Menu
Bluegrass music / Music reflections

Refocusing and decluttering life to make more time for music

It’s about time I start writing here again! This summer has been a rough one for me and I’ve been in a state of total fatigue with a lot of things I normally enjoy doing. The yet again uncertain Covid situation because of the Delta variant has made me restless and anxious despite being vaccinated, and it’s simply been a difficult time. I needed to stop everything for a while, recharge the batteries and get back on track.

What I haven’t stopped is enjoying music. I’ve continued to play and sing, learned some new songs, continued the online sessions on Wednesday nights, and we’ve had some nice jam sessions in the kitchen and also outside on the wooden deck. One evening during the heatwave in July, we went to a friend’s garden to play some music with her and a few other friends. It was the first social event in a long time, and it was scary – but absolutely fantastic.

When we came home, it dawned on me how much music means to me and that I need to make more time for it in my life. Especially this spring and summer, I’ve lost focus with it, and maybe that’s at least a contributing reason why I’ve been anxious and unwell. And I’ve spent too much time on unnecessary things – as you know I’ve spent quite some time fiddling with blogs, thinking about whether to do this or that with blogging, and I’ve wasted time on many other things and ideas that didn’t lead to anything useful.

This may not be a bad thing because self-reflection and reconsidering what you do is sometimes needed – but all this time I’ve spent on thinking, rethinking, overthinking, browsing for information and/or ideas, I could have used that for music practise instead.

Earlier this year, I came across this quote on another blog, and it really resonated with me.

Be a curator of your own life. Slowly cut things out until you’re left only with what you love, with what’s necessary, and with what makes you truly happy.

LEO BABAUTA

Recently, I’ve started to implement this in my life. We took a day off to deep clean the house and do a good decluttering (as much as is possible right now), which has done SO much for my general wellbeing and ability to focus. I took my blogs offline to decide what I wanted to do with them. I decluttered my to-do list regarding career plans and now I finally have a main focus and a plan.

And – I came back to make music a priority in life. Like last year – oh, the dedication! I don’t know where I lost that, but I want to come back to what I had.

We have ditched Netflix. After dinner, we often practise our instruments, my husband in the kitchen and I in the sitting room or in my office. Then we play some tunes together. If we want to relax and watch something, we watch some concert on YouTube, or a movie – but only if it’s one we really want to see. No more pointless browsing!

I’m trying to get back on track with the guitar workshop, and after most of the summer practising old tunes or technical exercises, I’m trying to come back to the workshop curriculum, start on some new tunes and continue working on other tunes that I started on, but for different reasons never managed to learn properly. And I definitely need to record a video for my teacher as soon as possible, because seeing his response always gives me some major inspiration, good advice and ideas, and a kick in the **** to get going with things.

I have other exciting projects going on too. I’ve had problems with my throat recently, and after a negative Covid test, the problem coming and going, when it came back after I had been singing a lot one afternoon, I realised it might have to do with tension and straining the voice, I decided to check out the bluegrass singing workshop they have at Artistworks, where I’m also learning the guitar. After a quick look through the curriculum, I realised this workshop will be a fantastic addition to the guitar course and to my life, and with the current discount they have, I didn’t hesitate to sign up for a year.

After maybe 10 lessons and three songs, I can say this workshop will be extremely valuable for my own musicianship and for what we want to do. This autumn will be an exciting – and musical – one!

We have exciting things coming. YouTube is involved.
Regarding blogs, I’ll still be around. I will spend more time on music than I have lately, and I’ll write about my experiences and other music-related topics here. My photos, and other non-music content, will be here.

2 Comments

  • Anne
    11th August 2021 at 11:29 am

    Oh, what fun! I love that you took time to clear your space out (I need to do that,.. small spaces demand careful curation of what we keep in our homes!), clean up your to-do list, think about your career plans, and do the work to make music a more central part of your life. Focus on what you love. Drop what you don’t. The Leo Babuta quote sums it up quite nicely, doesn’t it?

    Your evenings sound positively joyful, as well. How wonderful it must be to have music filling the house, rather than the sounds of a TV show. I don’t have a TV or Netflix, and find that it makes me much happier. Reading brings me joy, so I read. (I also work, of course but that brings me a lot of joy, too, in addition to all the, well, headaches. :>)

    I hope you love your bluegrass lessons, and that you share what you learn. We will be the beneficiaries of your passion for and joy in music- thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Susanne
      11th August 2021 at 2:25 pm

      Oh yes, regarding small spaces.. we still need loads more decluttering and getting rid of stuff but for now, it’s good enough and much improved. Having the house in order and tidy (enough) is so important for my well-being, productivity, and much more. With more silence (in this case the absence of clutter) maybe I can take time to read, too. But first – music.

      Reply

Leave a comment