Transitions are as assured in life as death and taxes – it’s gonna happen.
I’ve discussed, or hinted at this piece o’ life before – tried to be realistic, tried to be positive (hey, for the majority of us, it could be worse, right?). Somewhere, some time, some day, everyone will have to go thru a transition. It’s a fact – thing is, how do you handle it? Because it's going to go down, brothers and sisters - jus a matter of time.
Right now, I’m lucky to have a wife with a great job who’s supportive of what I do. I need a job, and could use one to help with the finances, bottom line. This could be a job doing anything at this point, as long as I’m home before my son and wife gets home to take care of business here. What I do now in music and arts runs so counter – intuitive to the conventional wisdom of how to make a living teaching, playing, or selling music that I wonder if in the sense of karma, that I’m suppose to be making a living at all at this point in my career choice of the past 35 years. After all, there are thousands of people like myself, hustling to get some coin, but in far worse shape.
At this point, could it be I’m the house spouse who is writing songs, hoping to get out to play music at the local Starbucks every blue moon to a smattering of applause and recognition, sometimes giving away CD’s in hopes of a more ‘organic’ move to get more gigs, students, and repair work?
Well, you may be right on that one, Senator Claghorn………
Why am I writing on a website where there are music pros from around the world, with far more ‘professional’ resumes’ in music business terms? Why, pray tell, am I permitted to tell my stories? Was I not just a guy from Iowa who happened to get lucky on a local level with a couple of careers in the music business?
Yeah, was, and hopefully still am that ‘guy’, but like so many, it’s been transition time for ‘that guy’ again. I would say this latest one started three, four years ago.
Like you all, I’m still figuring where this is all going because I’ve had to wrap my head around some unconventional thought processes to move thru the music and arts business.
You make CD’s, you sell them, you gig, you get paid, you teach music lessons, you get paid, and so on…….
Some people quit, and move on to do something else. Me – well, I’ve invested more than half my life (pretty much all my life, if I really think about it) in my craft and skills – I want to see where I keep going. Thing is – will people pay me for what I’ve learned to do in music and art?
That’s one transition, and it’s a big one. But at this point, just a JOB (and it doesn’t have to be music-related) to help keep bacon on the table would help……
I can relate to having a job, and keeping busy with it – I’m a Midwesterner, and it’s in our blood.
Oops, we interupt this current transition with an entirely NEW one, already in progress!
(Cut to a few weeks later after half this article was written)
But there’s an old saying - if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans ( which can be rephrased for you skeptics out there – sub for ‘universe’, ‘energy’, ‘ the light’, etc.). We make plans – 5 days, 5 months, 5 years, 5 decades ( doesn’t Honda or Toyota have a 250 year plan? Seriously - that’s serious planning…). We all have plans, thinking that we’re impervious to the ebb and tide of the universe – oh yes, watch me, I’ve got a plan, and it’s going to get me SOMEWHERE, Hoss. Yep, planning to plan – until the change-up, the hit, then …….WHOOSH – your current plan goes over the right foul line. And, that’s the fourth plan - and you’re out of juice, baby.
That’s when you get the letter from the Department Of Planning Department, to which it states: “Dear Schmuck – please re-direct your efforts, and stop wasting energy with the Old Plan – it’s not working, or currently in waste management.”
I have, too, a current plan that’s being re-directed as a ‘transition’, because there are bigger things at stake, usually, in life. And, it happened midway thru the writing of this article, so, now, my thought zeppelin changes course, of course.
What’s a mother to do? Well, in this case – breathe deeply, meditate, and……LISTEN.
Yep, I do believe so - LISTEN for further instructions. Sometimes you just need to kick back a notch, take a load off, close your eyes, clear you head, and LISTEN. Kind of amazing how it works – the message might not be clear upon the first try, but believe me, it’s there.
I’m hoping it’s there…… I think it’s there (more positive, honker, come on now)…….. no, I KNOW that the message is THERE(there ya go, Mr. Self Affirmations!).
See, I had this entire big-ass column planned about my current transition, and, oh boy, woe is me, another transition in life, and what am I gonna do, and yikes, it’s SO scary……..
BUT, I know better, because I have been doing this column since 2007, equally as ‘writing therapy’ to part the Red Seas of my own life ( which ain’t bad, kidlets – just get into that vortex of self- absorption, and I truck out the pity party paddy wagon every now and again). And you know? I get to write about damn near anything, even though it’s suppose to be a music business blog (given that, I always try to direct my point to music and art.). Hell, I’ll probably throw in some recipes at one point (I think I’ve discovered the secret to a good potato salad, yes sir).
So, what’s the ‘message’ here? I think…. slow down, and LISTEN, when in transition. Listen to your heart, Jesus, God, Buddha, Allah, Jehovah, the Great Spirit, dharma, the universe, your dog, your kid, your spouse, friends, and what’s happening with your surroundings. The next groove is there, and you’re set to find it, or it finds you, eventually. Are things lining up in proper fashion? And when I mean ‘proper’, I mean for the good of yourself, the good of others, the goodwill of the world? Are you part of the solution, not the problem, not a slogger, taker, or faker? I think, and I hope, that’s when you receive the next message, the next plan. I do hope that for everyone – even my friggin’ enemies at this point, because no one deserves true pain, crisis, or horror in life. And I’m not talking about rejection from some club that you’re curious why they would have you as a member, thank you, Groucho Marx. Take the ‘I’ out of ego, and just listen. For all my self-deprecation, I have to do this as a daily vocation.
Yep, that's how I'm going to wrap this baby up - stat writing in one direction, then veer off towards another. BUT, for the sake of the message, hey, if you think the light bulb goes on in your head, well, look into the room.....
Well, I’m surprised – I had an entirely different intent on this blog, and now look what happens. I guess when you have a seven – month black Lab puppy, sleep deprivation can get ya (just like having a baby, folks, except with fur and dog food….).
Bless you all, and thanks for taking the time to listen to me – now, go out, and listen to what you’re suppose to do NEXT!