I have had my share of tragedy and sadness in life. Not significantly more than most and much less then many. My point is not to get sympathy, but to share a few things I have figured out.
Limited resources due to unforseen life events taught me at a relatively early age that experiences are better things to pursue than possessions. Experiences cannot be stolen by thieves or lost through carelessness, or divorce, or destroyed in a hurricane, or repossessed by the bank.
We all go through grey and dark times: Being alone when I did not want to be, being with people I’d rather not be. Not having what I want and having a lot I don’t, not being who I want to be by this time, or worse, having to ask myself, as did Peggy Lee: "Is that all there is?"
Being caught in a lie, or worse, being caught in a truth.
And darker times.
Losing friends over ridiculous arguments far less important (or informed) than was the friendship.
There is a syndrome, in my experience much more common among some guitar players, where bragging rights accrue to getting the absolute cheapest most beat up instrument possible. I think it has to do with resolving the cognitive dissonance of playing blues, down and dirty blues, on a guitar costing a couple months pay, or more, at a good job. Authenticity, or something like. But whatever the reason, a fellow carrying a guitar that looks like it was found in the men's room of the New York City Port
In various threads about getting better you will hear complaints about how little time is available for mandolin. Working two jobs, keeping three kids fed, negotiating four ex-wives, only five days of vacation… I hear you.
This is not a “priorities” lecture, I am not going to tell you that you have the same 24 hours in a day that everyone does, this is not going to be a time management tips and tricks discussion.
My experience is much more gradual and organic. Mandolin
Getting More Betterer
I have been reading “The Inner Game of Music”, which I highly recommend. It’s not a religion or philosophy, though it can be. One or two ideas from that book can really make a difference.
Anyway, through some of the thinking in that book, and lots of coffee chat afterword, and being tired of struggling with technique for its own sake, I have a useful perspective I can finally put into words. It applies to most of us, but perhaps not all.