Pruning the energy tree

So I had a gig today. At RIT – RITSMA’s Tuesday @ the clock in the Student Union. It was good.

Gigging at one’s workplace is a little odd, though. It has it’s pluses — a built-in audience of co-workers, bosses and colleagues; minimal travel time; a nice break in the work day.

The downside is that I’m still at work, so it’s hard to not be in “at work” mode. I changed my clothes at least to “gig clothes” (jeans and a t-shirt of some kind). I couldn’t stand there and play in front of people in business work clothes. Playing for suits is hard enough.

But it was fun, despite the drilling and construction. And my non-warmed-up vocal chords. And new strings on the guitar that hadn’t quite been played-in enough for optimal comfort.

I’ve decided that music is my new volunteer/community service activity. That way it doesn’t matter if I get paid for gigs or not. It’s the thing I do to give back. And that way I’m not scattering my energy so much trying to give back in other ways. There’s still the hope that ultimately, it’ll be the thing that pays the bills. But right now, being something I do for no or low pay just to do it, just to get the music out there and bring that sweetness into people’s lives — that’s OK. That’s my community service.

That’s what being on the board of the Rochester Music Coalition is about, too (www.rochestermusiccoalition.org). If I’m going to put my energy anywhere, if I can only pick one thing, it’s music. Everything else is slowly being pruned from the tree. I prune with the changing seasons, I think. And getting down to my true priorities has taken me several prunings this year. A snip here, a snip there. Just keep what’s really important and focus on that. At least I know what I want to do, where I want to be. There are blessings in that.