposed film buff), a fabulous wedding, seeing OAP’s dance to Gangnam style, attending an amazing gig by one of my favourite bands, being part of loads of cool church stuff, taking a massive step towards completing the album, starting work on what (I think) could well be a great new track, writing loads of football articles (and realising that I’m not very good at predicting football scores) and “looking after” /  dealing with the wife whilst she projectile vomited pink chicken from a Chinese takeaway. As I said – it’s been a packed week (and on reflection – I should probably have written that as bullet points) But I’ll also probably go into more detail on all / most of those things in more detail at a later date.
But it’s been a week that has actually left me asking quite a major question. So taking a step away from the normal you asking me things (It’ll return next week – and yes I will finish the answer to the question I half answered last week) I would like to ask you a question. Hopefully in the comments section, or on the Facebook page or on the twitter you can all answer my question – or at least provide me with some advice……
The question I want to ask is actually really simple (but I’ll explain it properly):
“How do you find the time to do everything that you want to do”?
Now – before you all start getting smart and start suggesting things like disciplined time management schemes or recommending (probably a bit hypocritically) that I take less on in the first place – I’m not asking this question because of a problem I’m having. Well actually that’s a lie – because I do have a bit of a problem…but it’s (thankfully) a very nice problem to have. I’m rambling so I’ll now explain…basically when I’m at home on my own – I enjoy doing so much stuff and so many different things that I can’t find enough time to do everything that I want to do. I’ll give you some examples – and then hopefully you can start helping me out……

The first thing on my (in no particular order) list is writing. I love writing and find it really rewarding - and some of the opportunities that I’ve been given in the last 6 months have been amazing – but I don’t want writing to become a chore – something that I feel that I have to do. I don’t want to force myself to write – I want to write when it feels natural (hence these chapters arriving at irregular intervals). Writing constantly about football can be a challenge – but I’ve been really encouraged by a couple of the editors that I’ve been working for in that they like the way I write – and they are fond of my sarcasm tinged football articles (which more regularly than not mock my own football club – and Stoke. I can’t stand Stoke!) But writing has (in a very short space of time) become a massive part of my life. And for those that you have asked recently – yes I would love to write a novel – I’ve even started a couple in the past. But as with so many other things - my resolution 11 syndrome kicked in (See chapter 1) and I just kind of stopped. I think I’ve got a lot of stories to tell though – so hopefully one day. But it might end up being as a comic or graphic novel (or as a pop up book!)

I mentioned comics and graphic novels before so I’ll carry on by saying that these are the 2nd thing on my list. And before anyone starts saying that “comics are for children” – let me just say that no – they aren’t (but some obviously are). A fantastic example of this is Maus by Art Spiegelman – the only graphic novel to ever win a Pulitzer Prize (and an amazing present from my sister). However they are quite geeky and the stereotype of people (Big Bang Theory) that you would associate with reading them is worryingly accurate. In complete honesty though – I find it much easier to concentrate on reading a graphic novel than I do on reading a normal book. Sarcasm aside – the pictures do help! I often go through stages of reading graphic novels though- it just so
happens that I’m going though one at the moment – something that also coincides with the discovery of an iPad app called “Comixology”. I have lost track of the number of comics I have read in the last week or so – but I’ve also discovered some great ones that I would never have found without the app. It’s fair to say though that the amount of time I spend on an individual trip to the toilet has doubled. How long is justifiable to spend on a single trip to the toilet if a curry / chilli / beans combo hasn’t been consumed?

