MUSINGS IN Cb: “Time Changes Things”

I had a cursory discussion with a fellow musician on Saturday that centered on the topic of his expressing not having enough time for his instrument like he used to.  

This seemed to be effecting his muse.

Time changes things.  I believe we are in the same stage of life.  

Middle age.

When you reach middle age, life is just plain busy. Yes, even busier than the stage when our children were still living at home.  

But, for me this is a good thing. Our family is bigger now, with the addition of children-in-law and grandchildren. Our entire family is now also literally spread across the earth in different locations as well.

By middle age, most of us can usually do a diversity of things, and are able to do most all of them very well. The issue becomes priorities.

My priorities are totally different now than they were thirty years ago as I approached my thirties.  At nearly sixty years old, I do not have the remotest desire to hang out in clubs most nights of the week, or make the rounds sitting in on every jam session in the region.  

My goals as a performing artist are different.  I don’t “need” to be on stage in front of a live audience most every night to be validated as an artist to the level that I did coming up.  I am still paying musical dues, but those get-out-and-play type of dues have been paid up for about thirty years. That’s cool.

I have to be more organized with how I use my time.  I have to schedule dedicated composing, arranging and practicing days. I no longer have the luxury of just sitting around all day playing to records and such, as I did in my early days. My practice time is more efficient because of this middle age paradigm. That’s cool.

Most middle aged people, like me, have to come to grips with the fact that, no matter how cool you were in your twenties and thirties, you are cooler now because you finally have a clue of what it is all about.

No matter our calling in life, given talents or chosen career path, the most successful people ultimately learn that being a good person is what life is all about.  And, the details of what you do, as in my case – music, are learned over the course of a life.  

After 40 years of seriously playing the saxophone, I know where all of the notes are now.  I practice to keep in shape physically – coordination of mind and body things.  

At middle age, I rely less upon the intellect of others when I play music now, because I have developed my own informed musical intellect to draw from.  

And, this state is the ultimate goal for the type of musical artist I have desired to be and have worked for several decades to become.

Sometimes you get stuck in a traffic jam in life and your movement forward seems to come to a complete stop, but slower times can be used to reflect and grow.

Time changes things. That is cool.

And, right now, I am the best me there has ever been.

Peace, Cb