LuxVenture's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
cimorene12
Posts: 483
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:10 am

Re: LuxVenture's Journal

Post by cimorene12 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:21 pm

LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pm
How has your summer been? Keeping cool, living the good life?
I gotta say, it's incredibly hot. If living the good life includes discussing how to pickle a truly tremendous number of lemons (hundreds), then yes, I am living an excellent life. We have a goal of growing or catching at least 50% of our food supply and while we are, to some extent, successful at it, anybody who has ever lived on a farm knows the dread of eating things "in season".
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pm
First off, thank you for taking the time to write to me with such detail. It's a really great feeling to put one's most intimate thoughts and feelings down and have someone like you respond at length.
I'm glad you like it! I'll make a point of stopping by and speaking up then.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pm
You are right, of course. I think improvement, especially in how best to help children, is always going to be time well spent. I suppose that burnout from this past work year had really tinged everything a bit sardonic--now that I've had a couple months to unwind, I'm able to appreciate how that time was spent. Perspective!
Yes, everything looks better when your nose isn't against the grindstone.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pm
Critical thinking and universal compassion . . . mmm. The humanities. There's a lot to be said for the under-noticed costs of industrializing our society. We have lots of nice things compared to past generations, to be sure, but the cost to humanity's . . . humanity is noticeable. I'm really happy to hear you received those things, as I'm sure you can attest the profound change for the better acquiring those gifts had on your life.
Yeah. High school was not perfect, but there were some really good parts.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pm
Great book, wonderful introduction to the fundamentals of purposeful practice. Great teachers are remembered for a reason. Interestingly, private instruction has been shown in replicated research to improve test scores by two standard deviations, a boost I would consider profoundly OP (=over-powered, for those who aren't gamers, lol). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom%27s_2_Sigma_Problem I'm a firm believer that anyone can become extremely proficient at any skill if they want it enough, and I think that mentality is partly why I've seen such success in my teaching biz. There's nothing more enjoyable than taking a kid sitting last chair in the 5th band, that has been told by their other teachers that they will never amount to anything, they're all washed up before they ever began, and tell them, "Nope, you're amazing, and you're going to be great, now let's get to work," and see them transform into a great musician. It's the long game that counts.
Yup, absolutely. Teachers who really believe in you matter. My eighth grade English teacher told me and one other kid in the class that we'd grow up to be writers; after talking to other people who had her as a teacher, I know that she tells that to a few kids in all of her classes. And in some cases, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that you can hone your skills to become good enough at something to make a living at it, you can.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pm
To that end, if you've ever read Stephen King's On Writing, well, I personally believe that he messed up when he pulled his son out of saxophone lessons very early on (and that while all his writing advice is superb, my own experience has demonstrated that his exposition on talent dichotomies is bunk). Not everyone starts with the itch to create, or resonates with their ideal craft immediately--sometimes, the passion takes years to take root . . . and when it does, boy, hold on to your britches, it's gonna be one wild ride.
Yeah, I've read On Writing. The reason why Asian parents relentlessly push their kids in pursuit of musical excellence isn't so that they make a living playing cello, piano, violin, or whatever. It's about teaching them to pursue a long-term goal with daily practice. Peak by Anders Ericsson discusses Malcolm Gladwell's popularization of the 10k hours rule and points out that it's kind of arbitrary despite being based on Ericsson's work. It's not necessarily about 10k hours of practice by a certain time; it's about slogging through for a really long time. Even when you hate it. Even when your fingers hurt and you want to go to sleep. Pursuit of mastery means that you still push through. https://www.amazon.com/Peak-Secrets-New ... 011H56MKS/
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pm
I contract with three public school districts in Houston when I go to teach. They let me into the schools, and in exchange I agree to not exceed the market rate, which they fix. The schools are government entities, and they take this very seriously; private teachers who have attempted overreach in the past have been met with termination, barred from all state schools, and litigation.

