To be clear, I have not lost my mind and become a Jimmy Buffett fan.
Although I’ve never drunk texted, tonight I had the absolute delight of having dinner and drinks (two large Passion Fruit frozen margaritas), so I’m definitely in a “comfortable state of mind.” Although I’m not blitzed beyond recognition to the point that I won’t remember writing this tomorrow, I know that I can say what I’m feeling tonight straight from the heart.
In therapy today, we talked about the window of tolerance….that there’s a zone where my tolerance is comfortable, but there are triggers that can make it too high (anxiety) or too low (depression). During the pandemic, it has been a challenge to stay in the zone. Not playing live music has been excruciating….it’s not about being showy, but more about not being able to share something that I’m very passionate about. As much fun as I had in the recording studio this past Saturday, I felt a sense of depression on Sunday, because it was a reminder of how restricted we are, and that we still have a ways to go before we can share music with each other in live venues on a daily basis.
I’m thinking about doing my internet radio show again…it’s a great outlet for sharing music and conversation. This is what gigs are to me – sharing music, conversation, laughs and a common love of playing, singing, and having fun. Somebody (ok, the Karenator) once challenged me about sitting in with other groups, and how would I feel if people wanted to sit in with me….my answer to that is FUCK YEAH….that’s how we network, that’s how we exchange ideas and learn from each other, and that’s how we give and receive inspiration….it’s why I ended up singing with Natalie Cole….if she had no problem inviting people to sit in with her, who the hell am I to have a problem with it?
This is why I struggle with not gigging right now, and why this really challenges my tolerance – I miss the interaction more than anything else. I remember being a teenager, playing music with the hope of impressing girls….now as a 51-year-old, I miss playing music with the hope of connecting with other people. Some days it’s really hard to not get depressed about sitting in my den, only playing music for myself.
I know a lot of musicians who are struggling right now….not just financially, but also because they miss the interaction that comes with performing….there’s a feeling that’s almost impossible to describe when your music can move people in a way that conveys your passion and love for singing and playing. When you don’t have the chance to do this because it’s taken away from you because of something beyond your control, it’s almost debilitating.
I’ve had the chance to connect online with a lot of musicians during the pandemic – although it’s not the same as sharing the stage with them, it’s still an opportunity to find inspiration, and to hopefully collaborate when we can all be together again safely.
It feels good to write about this tonight, as my tolerance while not performing has been really challenged. The good news is that with each passing day, we seem to be getting closer to being able to have our old sense of normalcy, and this gives me hope that I’ll be back on stage on a regular basis.
The window of tolerance is leading me to a window of opportunity….and I’ll drink to that.