My addictions strangle me when I’m unable to cope with situations. Hearing bad news kills. Chilling, defined here as succumbing to any addiction, then feels acceptable. If you’re anything like me, we need to re-enforce our defenses, rather than ask that the constant barrage of life’s perhaps-positives and perhaps-negatives cooperate with us. It would be nicer to have a conflict-free life. That won’t happen. Let’s instead try figuring out how to build up our defenses.
When all systems are working, the temptation is forgoing maintenance. Everything’s working, after all, right? I’ve been tempted by that sin before. My poor rower is long overdue for a thorough repair. Everything’s still in working condition, so I’m starting a maintenance schedule that works for me. I’ll do a sweep, clean, and check every Saturday with a more detailed version every month. I just need to build a dedicated kit, including manuals and schematics.
If you want to get better at anything, you’ve got to practice. In basketball, if you want to practice free throws, it works best on an empty court. Just you and the hoop. It’s not as interesting as a basketball court filled with people and it’s not as fun as playing a game. Studying how you’ve thrown each shot, however, will lead to more insight. Similarly, float tanks are like clearing the court of distraction.
“You can listen to whatever you want in the [float] tank.” My thoughts immediately went to grindcore band Wormrot. I prepped their 2016 album Voices [shown below, left] for my next session. When the album queued up, after Runaljod: Ragnarok by Wardruna concluded, what an incredibly subversive moment! Twenty-six minutes later, I gained a deeper appreciation for some of the most abrasive music I’ve found outside atonal noise music. What’s the appeal? Isn’t pop music nicer?
I think we complain when we’re too emotionally invested in some logical frustration. It’s the thorn in the side except we’re so overwhelmed by the situation that we don’t know what to do. Certainly not letting others help! We might even lash out against them. It’s natural and cathartic to complain to others. It’s just that we should always try to complain to attain remedies to our ailments, rather than repeatedly replay our dissatisfactions, infinitely.
Since 2008, I’ve participated in a game of hearing as many albums released in that year as possible, and I’ve incorporated my own stipulations: no greatest hits albums with an unreleased song, no archival releases by posthumous musicians, and re-releases of albums officially released in another year don’t count. The complete list of the 104 albums I heard is over at my RateYourMusic account.