When I compare my busy-ness to my colleagues who mountain bike, ski, take extra-curricular educational courses, volunteer and manage a busy work schedule with a home life that includes raising kids, again my life seems very quiet. However others around me in my circle of friends and family look at my music career and work schedule (including plenty of travel), and comment on how insane my life is, or can be.
I think that I have a reasonable balance between work and personal life considering my career, but frequently it can become a lot to manage, and so it's at these times which I find myself playing a little mental game. Sometimes this game can get me through weeks of days in which I get up at 6:00 to go to work, and don't get home to bed until around midnight, often because I leave from work to go to a practise, gig or the studio. Other weekends I've packed up from a gig at 1:00am, taken my drums home, slept for two hours and then got up at 4:00am to catch a morning flight to Korea, landing in country for a dinner meeting after having had two hours sleep in 48 (I don't sleep on planes). Or I'll land in Vancouver at 10pm on a weekday after three weeks away in Europe, get up the next morning for an early conference call, and head straight from work to a band practise. This can leave me a little ragged, I admit, and kudos to my wife for suffering me through these periods.
So to get my tired brain through all the days and nights, I play this game which involves projecting into the future to the point in time when I know a particular set of obstacles will have been hurdled. I try to imagine what I might feel like then, at that future point, and picture myself looking back upon the intervening events. I create a vision of my future self peering back in time to the current moment, with true hindsight, and wonder what that will be like.
For example, when I started writing this post on my phone's keypad, I was in a cab tearing up Granville street in Vancouver, headed for the airport, knowing that in five days time I would be driving back in the opposite direction, having completed a somewhat arduous business trip to Sweden and having arrived back in Vancouver to be met by my lovely wife at the airport. I did some more writing of this post in the Vancouver airport, in the security line at the infamous Heathrow arrivals hall, again in my brother-in-laws house in London, more in the long Piccadilly tube trip to Heathrow from Green Park, all showing that even writing about mental time travelling causes me to travel through time.
Allows me to look back on that which I have predicted.
While trying to envision my return to Vancouver on this particular trip, I know that I may or may not have had a successful set of meetings with my customer in Kista outside Stockholm. I know that I will have likely spent a day shopping with sparx and co, that I will have probably eaten out at some nice restaurants in Stockholm, that I will have probably spent a night in a grim Ibis hotel room at Heathrow, and know that moment will eventually come when I will pass the same houses on Granville street, coming in the opposite direction. The small and seemingly insignificant cycle will have been completed, another mini chapter in the somewhat foreseeable sequence of events that is my life. Likewise, if I have a long set of gigs, or rehearsals, as I leave the apartment on the way out, hauling a pile of drums on my handcart, I will picture myself returning to the door having completed the musical date. When the moment arrives that I am hauling my drums back to the door, I will consciously look back to my past self, and remember the previous moment with some relish.
It appears I have created a life in which I can consciously live in the moment, the future and in the past.
It is only idly (and with detachment) that I find myself pondering my forthcoming fate, and considering the recent past. I must mention that it is neither an anxious nor a regretful experience, just an interesting one.
(sent wirelessly from my phone - written in a cab in Vancouver, at YVR airport, at Heathrow arrivals hall, in Brixton, UK, on the tube back to Heathrow, and at Heathrow Terminal 3 departures lounge.)