“Gee, ain’t it funny how time slips away*…”
– © 1961, Willie Nelson
*I wrote this a few weeks ago and never posted it. I guess I didn’t “bury the story” in some folder on my hard drive for a reason. That part of me that has a much higher perspective about what’s important knew I needed a reminder this morning.
Do What You Love – (11.26.18)
Thanksgiving weekend, 2018 is over. It’s Cyber Monday (which is somehow now some kind of official sort of holiday?) and I’ve just arrived home from a short road trip to Fort Worth, TX. The purpose of taking that jaunt up the I-35 corridor for the umpteenth-thousandth time was to deliver what I think was an interesting, fun and inspiring “music and message” presentation about the Divine Spark. Based on the feedback, I think I did fine. I’m grateful for all the folks who chose to overcome excessive food, shopping and football-induced stupors to get out of bed on the Sunday of a holiday weekend. Thanks to all of you for suiting up, showing up and staying upright for the service, the potluck AND the concert I gave afterward. That was a lot to ask and you did great, thanks.
I’ve been doing these kinds of weekends for more than 10 years now. I never get tired of people who say, “I know you were speaking (or singing) directly to me.” What I usually share with them is the old adage, “we teach what we need to learn.”
So, what did I learn? Something that gave me a greater awareness and deeper level of gratitude for this:
Do what you love because you love to do it.
After yesterday’s full day, I drove my wife to DFW airport as she had to travel for business this week. That meant going solo for dinner last night. No biggie. I’m fairly well-practiced in trusting my instincts to find places with a good vibe and good food (and often, good craft beer) that feel safe and welcoming to a single woman – even in a large city I’m not that familiar with.
A young man sat a few seats down from me at the bar. He’d just gotten off work at a nearby establishment and struck up a conversation that quickly turned to the subject of music. I shared “what I do” in music and beyond.
“Ryan” is a 30 year-old drummer who’d paid a lot of dues on Austin’s infamous 6th street during his high school and college days. But he currently works as a manager for a quickly-growing, high-end, food-bar-bowling-bistro experience corporation. He shared that the company has given him his choice of locations around the country to move to in order to grow the company.
As much as he loved what he currently does and how well the company treats him, his passion for music was undeniable. What was also undeniable is this guy already had the wisdom of someone nearly twice his age (aka, me). He keeps up his drumming chops because he loves to play – not because improving his skills might make him famous, or rich, or get him a world tour with some famous (or up and coming) band. There’s no naivety or rose-colored glasses for this guy about the music biz. Nope. He’ll work at his high-paying and (mostly) fun job for a few years until he saves enough money to open his own recording studio. And he wants to get better at composing and learning about how to write lyrics because he has the soul of an artist. (That’s my observation, not his claim).
Refreshing and inspiring and, yes, gratifying. It gives me hope.
As our conversation continued, I swelled with gratitude for recognizing the myriad of life choices and events that brought me to that moment of hearing this young sage say, “Thank you for reminding me how important it is for me to keep music as my first priority. I need to play my drums every day.”
I’m so grateful that I get to do what I love, every single day. I’m even more grateful to recognize the importance of being in service to that which I know I’m here to do and be. Every. Single. Day.