And if the world does turn and if London burns,
I’ll be standing on the beach with my guitar.
I want to be in a band when I get to heaven,
anyone can play guitar and they won’t be a nothing any more.Radiohead, “Anyone Can Play Guitar,” from Pablo Honey
Right right, so I got the lyric wrong. Sue me. It’s been in my brain for a few years now, this snippet of verse. Bastardized by time, “anyone” becomes “any fool.” Sounds the same, really, and when it wafts through my head I can hear Thom Yorke telling me, “You idiot, just pick up the damn thing and play it.”
I’ve had my guitar for three years. I can play nothing. I asked for it on a whim – I always wanted to learn to play, and figured a simple acoustic was a great axe to learn on. I could get a book, maybe some lessons, and get my song on, so to speak. I didn’t want to be a rock star, but I’ve got a decent voice and can carry a tune, so playing for beer at a local bar would have been fine for me.
Instead, I buy my own beer, and my acousti-axe sits in its case, alone and cold, wanting to be picked up.
Everybody has their guitar. It just may not really be a guitar. I’ve had several…I’ve had a couple of lawns, a vegetable garden, an old garden tractor, an old computer…the list goes on. In each of these cases, I puttered around for a while, maybe even got a solid project off the ground, then watched it come to a screeching halt while my addled brain led me off in another direction.
Such is life, right? These failed attempts at something are just my brain’s way of saying “Yo, idiot: you’ve got better things to do,” right?
No, that can’t be true. If that were the case, Mr. Yorke wouldn’t taunt me on a regular basis. I wouldn’t stare at guitarists in loud bars and lose myself not in the music, but for a moment at least, in watching them play the most basic of chords and pick the most satisfying notes.
This life is about Getting Things Done. It’s about finding the time to do what I need to do, and apparently, strumming a guitar is what I need to do. And so I did what I never thought I’d ever do: I bought a self-help book.
Ok, not a self help book per se; more of a management book. And I haven’t even finished it yet (note to self: put down blog, read book). But I’m excited about it, no doubt.
I thought for a while that I had adult ADD. I skip around a lot. I need to keep my brain spinning, and if I get bogged down in a task (not all tasks, mind you), I lose focus. It’s not an always thing, but it’s an often thing. Often enough that it began to bother me. Time spent on The Internets. Time spent re-reading e-mail. Time spent doing absolutely useless things. I wasn’t helping anyone like that.
So I got this book. The premise: get it off your mind, and onto something else. Now, I need to define that something, which is a bit of a chore. It’ll probably be Outlook for work, and a Moleskine for everywhere else. But regardless, I think that my need to “jump around” is not unrelated to the vast quantity of stuff floating around my brain. Lists, to-dos, and bastardized song lyrics.
So off I go, into the well-charted waters of GTD. I’ll keep you (me?) updated as this progresses. In the meantime, the guitar sits there, waiting for me to make time for it.