February 2, 2018
Time for an adjustment.
I’ve been in kind of a negative headspace over the past little while. It’s not about anything in particular. Just this persistent uncertainty and maybe the weather. If you know me, you know I don’t winter well (which, as ever, raises questions about why I live in the snow belt). It doesn’t help when you wake up on mornings like this and the rush hour roads are an absolute chaos of snow and traffic.
The good news is that I’ve reached a level of self-awareness – dare I say maturity – where I can recognize how cycles become spirals and course correct. One way to do that is to start seeing silver linings. There is always a lot to be grateful for.
With that in mind, I’m grateful that I managed to get my wife to work and return home safely today. I had to shovel the lane, which means I have a lane to shovel and I’m physically capable of clearing it. And while there was a lot of it, the snow was light and fluffy. Not a tough job. Now I’m back in my warm house drinking fresh coffee and, perhaps not coincidentally, the sun is shining.
Last night I went to Toronto to see one of my favourite bands in the world, The Balconies. Sadly, the band is on a short farewell tour this weekend. It’s a bummer, but I was able to see them several times and the music is forever. They were fabulous, as always, and I'm so glad I had one more chance to have the live experience. The show also introduced me to another great band called The Mohrs. And while today’s morning weather was lousy, I’m grateful that the “streamer” came today instead of last night when I was driving home on the 401.
This morning I’ll work on an exciting project that Sarah Smith and I are putting together. Later I’ll practice for a gig I have tomorrow night with The Three (aka the Ken the Zen Trio). I’ll have a great time playing music with my friends. I have to remember to be more grateful for the people I play with and the opportunities I have to play with them. As The Balconies prove, you never quite know when it will end.
Before I do all of that I’ll post this blog, which means I have access to the Internet and the resources to build and host this little platform online. After I do all of that I’ll pick up my wife and we’ll go to the grocery store, where we can buy whatever food we want. How much of a luxury is that? In many parts of the world that would be a freaking miracle. Oh, and I made my fresh coffee with clean water right out of my tap. Amazing.
I could go on and on. Probably you could too. This isn't burying your head or pie-in-the-sky thinking. It's a technique. Sometimes gratitude is actually a deliberate act. It’s not always easy to look on the bright side of things, and life can often be resoundingly dark, but it’s something you can practice like anything else. Try practicing today if you’re feeling down and see if it helps.
For the record, the photo above has nothing to do with anything, but it's cool and my friend took it, which means I have friends!
And now, The Balconies: