This is was of those days when I felt blah for no good reason whatsoever. I slept well last night after an easy gig, and then I woke up and had a long, pleasant walk. I'm well rested, and it's a beautiful fall day, but I spent a good part of it moping around, not feeling like doing much of anything.
There are days when I absolutely need a break from everything. Maybe I've played several long gigs in a row, or I'm swamped with music engraving projects or rehearsals. This wasn't one of those days. Sometimes I genuinely need a break, and sometimes I just feel lazy. This was a lazy day, but not the fun kind. Most of it was simply not feeling like doing anything at all, and then feeling sorry for myself because I wasn't feeling motivated to do anything. It's an annoying, circular self pity party.
On days like this, I turn it around by making myself do something useful. I'll pick a project and simply pretend I'm motivated for it, going through the motions until I really feel motivated. Today I finally got the ball rolling when I decided to take the guitar out and practice a little bit. After all, the best musicians in the business didn't get there by only practicing when they felt like it. My main goal was to simply start. Ten or fifteen minutes into it, I was focused on the guitar and not my blahs. It wasn't the longest practice session, but it was productive.
After practicing, the blahs settled in again. Since I didn't feel like moving around or even leaving the apartment, that's precisely what I did. I walked the half mile to the Corner Pub and enjoyed an early dinner. I feel refreshed now, and I'm going to spend the next few hours working on a music engraving project.
I wish I could brag that I always handle the blues successfully, but I don't. Sometimes I succumb to self pity and lethargy and simply waste the day doing absolutely nothing. Other days, like today, I can shake myself out of it by picking a project and faking enthusiasm until I genuinely feel it.
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995 and have been music director at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation since 2011.