Week Eight: Pause

How do you find neutral?

I’m learning how to drive a stick shift. It’s been, a humbling experience. Last night, after realizing the car was in 3rd gear (not 1st), the culprit of my continuous stalling, in utter distress I yelled, “I just hate being bad at things!”. After which I sheepishly, with many fits and starts, drove us home. I have this inherent, silly and deep-rooted fear of looking stupid. No one wants to look like an idiot, but my disdain can be rather paralyzing. Usually, I’m quick at picking up new skills; from time to time, there is something that I can’t really grasp, an inability to truly understand the process. 

In my absolute stubbornness, I carry on bullheaded. Occasionally, there is a sweet spot, a moment when defeat is not admitted, but an acceptance that this is a challenge that will take some gumption to accomplish. Time to step back and evaluate my approach and possibly reassess my tactic. In this case, it was as simple as finding the precise communication between the clutch and gas. 

Possibly, I wasn’t able to initially understand this relationship because I’m having trouble balancing my own acceleration and braking. During each shift, there is a pause in which neutral is engaged and everything takes a breath before leaping into motion. Due to my constant motion, it’s hard to experience those moments of much needed pause. Without them, I don’t truly appreciate the things I have accomplished, remind myself of the values I hold dear and see the bigger picture. 

When the core of my life is production oriented, I learn more than I wish to admit from being effectively stationary and becoming bored for a glorious moment. I need to take a lesson from my dog who spends the majority of her day soaking in the sun, completely disengaged. When was the last time you put yourself in neutral or sat with no other purpose then taking in a perfectly insignificant moment? 


Simple, golden advice, that I've been able to apply to my life since I first heard it over ten years ago. Although, sunscreen usage still seems a bit questionable to me. 


I can be a perfectionist at times. Recently, I have been attempting to find ways to combat this and challenge myself to be less critical. Over the years, I've slowly taught myself to play piano. I only know about five songs and do it entirely for fun. Here's a video of me playing the first part of the theme song to Pirates of the Caribbean (full song to hopefully follow soon). My rule was I was only allowed one take and no warmup. So here it is, flaws and all.