Friday, March 8, 2013

Learn. Learn. Learn. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Learn. Learn. Learn. Practice. Practice. Practice. And, of My God, more Practice. 

I have been learning and practicing for two new professions for 2 years and counting now. In August of 2010 I bought a Fender CD-140 acoustic/electric guitar because I wanted something to do that would keep me from becoming bored in my retirement years. I had retired from a 35 year profession as an over-the-road trucker on November 8, 2010, and was yearning to rejoin my brothers and sisters on the open road. Even today I struggle with the same yearning when my sanity is at it’s weakest. Buying a guitar was supposed to take the yearning to wonder out of my soul. It has not done that, but it has helped to keep me from doing it as a trucker. Now, I want to wonder across the entire planet with my guitar, my songs, and with my camera to explore the world, and to learn.

No, music is not my only passion. Like 2 wives hanging around on the same street corner, both my guitar and my camera  scream at me every morning until I get out of bed and start my day. Yes, somewhere in the early months of 2011 I made the fatal mistake of adding a second lover to my life. I bought a camera, and some special gear to go with her. And, outside of my family life there are now two passions that tempt my soul with every breath I take.

In reality, these are not new passions. I started affairs with each of them way back into my early years. At the age of 14 I bought my first guitar. And, while a young man in the navy I started to learn to love photography. But, today, time seems to be my biggest enemy. Time is what I struggle with every day. There is never enough time. No matter how hard or how fast I work there is always more for me to do even as I climb into bed. But, the ailments that forced me into retirement are the same ailments that now force me to go to bed when I have put my body through all that I put it through each day.

These days I am asking myself, “Have I screwed up again? Am I doing something that I should not be doing? Or, am I just temporarily burnt out because I am working too hard at my two passions?” But, at some point during the day I will sit down for just a few moments. It is sort of like taking a lunch break in the middle of the day. After I eat a small lunch I sit back with a glass of soda, or a glass of beer, and I look at how far I have come over the past 3 years of a retirement that was forced onto me because I had pushed my body further than it was willing to go. 

Today my health is better than it has been in at least 25 years. Why? Because I eat better. I made not be eating like I really should, but I am not eating the crap that I was forced to eat because of time constraints as a trucker. Yes, these days I mostly eat food that is fit for human consumption. And, although I have only lost half of the weight I need to loose, my body doesn’t feel like I am carrying two people within it. Right now, my photography is suffering from a lack of proper stimulation, but I am working to correct that problem, and I will be giving more time to photography in the near future. My music is where the most enjoyable improvement in life has come from. I look at all that I have learned with my music, and I know that I have done good with what I had to work with. And, although I am far from being as good as I want to be it is daily that I feel that I am accomplishing goals that I put into motion many years ago as simple dreams.

And, by the end of my lunch break, and sometimes after a bit of a mid-day nap, I return to work knowing that I have not screwed up, that I am doing exactly what I should be doing at this time in my life, and I am not burnt out on my music or my photography. I now know that even if I never play another song, or click the shutter again, I am doing what I was always meant to do with my life. I am enjoying my life. And, I realize that I should have, and could have, been earning a living for and with these two passions for my entire life.

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