When I was going out with my wife, we were just teens.
I won’t say what ____teen, but she was on the lean side of the spectrum and leave it at that, okay?
Anyway, she babysat a little runny nosed kid.
Jimmy. Jimmy Cartoonfishy.
That wasn’t his real name. But he did add the “fishy” think to his real last name.
The little tyke.
Anyway, it seemed young Jimmy had quite the fetish for the word, “why.”
Jimmy, it’s time for bed.
Because it’s your bedtime.
Because it’s 8:00 PM.
Because that’s what the clock says.
Because you’re an irritating little snot-nosed kid.
Okay, she never said that.
I prob’ly did though.
Once, we counted a full 28, why’s, in one go.
Thing is, he wasn’t stalling. He was just curious of, why.
Today, he’s probably got someone on his couch getting paid $350 an hour still asking…
“Why… why do you feel that way about your newly deceased husband Mrs. Thompson?
“And why did you stick that Pink Flamingo yard decoration through his chest last week?”
Anyway, the little nose miner was on to something back then. Because when we know the “why” behind things, it opens up a whole new world.
There was a time a few years back I’d gone through some dry, dark times musically.
Non-existent to tell the truth.
But my “why” behind stopping was all wrong.
I probably should have had that Cartoonfishy kid around to ask why I was turning my back on it.
My wife did though.
She was a good student of professor Cartoonfishy.
But, not only was the reason why I stopped songwriting, wrong, I wasn’t asking myself, why should I get songwriting back in my life?
I had plenty of reasons not to, but I didn’t even ask why I should put songwriting back in my life.
The reasons not to amounted to my day business taking circumstantial hits at the time.
I didn’t feel I earned the right to play around with songwriting.
I didn’t feel it was responsible to play around with songwriting.
I felt guilty playing around songwriting when all this other work needed doing.
I should have realized songwriting offers more than anything finances could ever do.
Sure, I make some money at music.
But that’s far from why I do it.
It took my wife saying it, and me ignoring her long enough until I felt it…
I’m a different person when I’m not writing.
So if I were to ask myself why I write. It would be things like:
When I write, I feel like I have a super power no one else in the world has.
And it’s true. Other people write. Millions of them.
But no one has lived in my skin, and writes like I write.
I feel at peace when I write.
I feel like I’ve just come back from a relaxing vacation after having written.
I feel stress wash away.
I feel like I can work out my thoughts better.
I feel like I’m honoring the gift I’ve been given.
Most of all, I feel like me.
And if I go down in a muddy mess in life because I chose to take some time out of my day or week to write songs which I like, and help someone else along the way?
Then bring it on buddy, bring it on.
But, that will never happen.
Yes, Jimmy Cartoonfishy, I’ll tell you why.
Because I am more balanced, less stressed, and can think clearer.
I’ve already won.
What am I really saying?
If you have a creative gift…
Paint pictures of mountain cabins.
Make gorgeous quilts.
Carve Smurf figurines out of blocks of blue cheese.
Or have the most impressive dead June bug collection…
Whatever it is, if you find peace in it?
You owe it to those around you to partake.
You’ll be a better you for them…
And you owe it to yourself most of all.
It is not squandering money away. You’re investing in you.
Listen, time on this earth is shorter than you realize.
I went to my high-school forestry class, fell asleep on the buss back to the school, woke up and it was 40 years later.
It seems like you have all manner of time as a young person, but it goes by quick.
I thought my dad was just talking like an old fart when he said, the older you get, the faster time seems to fly.
So go get out that guitar, whittling knife, or whatever it is you do… and do it, just because you love to!