Today I’m thankful that I can take as many random academic courses as I wish.
I’ve been reading a book with what is probably one of my favorite titles (be warned, it is slightly rude). The basic premise is that you won’t be good, or even mediocre, at everything you try, and that’s all right. The point is to discover what you care enough about to become responsible for. Each person has a limited amount of energy (or time, or concern, or anything) to give (referencing the book’s title) and sharing that resource according to your virtues is the way to live an examined life. The short version is you need to pick your battles. I admit that the concept is facile, but I appreciate that it’s grounded in practice rather than theory. I will always prefer spending a day with an engineer to an artist.
In my life there are number of things I say I care about, but I’m not experienced enough at most of them to gauge the accuracy of my claims. It’s more that I feel I should care about them, regardless of whether I actually do. I’ve decided to put the book’s thesis into practice, because I only have so many fracks to give. One of the perquisites of my work is reduced tuition and fees at a local university. I’ve enquired about taking courses in several subjects. The worst case is that I don’t enjoy the topic while still gaining knowledge. I realise I should have figured out these issues long ago, but I’m thankful to have even a delayed opportunity.
Unrelated, but I sing and Aretha Franklin was the singer, and I’m very sad that she is gone.
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Half of my work unit were made redundant last week. They were offered equivalent contracts with the company taking over those operations, so it could’ve been far worse, but the rest of us are on edge. None of our immediate supervisors had any forewarning so it is difficult to take their reassurances without question. I’ve worked there for almost three years. In truth I knew it was probably time to start looking again, but now it seems like I’m running against a fluid deadline that no one really acknowledges. I’d like to move closer to my family so that’s the way I’m leaning. I’m wary.
Today I’m grateful for voice/singing lessons.
I had a voice teacher for several months about five years ago. The lessons ended because she moved about 10 hours away. I’m a singer. I always have been. I’m not a great technical musician – my sight reading skills are negligible and I know very little theory. I’m a tolerable instinctual musician, if such a thing exists. I’ve developed an excellent ear out of necessity so that I don’t fall behind, and I can harmonize almost instantly. I’ve been a harmony part since my voice changed and I have more fun moving around the melody than I ever did singing a piece straight.
I restarted voice lessons two months ago. It took a couple of sessions to get our footing. I wasn’t sure specifically what I wanted and the teacher needed to suss out my abilities. Parts of my range are rusty. That’s slightly frustrating, but I’m elated to be learning something again. I truly enjoy singing in the church choir, but I needed to sing for myself as well. Now I am.
Today I’m thankful for creative thinking.
I’ve been trying to figure out a side hustle. I’m not particularly good at anything marketable so it’s been a pain. I’m a good singer and great at data aggregation. The one time I sang for pay it took all the joy out of the experience, and I’m not sure who’d pay for all the information I could collect about ancient Anatolia.
I’m a tree hugger. I figure without an environment we won’t be able to survive as a species. It’s just as likely we’ll blow ourselves up, but we need an actual livable planet if we make it that far. I may have figured out how to combine most of those things together. I’m not sure.