I wrote about resolutions last year, over at my now abandoned side project This Mormon Life. I said this.
It's probably bad luck to start a post about your New Year's resolution by referring to a failed project from earlier in the year.
My resolution for this year is seemingly simple and counterintuitive: I'm going to listen to less music.
Counterintuitive, because by most measurable accounts apart from owning vinyls, I am a music person. I'm the kind of person that you might expect to say "I'm going to go to more concerts, try more kinds of music, learn to play the oboe etc." Though not the oboe of course, because even though it's cliche, if I had to learn to play an instrument right now it would be the guitar. Because I'm willing to be a bit cliche to get chicks. But no, my resolution is to listen to less music.
It's not a simple resolution either, because it involves a paradigm shift. And paradigms are not easily shifted.
I feel that I used to be smarter than I now am. And it's not that listening to less music is going to free up a lot of my time to learn more. But it is certainly going to free up a lot of thought.
Back in the day, before the iPod, I used to think more. Back in the day I didn't have my own room, my own office, my own car, each with sound systems set to begin playing the second I entered. Sometimes I had silence. I don't have much of that any more. And in that silence I'd write stories. Rarely on paper, just in my head. I'd make up songs, create theories, have conversations, organize things, set goals, and just generally tinker. I do much less of these kind of things these days.
There are many reasons why I do less of these things, these thinking things. I'm certainly busier, maybe dumber, absolutely sleep deprived. But the music is an extra hurdle. It's an extra distraction, to my already distracting life. And it's a distraction I enjoy and that I'm going to keep, I'm just going to moderate it.
2011: Less music. More thoughts.