Purging The Shoulds

Should.

That fucking word.  I swear to Christ.

It haunts us with things left undone. With potential.  An endless stream of what-ifs, could-haves, and maybes that meld into a theatrical chorus of “You are not good enough as you are”.

I’m not talking about positive self-improvement.  I’m talking about those twisted voices whose only purpose is to torment.  We all have them.

“The Shoulds”.
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2016 – Portrait of the Artist

I have an annual tradition where toward the end of the year I deep clean my apartment and purge everything I don’t use.  Year after year I slowly work myself toward being a minimalist.

If you come across an item you’re not sure about while you’re in the process of decluttering there is a three-question system you use:

  1. Do you actively use it?
  2. Do you need it?
  3. Do you love it?

I’ve been doing this for a while, so most things need two or more yeses to stay.

This year what struck me as I started cleaning out my ever-dwindling cabinets is that they are not full of “things” anymore. They are full of the people I used to be, or people I wish I was.

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Reflections on “When God Closes a Door”

I turned on The Sound of Music today to keep my head occupied while I started reorganizing my living space (a fall tradition).

It’s one of my favorite movies.  One of the things I really like about it is that every time I watch it, something else pops out at me.  Today’s thing was Maria’s reoccurring line:

“When God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window”

I surprised myself by responding, “Yeah, I don’t think that’s always true.”

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Shattered

Shatter:
[shat-er]
verb (used with object)
1.  to break (something) into pieces, as by a blow.
2.  to damage, as by breaking or crushing:  ships shattered by storms.
3.  to impair or destroy (health, nerves, etc.):  The incident shattered his composure.
4.  to weaken, destroy, or refute (ideas, opinions, etc.):  He wanted to shatter her illusions.
verb (used without object)
5.  to be broken into fragments or become weak or insubstantial.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The only thing that is still the same in my life right now as it was 18 months ago, is that I am currently breathing and have a heartbeat.

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david bowie

She’s a Total Blam-Blam…and other revelations

For those of you following along at home, I’m in the process of educating myself in the realm of rad rad music by listening to the Top 100 Albums of all time by mid-September.

Already, this is more music than I’ve listened to in probably the last 5 years put together.  I’ve realized that I really don’t ever just sit down and listen to a whole album.  Or very rarely.  So this has been really fun.  Some days I just have to walk away because I feel like my brain/ears/heart will explode.

Secretly I’m curious to see if doing this project will change my own songwriting process.  Part of the reason I think I don’t sound like anyone in particular is that I never listened to anyone before. I really just write what I hear in my head.  We’ll see if this changes that.

After the first post I was all caught up, so now I’m actually writing these while I’m listening to them, which is way more entertaining.  For me, at least.

Onward…

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kat downs

My Music Education Project

Truth:  Even though I’ve been a musician my whole life, I don’t listen to a lot of music.  Never have. Mostly because I always have music playing in my head, so sometimes I really can’t because it sounds like two radios playing at once.  Yuck.

In school, I was trained in Classical music.  The history of it, where it came from, how it evolved, branched out, church vs. secular and all that… but I never studied rock music.  Or really any modern music outside of the “played-by-a-symphony” area.  Mainly because I never planned on being a rock musician.  Funny how that worked out.  (Now I know why I felt like I never quite fit in.  Haha – retrospect is awesome. )

So, recently I decided that I wanted to educate myself since this is my career and all, so I poked around online and from several different places put together a list of the 100 “greatest albums of all time” that I want to listen to before my birthday – which is September 17th, by the way.  Gifts are always welcome.  🙂

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Don’t Just Stand There

You are overwhelmed. You are scared. You are the adult and the decision is yours. Everyday the decisions are yours. All of them. No one is going to tell you what to do.

But you don’t know what to do. You don’t know which decision is the right one. Or the situation is so convoluted there are multiple options but none seems to truly be the right one. Or more than one could be correct, or maybe three. And then even what initially seemed to be the wrong answer starts looking like it might be the best way to go.

“Don’t just stand there,” your brain says. “You are scared. You are uncomfortable. DO SOMETHING. ”

I used to. I used to just do something. Just pick something at random and go with it so that the decision was made and the uncomfortable would stop.

Which had disastrous outcomes. (As you may have guessed)

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