I once knew somebody who often asked me, "Why can't you just turn your mind off when you watch a movie?" I just couldn't, and to this day, I still fully can't. The moviewatching experience has always been something I've valued, and movies are not something I take for granted. But I'm now seeing that it's good to do things where I'm not studying, analyzing and scrutinizing all the time.
Most recently, I picked up my old Variflex skateboard and started skating again. Nevermind the fact that my board is over twenty years old, it still works. Nevermind the fact that I can't do much other than turns, it's what I want to do. Since I just want to ride the darn thing, I'm not thinking about how soon I'll be doing grinds or kickflips, or ever fully learning that signature Lance Mountain move I never quite got down. Riding itself is the joy, and I find it quite calming.
The same can be said with drumming. I haven't played in an active band for a number of months, but since I set my drumset up in the house with muted pads on everything, I try to play every other day. I'm not thinking about when I'll start playing with a new band or how well my double-kick action is going. It's just . . . fun.
This is not to say I just goof on these things, but frankly, after feeling like I've been through graduate school writing this book, I've had a desire to do stuff like this. Kickball was a wonderful thing to do on Sundays, but when our informal league slowly fell apart, there was this void in my life. Meaning, doing something purely for the fun of life and without any ulterior motives. Since I'm not inspired to paint or take pictures everyday, I've wanted to do something else. Maybe this is more zen in my life, I don't know.