Frets and frets

By Complexity Fit

I got my first real six-string. 

Bought it in Marabastad. 

Played it ‘till my fingers bled. 

Cleared my head and got out of the rut.

With apologies to Bryan Adams. 

I was born in the summer of ’69.  By the summer of ’99 I was promoted to a corner office with all the perks, irks and accompanying, unavoidable jerks. I quickly became one too. We spent countless hours in boardrooms and airport lounges and “business strategy” imbecilicus argumenticus was the lingua franca. Working late and all the time was a contest, which I won. Soon after, I was the big kahuna. *air punch*

Ignorance and the illusion of control was bliss. Until it wasn’t. A midlife crisis churned to the surface and came to a head as a full-blown midlife meltdown in ’18.  I was just about 50, but it felt more like 150.  To cut a long, sad story short, the business was failing, the world wasn’t making any sense anymore and I was clueless about the reasons for it.  Frankly, trying to “find a reason” or “fix the problem” had the opposite effects, trying to find reasons resulted in me becoming more and more lost, and trying to fix resulted in new, multiple failures.  Exhausted. Depleted. Burnout, baby.

Hindsight, being 20/20, showed that I should have taken a step back from the proverbial rat race a long time ago. The writing regarding “how things are done” has been on the wall for quite some time, and it would have been clear if I took a moment to pause, reflect and see the wood for the trees. Secondly, have I not taken myself so seriously all the time, I would have been more likely to explore, experiment and play with alternatives and adjacent possibilities. 

“They” say it’s never too late. So, I took up 3 things simultaneously: a hiatus, a yoga class, and the guitar – something I haven’t done since my teens. I practised finger-picking G Lydian scales exercises and bending it like Chuck Berry for hours every day. Until, one morning, I woke up before the alarm, for the first time in forever, and I felt great.

I’m back at the office now. I swopped the corner office for a desk in an open plan setup. The business is doing great, we’re doing new things every week. We experiment, we pay attention, and we take good care of ourselves and our clients. I also overheard water cooler gossip about Freddie in Finance’s drumming skills. I think we should start a blues band…

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