If I taught out of my own home, I could charge whatever I want . . . but that business model would be rather tricky, given A.) my present home is tiny and B.) I would have to have students come on the weekend, since they are attend school during the day and after-school hours would be quite limited (and I'd be running into noise complaint problems; euphoniums are loud). That being said, if there's a will there's a way . . . I'll have to look at this further. I suppose my desire for home privacy is a factor in this as well.
Is there any way that you can rent music studio space? When I was growing up, I remember the local music store having a section where music teachers could regularly rent an empty small studio so they could teach there. They didn't have a boss, they were just responsible for paying the rent on time. I don't know if that is more common with piano since it's a little less mobile of an instrument than a euphonium, but I've seen it.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pm
Nature is the best, no doubt about it. The main challenge with reducing student count is logistical; my students are spread across so many schools that it is more a matter of culling some schools entirely while keeping others. I presently commute 30-70 miles a day, depending on distance and number of schools to go to (Houston is a vast sprawl). The only way I can retain veteran students at cut schools is by having them come to me after school
Commuting 30-70 miles a day is a lot. It probably is a matter of cutting down the furthest flung schools and clustering the schools so that when you teach, you minimize your overall travel time. You've also reminded me of a classic Mr. Money Mustache rant. https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10 ... commuting/

If you had your own music studio space, you wouldn't have to worry about encroaching on anybody's turf.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pm
I think you're spot-on about finding them a replacement--I've already been in talks with the other local teachers, and may be visiting my alma mater soon to talk with the professor and see if there are any graduate or doctoral students interested in taking on some of my kids.
Sending your kids to other people will be really great, as long as you are vetting their teaching techniques and how they handle students. I know that you want to leave them in good hands even as you wind down.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pm
You are correct. I think I lost sight of enjoying the journey this past year; I maxed out my work hours to the point of breaking in the name of savings . . . but it's called Early Retirement Extreme, not Go Home Every Night and Wish You Were Dead, Might As Well Emigrate To Asia And Intern At a Sweatshop. This summer has given me a lot of perspective--if it takes a few extra years to FI, so be it. I'd rather feel human--shit, feel, period--than get to the end with those years spent working being a bundle of regret and angst and one-foot-in-front-of-the-other. Your analysis is spot-on. How did you find your own balance between work and life, especially given that you are also the sole arbiter of how much you do every day?
Take a few more years to reach FI and be happy. Happiness cannot be bought (beyond buying the essentials for daily life), but a few experiences that facilitate happiness can. I don't know how to achieve work-life balance because it's something I'm not great at. I'm kind of legendary for being insanely productive and there are trade-offs and costs associated with that.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pm
Writing doesn't hurt me, thank God. It's a pain-free playground for expression. Playing my horn still hurts like hell, and likely always will--neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome isn't curable, given it is a structural defect; deep breathing will always hurt--so not having to teach music as much will likely improve my quality of life in the long run.
I'm glad that writing doesn't hurt you. Improving your quality of life sounds good :)
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:44 pm
Summer has been good for me, this past month in particular. Exercise, loved ones, traveling, writing . . . these things make me happy and give me a sense of purpose.
[snip]
Thanks to summer free time, I've been able to spend more time with those I love. What a reminder that humans are a social species, and I'm no exception--relationships really create a special sort of joy that can't be had on one's own. I've caught up with my mom, dad, sis, lots of old friends, my roommate . . . and even reconciled with the gal I love. We spent months figuring out ourselves and what matters to us, and after all that work, we're giving it another go. We've been quite happy. I'm not going to write at length or detail here, for the sake of our mutual privacy, but let's just say that I am hopeful about our future. It isn't every day you encounter someone who just . . . gets you, and you her. Shares the same interests, sense of humor, ideals. We're committed to doing our best to work through all the challenges that life can throw at us, and of our own idiosyncratic making.
It sounds like you're in a much happier place than you were before. I know your long working hours impacted your relationship, and I'm hoping that everything continues to go well even when the next school year starts. You deserve to be happy, and sometimes that means you need to carve out some space for yourself.

