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40 years later I’m finally doing what I love

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What I’m Doing

40 years later I’m finally doing what I love summarizes the journey I’ve taken to realize what I love to do and finally get a chance to do it. I’m playing music at open mics, and public performances in bars, festivals, farm markets, and event venues. I’ve even signed up to teach guitar lessons with a non-profit organization called Guitars For Vets. We provide a 10-lesson curriculum to veterans who’ve struggled as a result of their time in combat.

Why I’m doing it

Why I’m finally doing what I love reminds me of a favorite “doing what I love” quote:

‘‘What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.’’

Bob Dylan

40 years ago I was looking for a career outside of music because Ohio had cut back on funding music education. Because I had prepared to teach music when I was in college, my future was not looking good. Computers were pretty new and learning to program was hot. So I took a 9-month program and earned a certificate in computer programming. I got a job quickly, even before school was complete.

I recently retired from a great job working for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It was the best job I ever had but was it my passion? Did I love what I was doing? Not really. The simple answer to why is that performing music for an audience is something I’ve always wanted to do.

I was fortunate that churches always need musicians. Serving in this way kept me playing and singing so the transition to doing it in a more focused way has not been difficult. I’ve also been able to write and record a lot of my work with friends. Starting a YouTube channel a few years ago has also helped me prepare for what I’m doing today.

So What?

40 years later I’m finally doing what I love. As you read this you may say, “so what?” My response is that if you’re breathing, you’re not done yet. As Rob Proctor is quoted as saying

Don’t go to the grave with the music still in you

Rob Proctor

You don’t need to wait until you retire like I did. Take a step today toward your goals. If you don’t have any, dream a little. What would you do if money or time was not limiting you?

2 thoughts on “40 years later I’m finally doing what I love”

  1. Jim, A great story! You have been a major influence on my musical journey, perhaps not in any ways you could imagine. It was wonderful to see the attached picture of you and Zane Liston and me. I cannot remember at all when that was taken and why the three of us would be together. I imagine some conference with some outdoor music. I have been enjoying doing live gigging around the community lately.

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