Journal: Autumn-2016 – What I’ve Learned in the Past Year

half deaf guitarist

Signs of Autumn-2016

It is autumn-2016, the signs are clear. The air is cooler. The kids are back at school. People seem busier as the relaxed summer disposition subsides. It’s fall.

The leaves will soon begin to change color and the temperature will steadily begin to drop as we head towards winter. Here in the north, the days seem to get shorter – though the rest of the world experiences the opposite. The bright summer nights that lingered in a state of dusk give way to the darkness of night.

After a year spent in contemplation, I am beginning to find a way forward. I was totally burned out from teaching and music. The break was much needed.

A Year of Change

It has been a year of change. Moving from Hong Kong back to Helsinki. Taking care of my health. Finding a good asthma doctor and getting on the right medication. Learning to breathe.

Accepting hearing loss and aging. Learning to listen. Better. Listening to my family, myself, and music. Learning to wear a hearing aid.  Learning to take better care of myself so I can take better care of my family.

A year ago, I weighed 105kg. (about 231 pounds) Today I weigh 92kg (about 202pounds). My goal is to get to 70kg by December 2017. Taking baby steps. Making changes gradually. Building better habits.

I’m learning. Learning to rise early and enjoy the silence of the morning before waking my kids up to take them to school. I’m learning to enjoy breakfast. Learning to enjoy taking long walks through the beautiful forests of my homeland, while listening to podcasts.

I’m happier now than ever before in my life because I am beginning to understand how to balance my life.

What does the future hold?

I am going to start building a small studio in September, and I will sign the lease for the space at the end of the month. Should I write a studio build diary here? Perhaps I’ll do that.

I have a lot of new things coming up in the pipeline and I am not done with teaching yet. To be a better teacher requires me to be a better learner. I am not done learning and that is what I have been doing this past year.

While I can not predict the future or say with certainty whether life is better or worse, I can say with certainty that I am happier now than I have been in a long time.

There is a wonderful line from the Dutch film “Antonia’s Line” : “Nothing is ever better or worse, only different at best.”

I have always loved that quote and have always tried to keep it in mind. The “different” in my life now is more to my liking than what my life was like previously. Is my life better or worse now than it was previously? That’s a hard question to answer; however, I can say that I am more present in the present now than ever before.

That’s all for this journal entry. I wish you all a wonderful autumn-2016.

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