My family and I just returned from a nine day vacation (Rock!), and of course I had a good time, good to get away, all of that. But while we were swimming in the pool, wandering the winding streets of a scenic town, or trying to juggle a bag of popcorn and my son's bottle of water without spilling them on the head of the person sitting in front of me at the baseball game, it was quietly gnawing at me.
I wanted to play.
I hadn't picked up a guitar in a couple of months and hadn't given it much thought. When we packed for the trip I didn't even consider taking a guitar, and not only because our car was tightly packed and there really wasn't room for one. I just hadn't had the desire to play in a good while.
I have a lot of things going on (that's what I tell myself), and with everything else I'm up to, the guitars had fallen silent. But when we were away from home, away from a lot of the things that we fill our days with, I found myself wanting to play.
By the last day of our trip, when I knew we'd be headed back home, playing was front and center in my mind. I hatched a plan to pick up some new strings and a new tuner. (I haven't a clue where my last favorite one went; if you come across a lost blue Snark clip-on type guitar tuner give me a yell.) On our way home, my wife located a music store, and I ran in and grabbed what I needed.
When we got home I dutifully unloaded the car and then grabbed two acoustic guitars, pulled the old spongy strings off, gave the guitars a quick once-over with a dust rag and some polish, and put the new strings on. Soon I had them tuned and going. I played for about a half an hour, and even though I may have been a little rusty, it was pretty sweet. I had both of my sons rocking out. I'm pretty sure the 10-month-old thinks I'm a rock god, and I'm not planning to disabuse him of that notion. By the time I was done, I was sweaty and grinning.
I've been singing my entire life. A lot of people quit when they hit a certain age; I just never knew when to stop. I've playing guitar since I was about 12. Playing guitar and signing both have a powerful effect on me. I can get lost very quickly and easily in song (literally lost more than once while driving and singing). When I'm singing and/or playing, my focus goes naturally to the music. When I'm done, I usually feel calm yet energized. I'm a show-off so, I love an audience, but it doesn't matter if anyone's watching or not, I get the same cathartic, or whatever, benefit.
So what about you? Do you sing or play an instrument(s)? Do they have similar effects on you?