"If there's music inside of you, you've got to let it out." (From my song, Music Inside of Me)

Hi! I'm Trudy Rushin, and this is my blog, created in June 2009. I am a singer-songwriter-composer who plays guitar. Born and bred in Cape Town, South Africa, I blog about whatever captures my imagination or moves me. Sometimes I even come up with what I like to call 'the Rushin Solution'. Enjoy my random rantings. Comment, if you like,
or find me on Facebook: Trudy Rushin, Singer-Songwriter.

I also do gigs - solo, duo or trio - so if you're looking for vocal-guitar jazz music to add a sprinkle of magic to your event, send me an e-mail to guitartrudy@gmail.com.

To listen to me singing one or two of my original songs, type my name on www.soundcloud.com or www.youtube.com


















Wednesday, 13 December 2017

''The Artist's Way", by Julia Cameron - Week 6

The title of Week 6 is "Recovering a Sense of Abundance". Like the preceding chapters, this one is a combination of thought-provoking text and tasks/exercises.

The writer deals with the beliefs we have about abundance, and recommends certain activities, to address these beliefs and to start expelling the unhealthy ones that serve only to keep us stuck. She encourages the reader to introduce certain practices into her life, to shift her relationship with the concept of abundance. I like the fact that the practices are accessible, and not outlandish. I think that's a large part of the book's appeal. You feel comfortable tackling the tasks, and, if you're like me, you believe that you will experience some kind of shift in your life.



I have to add something, here: there's a lot in this book that is not new to me, as many of the topics feature in other literature on personal development. Having done the Mind Power course in 2003, worked with two life coaches, read a lot of books and articles, and listened to many motivational talks, live and online, a lot of this rhetoric is familiar. But you know what? We may permanently assimilate some of the teachings we're exposed to, but it's normal to run out of steam, and to need reminding of others. One of the things I like about this type of thing is that I can never have too many reminders. And I like encountering the same concepts in the words of a new author/speaker.


I've noticed that I realise how much I've changed, only when confronted with either a person or a situation I've dealt with in the past. Sometimes I actually get verbal feedback about how different I am, but most of the time I'm just acutely aware it. One's life experiences also change one. I'm less gullible, less idealistic (in some ways), but unfortunately also a lot less trusting.

One of the many ways in which I've changed is I'm a lot less likely to put myself down in my speech. I often used to say, "With my kind of luck", followed by a negative outcome. I don't say those kinds of things anymore. I don't say self-deprecating things about my body, anymore. If I'm not happy with my body, I do something about it. I have no intention of adding to the negative feedback about my looks that I've received from various parties, throughout my life. I reject that shit. It's abusive, and it serves to keep women subjugated, believing they're not good enough. Affirmations played - and still do - a huge role in that shift in me. Fourteen years later, I still do the Mind Power exercises - they work for me. They include affirmations, acknowledgement, contemplation and visualisation. There's also a technique of catching yourself in a negative thought and replacing the thought with a new one. You can train yourself to stop self-sabotaging. Another change I consciously made in my life, fourteen years ago, was to try hard not to get sucked into gossip - to me there are more beautiful things to talk about, and more interesting ways to spend time. I physically remove myself, when there's gossip. I've smallened (one of my made-up words) my circle of friends because of this.


To supplement my reading of Chapter 6, I listened to a talk by the dynamic Lisa Nichols, on Abundance, and what she said struck me: ''Wealth is about money and possessions, but abundance is a 360 experience.'' And she talks about the many people she knows who have the former but not the later. I've seen this for myself. I don't know why, but we make the mistake of thinking that the people who earn more money, drive fancy cars and wear expensive clothes have somehow got it all sorted, they've ''arrived'', they're on a higher level of awareness. Nope! They just have more money. Plus all the things that money can buy. There are many, many wise people around, earning minimum wages, because they could not complete their schooling, or because they never had the opportunities in life that others did. They just have less money. Plus all the hardship and pain that come with it.

See what happens when you read Chapter Six? 

I need Chapter 6. Like so many people, I was raised with statements like, "Money is the source of all evil'',  and even though you're not aware of it, you grow up incorporating that into your belief system. Lisa Nichols says there are three things we need to learn about money: ''How to earn it, How to keep it, and How to grow it''. I had to learn, over many years, that debt per se was not evil, because you could have No debt, Good debt or Bad debt. I never learnt those things, as a child. But I'm consciously teaching them to my children. And the best way to teach our children anything is to live the behavior.  Children don't learn from what we say - they learn from what we do.