Black and white cat
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:55 pm

Re: LuxVenture's Journal

Post by Black and white cat » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:34 am

Hi LuxVenture,

I'm glad you are doing better.

It does sound like such a struggle to decide on how best to help your friend/ roommate. Without wishing to step on your toes too much, it seems from the very limited knowledge I have of you that you want to be able to help people and that you sometimes take on other people's problems. I, too, do this way too much and it leads to a lot of frustration because it seems that I end up trying to sort things out that I actually have no control over! Most recently this has been at play in my workplace as I have had managers asking me to "get students to do X" and, when I inevitably fail to "make" anyone do anything then it somehow becomes my fault/ my problem to deal with! It also just takes up so much energy that I don't have.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:29 pm
What are you up to these days? On an FI adventure yourself? How's life? Cheers, I hope your summer has been fantastic as well.
As for me, I haven't yet had to courage to start up a diary on here but hoping I might some time soon! It is mainly because I am in a stage of limbo, with me not quite sure on what I am doing etc. It is likely that I will try to reach semi- ERE (I've got a few years of expenses saved) but my attitude can change quickly depending on whether I have had a good or bad day! I'm 30 F and have done a variety of different things- but mainly research and teaching (adults). I should have more clarity in the next couple of months about what I will do for the next year :)

LuxVenture
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: LuxVenture's Journal

Post by LuxVenture » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:59 am

cimorene12 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:21 pm
I gotta say, it's incredibly hot. If living the good life includes discussing how to pickle a truly tremendous number of lemons (hundreds), then yes, I am living an excellent life. We have a goal of growing or catching at least 50% of our food supply and while we are, to some extent, successful at it, anybody who has ever lived on a farm knows the dread of eating things "in season".
Yeah, this summer is a-blazin'! I really feel ya. I was teaching masterclasses at some band camps this week, and my kiddos were coming in from their morning visual block, aka marching around with instruments in near-100 degree weather and 100% humidity. They looked like they were stroking out, and I imagine the sentiment is shared on the farm. That's amazing that you are self-sufficient to that degree. You're living my dream. . . . what's a pickled lemon taste like? lol
cimorene12 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:21 pm
I'm glad you like it! I'll make a point of stopping by and speaking up then.
Thankee kindly! :D Always a pleasure to hear from you.
cimorene12 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:21 pm
Yup, absolutely. Teachers who really believe in you matter. My eighth grade English teacher told me and one other kid in the class that we'd grow up to be writers; after talking to other people who had her as a teacher, I know that she tells that to a few kids in all of her classes. And in some cases, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that you can hone your skills to become good enough at something to make a living at it, you can.
Self-belief is key, to be sure. Doubt runs rampant at adolescence (and in most adults); having someone there to assure you that you are capable of great things changes lives. Even a key word of encouragement here or there can act as a seed that, over years, changes one's life entirely.
cimorene12 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:21 pm
Yeah, I've read On Writing. The reason why Asian parents relentlessly push their kids in pursuit of musical excellence isn't so that they make a living playing cello, piano, violin, or whatever. It's about teaching them to pursue a long-term goal with daily practice. Peak by Anders Ericsson discusses Malcolm Gladwell's popularization of the 10k hours rule and points out that it's kind of arbitrary despite being based on Ericsson's work. It's not necessarily about 10k hours of practice by a certain time; it's about slogging through for a really long time. Even when you hate it. Even when your fingers hurt and you want to go to sleep. Pursuit of mastery means that you still push through.
Yes, yes, yes. Self-discipline. It is a challenging thing to obtain, but once you have it, you possess the grit to do anything. All of my most talented kids tend to have a breakthrough moment, an experience where they lucidly comprehend the sum effect of all their effort. It's almost like they flip a switch; they practice all the harder, and are fully aware of how they are self-modifying their behavior, which leads to improvement they can see in hear, which in turn . . . cyclical. And of course, there are no shortcuts for time invested. Work-over-time is king for skill acquisition. I'll definitely check out the book you linked.

