Hey, we've made it to the end of 2020! I can't wait for it to be over. Tomorrow we have a new year with new hope. At least I have hope that at some point during 2021 we will begin to see better times coming!
2020 was terrible, BUT the Covid horrors made some good things possible... such as my graphic design studies, new and different music experiences... I've missed the people and the music sessions in the pubs terribly, but when there weren't sessions, I could take time to start learning to play the guitar properly. I started that journey already in January, but it was in June - when I started learning bluegrass - that my playing took off for real.
During the summer we were invited to join an online music session with a friend in Sweden, through which we now have several new friends in different parts of Europe. We meet most Wednesdays on Zoom to play tunes and sing songs for each other, and to have a good chat.
We're also connecting more with some local musicians that we haven't known so well before. Now we chat on Whatsapp and share tunes and songs with each other - imagine the fun when we can meet and play together again!
Virtual concerts became a thing. While live concerts are still much more desirable, online concerts can be quite cool. Noel Hill had a concertina concert on Facebook, streaming from his kitchen with the view over (I presume) Galway bay. And while enjoying his fabulous music, the audience could chat with each other. That is actually quite cool, although the live gig where Noel played with Liam O'Connor at Corofin trad fest in early March (just before Covid broke out in Ireland) obviously was a lot more enjoyable.
Tonight around midnight we're going to have a New Year's mini party on Zoom with some friends (a few from the music session) - and I just received a Whatsapp message from a friend in Italy who wants to invite us to join them on Zoom some hour earlier! Isn't technology wonderful?! Now it's normal to see friends on Zoom or Skype, which means that we can enjoy the company of friends in other countries at any time. Using this technology for social purposes was unthinkable before the pandemic, but now it's a normal part of life and I really like this development.
Online meetings will never replace good IRL social life, and I really miss our local friends and all the fun we've had in the pubs, but Zoom is a very good substitute during these times. I hope people will continue using it also after the pandemic, not to replace a real social life with local friends but as an addition, to be able to see faraway friends more often - we can't travel to them every week!
Lately I've thought a lot of how I use my time, and started questioning everything I do online - do I enjoy using this or that platform? Or do I use them because it's a habit? How does social media make me feel and why? Why do I want to blog? Do I still enjoy it?
This thinking process was good. I've reconsidered my online activities, cut down very much on my Twitter time, started looking over how much time I want to spend on my own websites (since all of them are just hobby projects), closed some social media accounts, tried to get the remaining accounts better organised and connected with my blogs. And talking about that, what about this blog? What should I do with it? It has been more a waste of energy than anything else lately.
I want to keep running this site, but differently. I want to make it fun and enjoyable for myself, share something that I'm passionate about.
And do you know what is fun and enjoyable, and in addition makes me very happy? Music. My guitar. My concertina. Tunes, songs, new guitar licks. Reflections about music.
Earlier this year I thought of starting a geeky music blog, but I got stuck and never really managed to start using it. Now, in the process of decluttering my online life, I want to focus on what inspires me, and then music is an important element. And on this site that is my own little space on the internet (which sounds extremely cliché, but there's some truth in it too), I want to include everything I'm passionate about, things that make me happy and that are important to me, and it only makes sense that I bring the music posts into this blog. What is a personal blog by Susanne without music? Music simply belongs here.
So I've brushed up the design and logo a little, added in my guitar post from March, and I promise I will have more fun here from now on, stop taking myself so seriously and just share what inspires me. Did I say this last year too? Maybe, but much has happened since then.
And with that I'll close this year's New Year ponderings. I only have two (ok, maybe three) main goals for 2021 - to stay healthy and alive, get the Covid vaccine, and to play even more music. Then other good things will follow.