The next thing on my list is games. I love my Playstation and more than anything else I think – playing it helps me just to switch off and relax. I’m well behaved with it (ish) – in the fact that I won’t play on it if Wifey is around – but my Playstation is the thing that distracts me from doing stuff that I’m actually meant to be doing – or distracts me from other stuff that I could be doing. Interestingly – because I’m playing a part in the games – they hold my attention. A prime example of this is that I’ve recently rediscovered the Mass Effect trilogy and have found myself wanting to save the universe again (whilst causing some chaos along the way). I’ve already lost track of the amount of time that I’ve
spent shooting aliens – but I’m having loads of fun doing it. They do say however that you can’t really burn calories whilst being sat on the sofa. So I’ve had a think about this and have decided to invest in one of these. My legs are always moving and fidgeting anyway – so I thought this would be a good way to use up my energy and to do some good for my body in the process. If that works – then the master plan must surely be to place an exercise bike in front of the TV and to ride it whilst playing Playstation (has anyone got one that I can borrow?)…..I’m sure that there is an invention in that idea somewhere…….
Next up on the list is something very simple. TV. Now just so you are aware of what I mean by this – I don’t just mean putting on the TV and watching anything for hours….I mean falling in love with a number of shows and the characters in them and then watching how the stories develop. Finding a new show that you love is an amazing feeling – and whilst a number of my favourites have just finished (or are close to) finishing their seasons – new shows are coming along to replace them – shows like Defiance. TV is an amazingly powerful medium of storytelling and I love it – but when you discover that a show you love has been cancelled
you quickly become a bit heartbroken knowing that you will no longer see characters that you love (or are intrigued by) any more on the tellybox. Something that is almost as frustrating as a show being cancelled is when channels show episodes out of order. I’m a bit of a continuity nut – so this really winds me up. Cass and I have recently started watching something called “Ashley Banjo’s secret street crew” which I can’t recommend enough. The premise is simple – Ashley Banjo (the chap from Diversity) takes random people and in 3 weeks teaches them to dance. As I said – the premise is simple – but it is also completely inspiring as it takes people that have (more often than not) been hurt (not physically) in the past and gives them confidence in themselves. In times when there are so many negative and depressing stories being shown on the tellybox – it’s great that a network have had the guts to make a show like this for prime-time viewing – a show that has the ability to make you smile. The problem with TV is that too much time with it distorts your view of the world (and I don’t mean that you will start to think that a vampire is about to turn up). When watching the news – you could be completely forgiven for thinking that the world is close to falling apart and that everything is completely depressing. The news distorts the truth and manages to blot out an awful lot of the positive stuff that is happening. So if you start getting depressed watching TV – please change the channel – the world isn’t all bad – I promise.
Oh – and you might well ask about me watching films at home – but the truth is that the only place I find myself being able to watch a film is at the cinema (unless I REALLY want to watch it). Attention span strikes again. TV is much easier as the episodes are shorter….
On another note – I watched Oblivion at the cinema this week (to summarise – great story, poor acting) and I realised that Tom Cruise looks suspiciously like a Thunderbird puppet? Has anyone else ever thought this?

I thought I’d take a jump now to the two things that I wish I spent more time doing. The first one is music. Now I’ve mentioned this before – but I love listening to – and playing / writing music. It’s not that I don’t have the time to do it – as we have already discovered - I really do. It’s just that the sad truth is that a lot of the time I can’t be bothered. I should practice more, I should take the time to learn more new songs, I should learn to “just write” (What I mean by this is that some people can just kind of flick a writing switch – I don’t have that switch. I need to be inspired). Now you might think that after the events of Chapter 9 I wouldn’t need any inspiration – and you would be making a completely fair point. But the sad truth is that whilst I have ideas overflowing about what I could write about (I’ve already got a load of lyrics) – I can’t bring myself to write the soundtrack to that particular chapter just yet. As it happens (and as I mentioned earlier) I have started writing a new song (and I really like it so far) but theme wise it’s completely different (and probably a distraction) from what I should be building to write about. But still – I don’t spend enough time with music as I should do.
The other thing that I wish I spent more time doing is learning about and hanging out with God. For some of you – that could well sound nuts and like a really odd thing to say. So I’ll try and describe it a bit better.  Obviously I have faith – but the more time I spend learning about God and reading the Bible – the more I understand. The more I let the words sink in the more I grasp. Think of it like a relationship. The more time you spend with someone – the more you understand about them – and then the better your relationship becomes. I’ve been getting much better at this over the last 6 months or so - but I want to spend more time like this.

This is a bit different to the other things though…because I can easily start doing this – but I find it really hard to not be distracted along the way. Distraction that quickly turns to rage if the sound that just happens to stop me doing this (or in fact anything else) turns out to be the lorry that comes around with “annnyyyyyyy ollldddddd irrrroooooonnnnnnnnnn” playing out on full blast. The thing I don’t understand is that they are on my estate almost every day driving around for hours on end - when surely it would make more sense (and they would have more success) to try and cover a bit more ground (and annoy other people) over the course of a week. I’m thinking they didn’t take business (or common sense) studies. Anyway…

So as I said before – this isn’t a bad problem to have. I’m really lucky that there is so much that interests me and that keeps me entertained. But I’m still really interested to know your thoughts? How do you find the time to do everything that you want to do? Do you have any crazy suggestions on how I could perhaps combine a few things and do more than one thing at once? Does an “any old iron” repellent spray exist? Or could I create one? Am I the only one who has problems like these? Am I simply in my own little world?

I’ll share some of your answers (and new questions) next week - but please get involved as I’d really like to know what you think! Meanwhile – I’m going to sign off this chapter with a new music recommendation – so check out Lucy Rose. I’ll leave you with a picture that Howson sent me (that really made me chuckle) and a video of #leggewed. Normal service resumes next week - oh and if anyone wants to book me and Padley to do some covers at an event of your choosing...let me know. Have a good one.

God Bless


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