Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Little Bluegrass Engine That Could

It's been a couple days of recouperation and redirection. The experience on Saturday in Granville was not only truly fun and badly needed, but it also helped me jumpstart Month 2 in The Best Year Yet. I had decided last year that 42 was going to be a good year, and so far it has been.

As I went about the usual suspects on my to-do list this evening, it occurred to me why I think that is. Even though I've managed through some challenges in my life, my prevailing attitude often had been that "I can't." This was the result of any number of experiences to be sure. But more and more I feel the grip of this self-defeating world view losing strength.

While I'm not suggesting that one day I bounced out of bed and proclaimed, "I CAN!", I am seeing the world a little differently, a little at a time. The slightest shift in perspective and value can make a huge difference. I am not an athlete but I can challenge myself physically and become a stronger person. I can develop more endurance, eat better, sleep better -- and yet sleep a little less. I can swim right past the hook. I can listen to Vivaldi and then play bluegrass. I can work more effectively -- and more creatively. I can take better care of myself overall because my kids need me. I can live without ever seeing Vegas. I can train myself to sit and chop on my mando for 20 minutes without making any music, just to improve the chop. I can always use less resources. I can let things drop and life goes on. I can learn to ski, although as my son told a neighbor, it might take me a couple years. I can make a contribution wherever I decide to be. I can be loved for my brain as much as the rest of me. And I can teach my children that it's ok to be smart, funny, creative, and different, because they are, and most people love them that way. And I can teach them that it's ok not to worry about the people who don't see them for who they are, because someone wonderful always will.

So it seems this year is about learning and unlearning. Doing where I thought I couldn't, and not doing where I thought I should. These are different roads for me, and seldom seen...but not too long.

Different Roads
The Seldom Scene
(I'm sorry, but, I love this band. Don't you love the Seldom Scene? Who sings like that anymore? WHO? Ok, maybe Randy Waller, and, well -- nope, that's it.)


At February 07, 2008 5:22 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

Amen... except of course for your crack against Vegas... where else could you see a Broadway musical, a hack magician, some Cirque performer bend himself in half while juggling knives (I assume) and have a great meal all whilce walking 20 stps away and gambling! LOL

At February 07, 2008 8:25 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

I dunno, Shan, it almost sounds like Pondfest to me, or for that matter, could be any day at my house! If I keep working out, I'll put Cirque out of business. Hmmm...I do have the great knife set I received as a gift....yet another thing on the can-do list. Cirque de Bleugras -- I'll play mando while walking, bent over backwards through a hoop of flaming banjos!

At February 08, 2008 7:32 AM, Blogger Blueberry said...

I went to Vegas quite a few times to see the Moody Blues back in the mid-nineties. There's no place on earth like that place. Maybe I'll go back if I run into a bunch of money (not for gambling, just for the other activities), and I'll be even more tempted if they cut down on the tobacco smoke.

At February 08, 2008 12:10 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Well, I think conceptually it does sound like a blast, an amazing place. I know they have some really top chefs there, and good food is a draw for me. I think partly it is the money and the fact that if I'm going to spend that much to get somewhere, I probably would spend it on an experience that includes my kids. We don't get away very often because I have so little time and money for travel, and I don't know what trips they are going to be afforded with their dad and new family. The stuff I do on my own tends to be cheap or somewhat purposeful -- going to a place like Eastern Music Fest, for example, which to some folks might seem like work. Maybe someday when the kids are off and away -- and there's a big bluegrass show on the strip!

At February 09, 2008 11:02 AM, Anonymous Fearless said...

Here's a little clip to check out this weekend.

At February 09, 2008 4:01 PM, Anonymous Fearless said...

We got the kids "Rock Band" as a reward for their continued stellar grades.


This game is going to change the world.

First, it will absolutely change the way we teach music. The first impact will be on instrumental music.

I foresee a time NOT FAR OFF where people do a song they made up on a future version of Rock Band, without "real" instruments and just crummy controllers.


Rock band will evolve to where you can utilize "real" instruments.

My kids just did "High Tide and Green Grass." What a scream.I've always said that that song is a dead literal rip off of a bluegrass jam, except on electric instruments. Well, that and some other things...


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