I had a fun moment yesterday that speaks to what you described here. My second masterclass of the day. 15 euphonium players working on their marching show. They were hyper, jubilant that the weekend (and rest) was near, and also on a pizza high after a band field trip to Cici's Pizza. Compared to the focus they exhibited Monday through Thursday, their attention was all over the place. I decided to make a point . . . I called them to attention (there's a certain decorum to follow when repping marching music) and they were still chitter-chattering. I quietly took out my phone and started recording them, then did a run of the movement. As soon as they finished, I held my phone aloft and played their music back to them.

Utter shit-show. Cracked starts. Individuals entering incorrectly in rests. Over-cooked tone. Abysmal phrasing. And as they listened ("Oh crap, he recorded us!"), it was hilarious to see them realize how much their lack of focus degraded their performance (they had been stellar on the other days). Cue speech on making every single rep count, that time in life is limited, and why show up if you aren't going to apply yourself? It's fine to be relaxed, mingle quietly with neighbors as needed, etc. so long as the students can literally snap to attention--that is, focus their attention on demand to a refined degree.

More recordings followed, and you can bet they were a hell of a lot better than that first botched attempt. Yes, it was late on a Friday, yes, they felt hyper, yes, it's hard for a child to focus intensely at the end of two hours of advanced music-making with exhausted chops . . . but nonetheless, they proved to themselves they are capable, and that they should treat their own time and efforts with more respect when coming together to make music. Simply holding up a mirror was all it took for them to assume an appropriate level of self-responsibility--because they care about their craft enough to slog through the shit, as all artists should.
cimorene12 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:21 pm
Is there any way that you can rent music studio space? When I was growing up, I remember the local music store having a section where music teachers could regularly rent an empty small studio so they could teach there. They didn't have a boss, they were just responsible for paying the rent on time. I don't know if that is more common with piano since it's a little less mobile of an instrument than a euphonium, but I've seen it.
Ahhhh, I imagine there is, but in terms of cost-efficiency, it's a no-go. There is one store locally that allows that (usually for folks that aren't allowed direct access in the public schools or don't run a home studio) but from what I've heard, that music studio takes 50% of the lesson payment as their cut. Absurd! I'll have to double-check and see if there's anything else around, but I doubt it. That business model doesn't seem to exist in Houston due to the robust public school programs bringing in specialists directly to the schools.
cimorene12 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:21 pm
Commuting 30-70 miles a day is a lot. It probably is a matter of cutting down the furthest flung schools and clustering the schools so that when you teach, you minimize your overall travel time. You've also reminded me of a classic Mr. Money Mustache rant.
Yeah. It's a stupid amount of driving. I suppose Houstonians are conditioned for it (lol, what's a sidewalk?). You're spot-on.
cimorene12 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:21 pm
Take a few more years to reach FI and be happy. Happiness cannot be bought (beyond buying the essentials for daily life), but a few experiences that facilitate happiness can. I don't know how to achieve work-life balance because it's something I'm not great at. I'm kind of legendary for being insanely productive and there are trade-offs and costs associated with that.
Do you find your work brings you the most happiness compared to alternative activities?

