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Playing an Instrument to Beat the Midlife Blues

Ever since turning 35 years old I've had a nagging feeling that my life had somehow changed. Where once there was wonder and amazement at the simple things in life like a cloudless summer day, or the unspoilt scenery of the countryside, these things stir little inside of me. It takes a lot more to excite me now than a few years ago. I talked to my friends who were the same age as me, and yes they felt the same way. What was it - what's changed? We came to conclusion that it was hope we had lost - the hope of a better tomorrow.

When we were younger the future was always there and we'd always be young enough to change our lives and change our fortunes. The realisation that we've reached and passed the peak of our lives is a shocking one. It's too late for me now to get that degree and become a lawyer. I'm never going to go to university and then on to become a world famous brain surgeon. Don't get me wrong, I love my life and I love my family, it's just that I always thought that one day I'd make the 'big time'. I've played guitar and sung since I was nine years old.

Learning more and more songs and even writing a few of my own. I believed that one day I'd make it. Perhaps a talent scout would hear me play or I'd get around to making that demo tape and sending it off. Sadly a hundred and one other things got in the way - girls, cars, motorbikes, work, marriage and kids.

I wouldn't change any of that for the world, but now I'm in my mid-thirties it's finally occurred to me that my big break's just not going to happen. The answer to being happy once in your mid-thirties is to fill your life with the things you always wanted or thought you might one day have, just on a more realistic scale. Thus begins my quest for musicians to jam with. I tried the band thing when I was a teen and wasn't impressed.

There were too many people with large egos trying to railroad everyone else into doing it their way. Now I'm more mature, I'm looking for people like me who just want to enjoy playing music for the sake of playing music. I've readjusted my dreams. Now I just want to find some people to play with. No false hopes of becoming famous and gigging way into my seventies! Just regular guys and girls who also have lives they love, but want to play music with others. For me playing the guitar and singing helps me feel grounded and at peace with the world and I know others feel the same way about their music and their instruments.

It's important not to lose sight of the fact that just because we're not young doesn't mean life is over. As long as I'm still physically capable I will still be playing my guitar and singing my heart out. The dream of strapping the guitar to my back and riding my motorbike off into the sunset might be gone now but that doesn't diminish the pleasure both give me.

So who cares if my band is never going to get a song in the charts (or even play on stage at Butlins!)? Does it really matter if I'm never going to be a champion motorcycle racer? There are enough people in my life who love me and enjoy listening to me playing guitar and singing to make me feel perfectly happy with today. and tomorrow. Now that I'm finding people to play music with my wonder at the world we live in has finally returned.

Graeme Salmon runs http://www.iwantedtobeapopstar.co.uk helping amateur musicians find others to play with.



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