Don’t let yourself get scammed! That’s what Grandma always says. I’m paraphrasing, of course. Grandma always says, “Don’t accept any wooden nickels!” But the more I work, the more I play the game or life, the more I see the humor in it, the big scam. In the end, none of this REALLY matters. In 4 billion years, the Earth will be swallowed by the sun, and if we are lucky, we will all be but fuel for our great sun in this vast universe. As long as we are here, living this life, we might as well make it count for something. Make people smile. Play the game as good sports.
I see far too many people coasting through their days without taking any chances – at least none that I see; and none for the sheer fun of it. Many of the kindly neighbors I have had the pleasure of knowing are so steeped in paying the bills and saving for their elderly years that they don’t realize the fun in taking risks.
“What would you do if you inherited $10 million?” I asked my girlfriend earlier tonight. She said that she would buy a house and 10 cats. I like that. To live in a house with 10 cats would be an adventure. I also like those crazy millionaires who take balloon trips around the world and fund space exploration ventures. I can’t think of a better way to blow billions of dollars than to build a space ship, which has zero chance of ever being profitable in our lifetime. A waste of money? “Sure!…but it sure was fun!
So here I am. Playing in a rock-and-roll band with close to zero chance of ever becoming a famous rock star. Like those millionaire savants, I am pretty much just following my heart, trying to do something special with the time I have on this planet. The goal for me has never been to become famous. Rather, I have always dreamed of playing in a popular local band that is able to sell out local venues. Hopefully when all is said and done, my efforts will have touched enough people to have made it all worthwhile. But if not, at least I can say, “I tried.”
I have probably accepted more wooden nickels in my day than most. That is, I say, “Yes” to risks, fun, and adventure more than is safe. The rock-and-roll lifestyle is one of excess even if I am not partying every night and trashing hotel rooms. It is excessive in the sense that I spend thousands of hours every year playing guitar, moving amps, singing, warming up, practicing with my band, recording music, writing songs, and blogging about it all. I am living the dream in many ways, playing music that I love in front of audiences of fans and friends. And what could be better than living the dream?