I've always felt caught up in a weird dynamic. My dad was a NASA workaholic, a scientist then administrator that always put his work above everything else in his life. It brought him satisfaction, though it cost it dearly when it came to his relationships (multiple divorces, children that move away from him, present wife that is never at home, leaving him lonely in retirement). On the other side is my mom, who hasn't worked for pay since she FI'd at age 26 back in the late 80's after reading Your Money or Your Life. She is wise and loving, though she struggles with depression at times that I can't help but think has to do with not having a work routine to channel her creative energy. Seeing my parents have such different relationships with work has led me search out a happy medium, something that I think I still struggle with. I have periods of intense production (80 student studio work-weeks, churning out novellas in a week's time) intermingled with hippie-like lulls where I usually end up wasting my time binging video games. Maybe this is just the ebb and flow of my passions. Perhaps I'm just a monkey in search of his next fix.
cimorene12 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:21 pm
It sounds like you're in a much happier place than you were before. I know your long working hours impacted your relationship, and I'm hoping that everything continues to go well even when the next school year starts. You deserve to be happy, and sometimes that means you need to carve out some space for yourself.
Thank you so much. How are ya spending your time these days, outside of pickling lemons? ;D Everything going well?
Last edited by LuxVenture on Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

LuxVenture
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: LuxVenture's Journal

Post by LuxVenture » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:23 am

Black and white cat wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:34 am
Hi LuxVenture,

I'm glad you are doing better.

It does sound like such a struggle to decide on how best to help your friend/ roommate. Without wishing to step on your toes too much, it seems from the very limited knowledge I have of you that you want to be able to help people and that you sometimes take on other people's problems. I, too, do this way too much and it leads to a lot of frustration because it seems that I end up trying to sort things out that I actually have no control over! Most recently this has been at play in my workplace as I have had managers asking me to "get students to do X" and, when I inevitably fail to "make" anyone do anything then it somehow becomes my fault/ my problem to deal with! It also just takes up so much energy that I don't have.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:29 pm
What are you up to these days? On an FI adventure yourself? How's life? Cheers, I hope your summer has been fantastic as well.
As for me, I haven't yet had to courage to start up a diary on here but hoping I might some time soon! It is mainly because I am in a stage of limbo, with me not quite sure on what I am doing etc. It is likely that I will try to reach semi- ERE (I've got a few years of expenses saved) but my attitude can change quickly depending on whether I have had a good or bad day! I'm 30 F and have done a variety of different things- but mainly research and teaching (adults). I should have more clarity in the next couple of months about what I will do for the next year :)
Hey, it's great to hear from ya!

I definitely take on other people's problems, just like you. Been a life-long struggle having to do with co-dependency, or what I guess has been more recently re-labeled as self-love deficit disorder. It's an issue of control, as much as anything; when you take on other people's issues, you are attempting to exert your influence on them--and though most people that due this do so in the name of good intentions, the effects are often not so benign. I'm still learning to fully respect other's autonomy, that is, their right to make their own decisions and choices in life. Sometimes this means letting others make decisions that you can see aren't going to end well, but need to be allowed so that they can learn from them (rather than having that learn process short-circuited in the name of 'protecting them' which could be interchanged with 'protecting yourself,' your ego, your security). Compassionate disattachment has been the cure for me--letting others be themselves, and focusing on me being me, feeling my own feelings instead of taking on other's feelings as my own, and so on.

That sounds frustrating, having to deal with an unsympathetic administration using you as a proxy for coercing student outcomes. Are there any compromises to be had?

I hope you start a diary! It's rather cathartic, I find, and perhaps good practice for people like us to be a touch self-centered, in a healthy way. The great thing about a diary, as with all writing, is that it is what you make of it--no right or wrong way of going about it, and therefore no real reason to be afraid beyond working through the initial resistance that accompanies starting most creative endeavors.

What are you contemplating doing that has you stuck in limbo? Trying to decide on either research or teaching, or both, or something else entirely? Best of luck with saving! Having a goal to focus on certainly helps with getting through those 'bad days' when the work isn't so gratifying. Best of luck deciding on whatcha want. A question for the ages, lol.

Whatcha enjoy doing for fun?

