It was a little under 24 years ago when I left my childhood nest in Ottawa and moved to the ...
I’ll be honest and say I’ve never been a fan of “year-in-review” thingies. I don’t know why that is. Perhaps because I’m always thinking and dreaming about future possibilities and opportunities. Maybe it’s also because of my depression and having a hard time celebrating anything I may have achieved in the past. So that’s what I like about my title for this final blog post of the year – only sharing stuff that’s embedded in my head and heart from the past 12 months.
Musically, lots did happen. Lots of recording and performances of my compositions, but still not a steady flow of income from any of these creative endeavours. It hasn’t been because of a lack of effort or talent from my wonderful manager (and wife), Lisa. It seems to be because of the state of our music industry. From what I read and through many conversations I have with colleagues, everyone seems to be struggling. Even musicians I know of certain distinction are having a hard go of it.
That being said, I go on. Why? Because there’s nothing else I enjoy more. The highlight for me in 2016 was the every-day, my regular routine. When I sit in front of my computer day-in, day-out coming up with music, there’s nothing that brings me more joy. Because of the various occasions of bad news this past year, now more than ever it seems like it’s important to enjoy the every-day more and cherish it. If people come to a concert, buy a recording, or it’s placed in a film or TV show, I’m training myself to think of that as a bonus, not expected.
Thankfully, we have the ability to move forward with this bohemian mindset because of my music teaching on Saturdays and Sundays. I am so blessed to have a fine group of students and families to work with and a great host for my teaching studio at Lakeshore Arts. Without them, I would not be able to do what I do and lead the life I wish to lead.
As mentioned, 2016 felt like a celebration of the everyday. A celebration of simple things that keep us moving. Lisa and I have a variety of health issues we dealt with in the past year. But with the help of good food, naturopathic care, twice per day walks and meditations, we’re surviving. All this is possible because Lisa takes such a proactive approach on all this on our behalf. I honestly think I would have been dead a long time ago if it weren’t for her. I’m lucky because my guardian angel is my life partner.
Simplification of life has been a big theme for us in the past few years, including 2016. We sold our car, got rid of more stuff, eliminated any non-essential expenses. We’ve done all this so we have a better fighting chance of leading a subsistence artistic life. But it ends up that we also feel better because of it. Less clutter and distractions = less worry.
There are so many specific things that did happen in 2016. But if you’re a regular reader of this blog and/or you follow me on social media, you’ve certainly been bombarded with all of that, so I won’t bother regurgitating.
The final thing I will say about 2016, what made it wonderful, were the people in my life. I often enjoy being alone and keeping to myself. But without Lisa, my parents, my extended family and good friends, I could not survive. So in the end, that’s what made 2016 special for me – you!!
Thank you for being you! Thank you for supporting me! Thank you for loving me! I hope I can give you in return as much as you give me! However you might celebrate, I would like to wish you the very best for this Holiday Season.