Being grateful for what you have, like a working musician

I’m reading The Billfold right now, a very fun personal finance site. Their tagline is Everything about money you were too polite to ask. Awesome.

My favorite column so far is “Doing Money.” People from all income brackets describing how they handle their money situations. The internet is a wonderful thing.

I just read this article titled “The Hustle of a Singer-Songwriter: A Conversation with Matt Duke.” This quote from Matt really affected me:

…I’ll have to say it because I feel like this has become a bitchfest on my part about how tough it can be, but we’re so lucky because we do still make money. We can survive. You go month to month sometimes, well, a lot of the time, but we still get to play music and we get to do something that we love, which not a lot of people can say that they get to do. Not a lot of people are that fortunate, in fact there’s a lot of people who just don’t have jobs, period.

We could use his template as a guide whenever we just feel like we can’t stand our jobs:

“I still get to ___________ and I get to do something that I love, which not a lot of people can say that they get to do.”

If you can’t think of something you do that would accurately complete that sentence, do you know something that would? If you’re not working toward making it happen, then feel free to watch this.

The work I get to do as a teacher is an incredible privilege. But minor and major frustrations get in the way of my positivity more often than not. Retaining Matt’s perspective would focus my energy toward doing what I can to change what isn’t working. So I’d have more leftover to do my job well and celebrate the successes that happen everyday.

Also, take a listen to Matt Duke’s music — he’s great:

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  1. My wife’s brother is a musician and he works a day job I’m sure he’s a bit indifferent about at a major telecom company so he can make and play music the rest of his time.

    It is inspirational to see the level of dedication he brings to his craft. I know many nights he is up all night writing music, experimenting with different instruments, playing gigs, and all on top of going to his regular day job to pay the bills!

    1. I envy that kind of passion. Can you send me a link to his music?

      1. I forgot to respond to this. I really like his voice. Good music.

      2. Glad you do! I think (trying to be as unbiased as possible) that he is super talented with the guitar. You see him at a live show and the guitar just melts into him like it’s an extension of his body. I have a good friend who is also in a band and when he came with me to see one of Jeff’s shows, his comment was “wow his guitar is basically like a part of his arms.”

  2. Hell yea! So true… I’ll try and keep that in mind when I’m working on a local salary in dev coop and eat rice all day, every day!

    1. (Just realized that might have sounded sarcastic to some. It’s really not!!)

      1. Hah, I’ve read your blog enough to know that you were being sincere 🙂 Rice is awesome. I already basically eat it everyday!

  3. I’ve definitely started to do more of what I like doing. I used to be tied to my desk, doing a job that I didn’t really like that much. I wouldn’t say I love my job now… I’m self employed which brings a new set of challenges. I like it a lot more than before (even though I earn less) because I can be home more with my daughter!

    1. It’s so great that you can be there for your daughter! That kind of freedom is priceless.

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