Black and white cat
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:55 pm

Re: LuxVenture's Journal

Post by Black and white cat » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:19 pm

Hello there... I have been mulling over your points about co- dependency. I've heard the term before and had a vague notion of its meaning but I've never really delved into it as a concept. I read some things about co- dependency yesterday and- wow- it seems like quite the rabbit warren! Your suggestion that protecting others may be a way of protecting yourself does resonate with me, particularly in a work- setting. For example, I am keen to be seen as somebody who makes the correct decisions; as if somebody is going to tap me on the shoulder one day and do an audit of every decision I've ever made :?

I also particularly appreciate your points about allowing yourself to 'feel your own feelings'. I have always thought it is good to show empathy and understanding, by really putting yourself in someone else's shoes. But doing that at the intensity and frequency that I've done that in the past is exhausting and can leave a person very disillusioned with the world. I think it would be a good thing to 'feel your own feelings' more, rather than simply accepting transfers of others' feelings or just performing the feelings that people expect you to have in a given situation. Do you find that there is also a danger in doing this too, though? For example, in order to protect yourself, you may become more hardened to suffering?

In regards to the potential harms that co- dependency may create and what can, realistically, be done in the face of the tricky situations you mentioned, compassionate disattachment sounds viable but also very difficult to live- out. How is that going with your friend who has problems with alcohol? It always hurts to see people you love hurting and we always just want to do everything we can to stop the pain. But, as you suggest, the pain simply cannot be stopped by others and the dominant public health narrative of 'getting help' is- in my opinion- highly simplistic. In the absence of 'cure' we lurch onto 'hope', despite that hope sometimes being false.

But onto more positive matters... (ugh that's a horrible paragraph transition to do. I should have adopted a different structure!) I will definitely think about starting up a journal. Yes, I'm in limbo because of a mix of not knowing exactly what to do and also what I want not necessarily being available. I would like a teaching contract but I'm not sure in what form or location. Hobbies are politics, creative writing, travel (done quite a bit of this but now would like to do less) and TV series (action/ drama especially).

But enough of me hijacking your journal... bye for now :)

cimorene12
Posts: 483
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:10 am

Re: LuxVenture's Journal

Post by cimorene12 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:17 pm

LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:59 am
Yeah, this summer is a-blazin'! I really feel ya. I was teaching masterclasses at some band camps this week, and my kiddos were coming in from their morning visual block, aka marching around with instruments in near-100 degree weather and 100% humidity. They looked like they were stroking out, and I imagine the sentiment is shared on the farm. That's amazing that you are self-sufficient to that degree. You're living my dream. . . . what's a pickled lemon taste like? lol
I did not word that properly, because it definitely reads like I live on a farm. We just have a large number of fruit/veg bearing plants, not an actual farm. Pickled lemon is probably an acquired taste. There are a lot of Vietnamese restaurants in Houston; if you're actually curious, you can go to a Vietnamese restaurant and get chanh muoi.

LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:59 am
Self-belief is key, to be sure. Doubt runs rampant at adolescence (and in most adults); having someone there to assure you that you are capable of great things changes lives. Even a key word of encouragement here or there can act as a seed that, over years, changes one's life entirely.
Self doubt is always there. Imposter syndrome is widespread.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:59 am
Yes, yes, yes. Self-discipline. It is a challenging thing to obtain, but once you have it, you possess the grit to do anything. All of my most talented kids tend to have a breakthrough moment, an experience where they lucidly comprehend the sum effect of all their effort. It's almost like they flip a switch; they practice all the harder, and are fully aware of how they are self-modifying their behavior, which leads to improvement they can see in hear, which in turn . . . cyclical. And of course, there are no shortcuts for time invested. Work-over-time is king for skill acquisition. I'll definitely check out the book you linked.
I'd recommend Angela Duckworth's Grit over Anders Ericsson's Peak. She touches on a bunch of his research but in a more accessible way. Even though Peak is straight from the horse's mouth and co-written with someone who has written a bunch of books (and is also very interested in mastery), it's dry.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:59 am
More recordings followed, and you can bet they were a hell of a lot better than that first botched attempt. Yes, it was late on a Friday, yes, they felt hyper, yes, it's hard for a child to focus intensely at the end of two hours of advanced music-making with exhausted chops . . . but nonetheless, they proved to themselves they are capable, and that they should treat their own time and efforts with more respect when coming together to make music. Simply holding up a mirror was all it took for them to assume an appropriate level of self-responsibility--because they care about their craft enough to slog through the shit, as all artists should.
Holding up a mirror is an interesting thing. I used to play violin, and being part of an orchestra or band is different from being a pianist. I'm a terrible violin player, but I think learning to work together with other people to create something greater than yourselves is a good thing.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:59 am
Ahhhh, I imagine there is, but in terms of cost-efficiency, it's a no-go. There is one store locally that allows that (usually for folks that aren't allowed direct access in the public schools or don't run a home studio) but from what I've heard, that music studio takes 50% of the lesson payment as their cut. Absurd! I'll have to double-check and see if there's anything else around, but I doubt it. That business model doesn't seem to exist in Houston due to the robust public school programs bringing in specialists directly to the schools.
Bummer. That rent is way too high.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:59 am
Do you find your work brings you the most happiness compared to alternative activities?
There are a lot of components to happiness. Workaholism is a real issue, as is keroshi (death by overwork). I'm definitely content with the stories I'm creating and the work I've been doing.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:59 am
I've always felt caught up in a weird dynamic. My dad was a NASA workaholic, a scientist then administrator that always put his work above everything else in his life. It brought him satisfaction, though it cost it dearly when it came to his relationships (multiple divorces, children that move away from him, present wife that is never at home, leaving him lonely in retirement).
Working too much is one of the regrets of the dying. A lot of people wish they'd spent more time with their families when they had the chance.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:59 am
On the other side is my mom, who hasn't worked for pay since she FI'd at age 26 back in the late 80's after reading Your Money or Your Life. She is wise and loving, though she struggles with depression at times that I can't help but think has to do with not having a work routine to channel her creative energy.
As soon as he died, Juan found himself in a gorgeous place, surrounded by all the comfort and beauty he had dreamed of.
A fellow dressed in white approached him and said, “You have the right to have whatever you want; any food, pleasure or amusement.”

Charmed, Juan did everything he dreamed of doing during his life. After many years of pleasures, he sought the fellow in white and asked, “I have already experienced everything I wanted. Now I need to work in order to feel useful.”

“I am sorry,” said the fellow in white, “but that is the only thing I am unable to give you. There is no work here.”

“How terrible,” Juan said annoyed, “I will spend eternity dying of boredom! I’d much rather be in hell!”
The man in white approached him and said in a low voice:

“And where do you think you are?”
http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2015/12/11/i ... e-in-hell/

I'm not saying that your mother needs to go back to work, even though she has the money to live on. Volunteering can also give a sense of purpose while being less time consuming than a 9-to-5. It sounds like your mother has struggled with the questions that people who achieve FI all feel.
LuxVenture wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:59 am
Seeing my parents have such different relationships with work has led me search out a happy medium, something that I think I still struggle with. I have periods of intense production (80 student studio work-weeks, churning out novellas in a week's time) intermingled with hippie-like lulls where I usually end up wasting my time binging video games. Maybe this is just the ebb and flow of my passions. Perhaps I'm just a monkey in search of his next fix.
You reminded me of something akratic said in his journal years ago.
akratic wrote:
Tue May 07, 2013 5:21 am
It would poison the bursts of output I normally got between periods of leisure.

This is the major concern for me too.
Suppose my girlfriend and I were to run a race like we live our lives. She would run the entire race at 8 minute miles, no more, no less. I would alternate between all-out sprinting and walking.
I used to beat myself up about the walking. My fascination with akrasia and my online nickname originated in trying to understand and remove all unproductive habits. But I'm starting to think recently that these periods of walking might be *necessary* for me to sprint.
It made me look up akrasia. Any creative work requires some rest so that your subconscious can chug along.

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