CoffeeAndKlon #19: Make Time For Your Passions

This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.

Good morning folks! I’m back with another #CoffeeAndKlon for you. This week, I want to step away from gear (for once!) and talk about time … the time we have for music.

Today’s Coffee is El Corozo

I’m currently drinking the last of the El Corozo. There’s a new coffee shop that’s opened up opposite the Apple Store down in Cardiff. Been past it a few times – it’s been a bad summer for Apple and reliability – and finally remembered to pop in and check it out.

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I’ve mixed feelings about this coffee.

It’s a decent coffee, with a nice amount of bitterness in the aftertaste. A definite step up on the kind of coffee most shops brew for their customers. And much much nicer than the coffee I’ve been drinking from the hospital coffee shop.

The only reservation is the price. It’s quite a bit more expensive than similar, Fairtrade-certified coffee from other shops.

Do try it. If it’s the taste you’re after, I’m sure it’ll be worth it to you. It’s all personal preference after all.

It’s Time To Talk About … Well, Time!

So … time. Last month was a bit of an anniversary for me. It’s now 30 years since I first started playing electric guitar. Over the years, there’s been periods when it was important, and years when it was neglected. But it’s always been the one constant in my adult life.

At the end of the day, it’s just a hobby. It doesn’t put food on the table or keep a roof over our heads, and frankly, we’d starve pretty quickly if I tried to be a professional musician. That doesn’t mean it isn’t important.

I don’t know why YOU play music at home. You’ll have your own reasons for it. And I’d love to hear what they are.

For me, it’s sanity. It’s no coincidence that many of the periods where music was important are also the times where my professional life was getting me down.

During those times, I’d always retreat to my guitar and write. Not very well, I grant you, but it was the doing that kept me going. Having an outlet is an important safety valve for the human soul.

It took me a long time to learn that music could be about joy too. I remember going through a particularly nasty work situation several years ago, and constantly wondering “why am I writing music that sounds happy?”

That confused me. I didn’t understand it at all. At the time, it made me question whether I really was unhappy with what was happening in my professional life. Was it my way of telling myself that I should put up with it?

No. I’d simply learned to enjoy music for the sake of it. It had happened so gradually that I hadn’t realised.

I’d finally found the guitar that suited me – the Les Paul – after decades of avoiding them. I’d found the kind of tone I’d been seeking in valve amps, after many years of digital disappointment.

Such a roundabout journey, I hadn’t noticed I’d arrived.

Time changes perspective. Spending time on something – a guitar, a pedal, an amp, or music itself – gives YOU time to grow. After all, any piece of gear is pretty static. It doesn’t really change. It’s your approach to it that needs to change.

And music is only brought to life by the arrangement you come up with, and the performance you find within yourself.

At least, that’s where I am with things today.

I think we all need that one something in our lives. That one passion, regardless of aptitude, ability, or the need to monetise it. For me, it turned out to be music. And gear I guess 🙂

It has to fit around the rest of your life – work, family, friendships. Whatever it is, when you find it, you’ll know. Because you won’t be complete without it.

None of us have infinite time here. Make time for your passions. If nothing else, it makes the time we have that much easier.

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