Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.

3.02.2007

Old School

One thing about me is I'm task-oriented. I'm able to multi-task well enough when it's called for, but it's not my preferred style. Instead of bouncing back on forth from one thing to another and working on lots of things at the same time, I'd much rather pick one thing, pour all my focus and energy into doing it well until completed, then move on to the next thing.

That's why triathloning seems to work so well for me, for instance. I tend to get pretty intense about whatever I do and don't find much point in being active unless I'm going hard, but doing so can burn me out unless I have some end point and the option of moving onto the next thing. That's why I had to take a break after I ran for a while in college. Triathlon training has built-in variety. Yet it also still allows for a focused activity. I used to try joining my wife in her video workouts for the company, but the instructors are always adding all these different elements to each move and building up to complex routines to make the activity more entertaining. That's too much constant changing of motion; multi-tasking within the workout, if you will. Give me a single motion or activity and let me focus on it for a while, then when that's done I'll move on to the next one.

This characteristic has also led me to what seems to be a habit of procrastination. I don't see it that way, though. I just do everything in its turn. I don't like working on a project or assignment in little bits over the course of time, starting it, setting it aside, then revisiting it more later. I do better if I wait until the due date is near, then get serious and crank it out. Sometimes I'll have the luxury to give something a block of time and energy well before it's due, but usually I have a list of other things to get to ahead of it. Because that's the way I work--when I decide something needs doing I'll add it at the bottom of my mental checklist and eventually its turn will come up, but before it does I have other things ahead of it to focus on. When it comes to cleaning or getting things done around the house, this habit annoys my wife to no end. I just can't get into picking up a little bit here and there, daily maintenance and keeping things clean, I prefer to let stuff pile up a bit and then devote a few hours to it on the weekends or when I have time; then it's actually enough of a task for me to focus on.

It's why my job works so well for me. Aside from the constant flow of patrons to help, my job is a series of projects to work on. One day it's planning a storytime for little ones, the next it's doing a craft project for teens. Sometimes I have to work on bulletin boards, other times I'm creating booklists. There are various reports to write, performers to contact and thank, books to weed, holds to shelve, etc. Everything comes in project chunks that I can really get into, but there is a ton of variety of the types of projects to do. It keeps me both focused and fresh.

Anyway, I sat down to write a post about music. I enjoy my music in the same way, you see. I enjoy the variety of a wide range of music tastes and can't stand listening to the same things day after day; I haven't found the radio station yet that doesn't get too repetitive with its hits/favorites. But I also don't go for the schizophrenic multi-tasking of random play lists. I'm all about the album. Give me a single artist with a consistent sound/style/mood to focus on for an hour or two so I can really get into it, then when that feels finished I'll pick something else. Even "back in the day" I never got into mix tapes and I'm not too excited about the current popularity of soundtracks mixing various artists around a mood--it's still generally not focused enough for me. So I may appreciate all of the new digital music storage options because of their capacity and portability, I'm having trouble getting excited about them. I still want to buy my music in albums, not one song at a time. I don't much desire to create playlists. And I could care less for the random play feature. That's just not the way I enjoy things.

All of this started, by the way, because of what I put in for us to listen to before opening today. I'm no good at favorites because I like so many things and my moods change, but if I really had to pick a single album I'd call my favorite I'd say the one I always seem to enjoy the most each time I return to it is Peter Gabriel's Security album. It has a wonderful mix of polish and rawness, is very percussive, and has a faint underlying creepiness. Shock the Monkey is the song you're most likely to know, but is far from the best song on an album that's best appreciated in its entirety.

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