I need to end this post, so let me do so with a quiz from Chapter 6 of  ''The Artist's Way'' that helps you find out about your own beliefs about money:

  • People with money are……..
  • Money makes people…….
  • I’d have more money if……
  • My dad thought money was…..
  • My mom always thought money would…..
  • In my family, money caused…..
  • Money equals…..
  • If I had money, I’d…..
  • If I could afford it, I’d…..
  • If I had some money, I’d…..
  • I’m afraid that if I had money I would…..
  • Money is…..
  • Money causes…..
  • Having money is not…..
  • In order to have more money, I’d need to…..
  • When I have money, I usually…..
  • I think money…..
  • If I weren’t so cheap I’d…..
  • People think money…..
  • Being broke tells me…..
For the record, the issue of abundance, as acknowledged by Julia Cameron, is about so much more than money, but money is an area of abundance that many people struggle with. This chapter really helps one reflect and question one's own assumptions and blockages.

                             

I've long believed that this journey of life is wonderful, and I will drink every drop if it while I have it. I'm consciously allowing life to smooth out my rough edges and to sharpen my blunt instincts.




Friday, 10 November 2017

Multi-Me

I think one lifetime is way too short to do all the things I'd like to do. There are so many sides of me that yearn for expression, for outlet. Sitting at a desk for almost 8 hours a day not only uses up very little of my body's movement capacity, but also uses up very little of my skill set.

My restless spirit yearns for a smorgasbord of multi-sensory experiences - colour, texture, taste, sound, ........

My dream job is actually a few jobs:
1. Music (performing, composing, recording, collaborating, teaching, running a school, etc.)
2. Writing
3. Radio presenting
4. Public speaking
5. Travelling (Added this point a few days later!)

The key ingredient for when I thrive is when I have autonomy.

Ain't that the truth, Ruth?

Singing at my weekly gig at Sabria's Restaurant. Oct 2017

Singing at Habanero's, Kalk Bay, in 2005/6. 



Thursday, 9 November 2017

The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron

About two weeks ago, I started reading a book my son had lent me. It’s called The Artist’s Way, and it was written by Julia Cameron, in 1994. The by-line is “A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self”.

The book is a 12-week programme/course, aimed at exactly what the by-line says. There are exercises for each week, with the two main exercises throughout the course being what the author calls the ‘’morning pages’’ and ‘’artist’s date night’’.

I am currently in Week 2, on Day 11 since I started, and I’m really into this programme. Let me tell you about the two main exercises.

1.    Morning pages

The idea is to do, by hand, three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing, every morning. I’ve found the writing really interesting (I love writing), but I haven’t always written in the morning. I write most mornings, but on a few days I’ve written in the evenings, because my mornings were too rushed. Needless to say, the practice necessitates other forms of discipline as well, like waking up early enough to write. As someone who struggles with conformity, I’ve simply renamed them my Daily Pages, because I’m committed to writing every day – I just can’t guarantee mornings. 😊

It’s not a writing exercise for drafting a near-perfect article. It’s nothing like that. In fact, she says that if you can’t think of anything to write, just fill your pages with “I can’t think of anything to write.”    

So what do I write? I write whatever’s on my mind. I have no problem coming up with stuff to write, and I’m starting to find three pages too few! I enjoy the writing, and look forward to it every single day.

In the beginning, I wrote about what was bothering me, so I filled the three pages basically whingeing about my life.  Then I realised that that was a total waste of my time – it made no sense to look so forward to writing, and then to sit down and write a bunch of complaints. I continued to write complaints, but I let them take up less and less space every day, until I became fired up about my new goals, my thoughts about the future, and started coming up with ideas for how I could improve the areas of my life I wasn’t happy with. You see? Creativity is not just about painting, dancing, singing, etc. – it’s about thinking differently to how you do when you’re ‘stuck’.

So I’m loving the writing, and I’ve had an epiphany every few days. Had I not been writing in such a routine way, I might not have had those epiphanies. I use those aha moments to infuse a new perspective into my daily life, and to help me with my plans for the future. In a relatively short space of time, I’ve become more accepting of certain things, but also more certain about what I just cannot see myself putting up with for much longer. In other words, the writing sessions have given me greater clarity.

