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It's time to accept and own your avocation.

Posted by Aaron Groombridge on

It's time to accept and own your avocation

Remember ages ago when your music slipped to the back burner while focusing on career and family?
Fear not - You now have loads of time to record your long lost musical works

Cast your mind way back many years ago when conversations went like this:

“G'day mate, what are you doing these days?”

“I’m a musician”

“Yeah… But seriously what’s your day job?”

“Oh - I’m a
[insert lacklustre sounding job title here]

As the years passed by, the day job became the career and the aspirations of making millions as a big music star slid under the bed or to the back of the wardrobe...

Has your life become all about career and kids? Are you getting a little lost in the shuffle?

These were some of the most challenging and rewarding times in the first half of our lives, but there was rarely enough time or space for focusing on being a musician.

Now that you have the house, career, and a bit of travel under your belt and the kids are all grown up you will now have some extra time and space to focus on your other passions.

Not only is this a bit exciting, it’s also really important for your wellbeing.
Let me explain...

But first a couple of definitions:
   Vocation - one’s paid occupation, career, day job i.e. doctor, plumber, bartender
   Avocation - one’s unpaid passion, which is more than just a hobby i.e. sculpting, volunteering, caring for the grandchildren, musicianship/songwriting

When we are young, retirement is some far off concept, where we get to chill out after decades of hard work. But when retirement time comes, many find themselves experiencing a strong sense of loss in leaving their vocation.

Our vocation or professional career is a significant part of who we are.  The thought that one day you will no longer be a doctor or plumber or CEO is concerning to say the least. We as people in a community, like to feel like we are giving of our gifts, contributing in some way to the joy of others, and have a reason to be getting out of bed each day outside of the regular day-to-day duties of life.

It’s hard to imagine what this might feel like until it happens.

If you’re over 40, it’s a very good idea to find and focus on an avocation to help shape your future and the enjoyment in the rest of your life - after your vocation.

My turning point

I had a midlife retirement from my career when I decided I had seen enough of the corporate ladder, lost enough sleep over year on year growth targets and missed too many important family moments in favour of showing my commitment at industry events.  It was time to do something else with the second half of my life for me, my family and individuals who'd appreciate and benefit from my hard work.

It was pretty scary to have nothing solid going on professionally. Being a dad and husband was my main focus, which was great but it soon became apparent that identity and place in society is tied to your work. As described at the start of this article, polite conversation usually begins with “How’s work?” or “What do you do?”.

After year and a bit without a day job with a lot of decompressing and looking at the horizon I realised I did not need to start something completely new. I had my life long music avocation to tap into!

So I started thinking I could write and record my dream album and potentially find fame and fortune doing what I love… But then I realised this is a fool's errand, as it was when I was 20 trying to do the same thing!

I make music for me and I love the fact I have many many songs I have recorded over the last 25+ years which all take me back to a time and a place. Some made it onto TV and radio, onto charts, some helped build a fanbase for my bands and some have only been heard by me and the poor people who get stuck in my car on a long drive (“Yeah I’m a musician - check out these tunes!”). But they are mine - I came up with them from nothing and did it all myself, and I am very proud of that fact.

I decided to keep my music writing and recording as my avocation and in coming to that decision I found my new vocation - Indigo Oak Studio. This is where I help others with their avocation - recording their music.

Your turning point

Having an avocation which you have put the time into before you retire will not only see you achieving personal success well before then but will also help make the transition significantly easier, and happier for yourself and those who care about you.

If you are not a musician, don’t fret. Think back to something you did pre your working career such as art, researching sunken treasure, writing short stories. Find a local group and get involved or google an online course and get caught up!

If you’re a musician and you would like to learn about how much easier and cheaper it is to record your own music these days or would like a patient and respectful person to help you step into the modern world of computer recording, please let me help you.

Firstly I would recommend you get up to speed with the modern music recording and production process. I have created a very easy to follow and digest course spanning 8 one on one sessions in which you will get to work on a real song using current methods. My students so far have found it to be easy, fun and very inspiring.

This course is available to anyone anywhere and is Covid safe (non face-to-face) using video calling (I will set this up for you).  I have clients of all ages including some in their 80's who have never recorded themselves before and some in their 40s who are squeezing recording their music back into their lives.  It is like a night or community college course, but you can do it in the comfort of your own home day or night.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any recording equipment. Initially you will just need a computer and either headphones or a set of speakers. If you don’t have those, I can make some recommendations to suit your needs and budget.

Engage your mind and be inspired by your avocation.

Learn more about my course here or call me to discuss further.

021 749 489

PS - I also offer ad hoc services if you are already progressing toward your recording goals, and recording services if you would prefer not to learn and would rather create and record in a low pressure, ego and stress free environment.