When things felt overwhelming at work this year, I found solace in playing my trusty ukulele. It provided distraction. It got me using my hands. It allowed me to sing. It made me concentrate on notes and chords. I was engrossed in an activity that felt so far removed from my day job.
Even during those days where I felt like lying on the couch and thinking ‘woe is me’, I had the regularity of playing with ‘The Unicorns’ every second Monday, where a core group of us would have a delicious vegetarian meal (we all contribute a plate) followed by an hour or so of pure jamming. Throughout the year we also played a few concerts including a show for the residents at an old peoples’ home. It was so amazing to see the residents sing along and clap their hands to songs from yesteryear, the memories remaining faithful.
There is something powerful about being in the company of like-minded people who have the same goal to play music and have a bit of fun. It made me put aside my woes and realise that it isn’t productive to dwell on things that may be out my control. What I CAN control are the activities I engage in and I swear I never leave a jam session feeling unhappy. Yup, the ukulele is a way of life.
Never underestimate the usefulness of hobbies – they add so much value to your life without you even noticing it.
Countdown to Christmas! From 1 to 24 December, I will share some of my key reflections and learnings from 2018.
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What a beautiful and timely reminder, Andrew. I do hope you’re going to entertain at rest homes more often – a ukelele concert sounds utterly perfect. And research shows how powerful music is in bringing forward memories, particularly in dementia patients (for my Mum her old music totally brought her alive when nothing else could). I’m off to a choir concert on Thursday evening with the intention of joining the group and putting something back in my own tank ;-).
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