Is the glass half-empty or half-full? The perfect analogy to describe a person's outlook. I consider myself a glass-half-full kind of person. The one who will get some unexpected money, only to get an unexpected bill, and say: "Well, thank God we got that unexpected money".
But it can be hard to keep that silver-lining attitude. It's tempting when the described scenario occurs to say "Dammit! That always happens! Just my luck." It can be tempting to think, "I'm never going to get ahead in this world, it's always 1 step forward and 2 steps back." If you do the math, that outlook won't help you move forward in life, quite the opposite.
This summer, I have taken a purposeful step back from playing live shows to focus on writing, recording, and releasing music. I have a publisher in Nashville with lots of opportunities to write and record my songs, and for lots of people to get to hear them. After 13 years of the hustle, it seems like the right turn for me. At this point in time, I enjoy the creation part of the music more than playing it live.
When I say "playing live", I do enjoy performing my music for people. But I found that all the work surrounding it, no longer made the time on stage "worth it", so to speak.
I have been traveling back and forth to Nashville more often. About 5 weeks ago, I started feeling sick during a visit to Nashville. After many trips to the doctor, and countless different rounds of antibiotics, it turned out I had a bad MRSA infection. It's the kind of staph infection that's resistant to certain antibiotics. I am just barely getting back on my feet after this prolonged illness. I don't think I have ever been that sick, for that long, and that immobilized. Having COVID is the closest I got, and I had that pretty bad.
During this time, I struggled with where my limits were. I looked at all the "shoulds", all the things I would normally do. As I'm sure you can imagine, things stack up after 6 weeks.
But imagine this: What if I hadn't taken this break from playing live music? Would I have been on the road, feeling like that? Would I finally have had to cave, and cancel shows, something that until recently was almost a career death sentance? Dealing with presenters, and band members, hotel and flight cancelations? It's the equivalent of "Well, thank God we got that unexpected money". The ultimate glass half-full. At the very least, I had created space in my life. It may not have been how I envisioned spending it, but the space was there. And it is there still while my body recovers and regains its strength.
When going through some rough times, I find myself torn on how to tell my story. I want to share, authentically. But I don't want to tell a story of woe. Beacuse that's not who I am. The ups, the downs, the steps forward and back, they are all part of this human experience. Sometimes the experience is uncomfortable and painful. And sometimes we fly high. I believe all of it is worth telling. How you choose to tell it, that's the real rub. When you tell your story, is your glass half-empty or half-full? Were you the victim or the hero in your story?
I guess that's up to each and every one of us.