I’ve always believed that my life worked best when I had certain routines in place – but they mustn’t be externally-imposed; I have to set them up and I have to be in control of them. So a routine that involves any of my passions – music, writing, dancing (or swimming, which I haven’t done for over six years!) – is something that will always make me feel better about life. Knowing that this daily writing, for 12 weeks, has caused revolutionary shifts in other people’s lives, and got them to make sweeping changes, inspires me and piques my curiosity. I’m so excited to see how I’ll feel as I progress through the weeks.  So far, so very good.

2.    Artist date night

Whereas the writing is a daily exercise, the artist date night is a weekly practice. You set aside one evening per week where you take yourself on a date, aimed at stimulating your creativity. It can be anything – a walk in the park, a visit to an art gallery, a bike ride through beautiful terrain, a movie, a meal, a live music performance, etc. I decided that what I really wanted to do was spend uninterrupted time playing my guitar. More specifically, to spend time playing and singing my original songs, and to work on them a bit more. I decided to use the artist date night to reconnect with myself as a songwriter – to find my old songs, tweak them a bit, see how I could incorporate them into my performances, and hopefully be inspired to write new ones.   

When I think about my body of compositions, I know there’s so much admin I have to do. Besides getting all the songs copyrighted, I need to make basic recordings, just to have audio versions of them all.  Then I need to type up the lyrics of them all, as most are still handwritten. In some cases, I still have the original rough, scribbly pages!

Even though I have recorded quite a few of my songs – some at concerts and some in a studio – I have a whole lot more to do. I shouldn’t wait.

I decided my night would be a Thursday, and last week was the first one. This week, I needed to shift my night. Actually, ….. the way I spent tonight could qualify as an artist date night – I did my written reflections of Week 1, and I’ve typed this blog post. I just didn’t get time to play my guitar.



It’s time for me to wind down for the night, as it’s past 11pm. The quality of one’s sleep has a profound impact on the next day.

It’s funny how we fight routines, even when we know how beneficial they are. As I always say, about habits people say they want break: You’ll keep doing them until you stop doing them. You’ll know when it’s time.  

Of course, I only know this from experience. The most important life lessons I’ve learnt the hard way – through making the mistakes and having to face the consequences.

Here’s to the next 10 and a half weeks of The Artist’s Way. I’ll write updates as I go along.  



   

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Change

How many times throughout my life have I heard - or said - "The only constant in life is change''? I'm once again faced with this reality. It seems the universe tunes into my  restlessness, and says, "So! You're restless AGAIN?! Well, here's something that will pull you right out of your comfort zone!"


What I keep forgetting is that I promised myself, sometime ago, that, whenever I was faced with change, I would give myself three months to adapt. And what usually happens is I actually do - and most times, I end up loving what freaked me out in the beginning. The pattern is always the same - I doubt myself, and I worry that I'll let people down, that I'll let my children down, and that I'll let myself down. I encounter initial obstacles, and interpret them as a sign that I should extricate myself. Regardless of the specifics, I find myself waking up every day having decided the opposite of the day before's decision. And days go by. And weeks go by. Then, slowly something shifts  - someone says something that makes me realise it's not that scary, and that I should just give it a chance. And then it's three months, and I exhale - it's really not that scary; and if I fail, I can learn from my mistakes, and try again. 


As I look this next change squarely in the face, I owe it to myself to remember all the other big changes I've made throughout my adult life, and how petrified I was when I anticipated their outcomes; the truth is, nothing ever reached the worst-case scenarios I'd feared, and everything was just fine. 
I left an 8-year-long emotionally abusive relationship at age 30. At age 35, I left my first job after 14 years, not knowing what I was going to do next, but 100% sure that it was time to leave. At age 39, I left my marriage, deciding to walk the path of a single parent, despite all the difficulties that accompanied that decision. The main thing was, my spirit was free, and I could be the person I was, without having to justify every thought, word and deed, as though I was on trial. And then at age 50, I left another long-term relationship, when I finally remembered who I was, and chose to honour that person.


One and a half years ago, at age 54, I left the security of a permanent lecturing post at a government college, and accepted a job in the private sector. I experienced all kinds of stress and apprehension, as I went through my usual yoyo  emotions of feeling I could nail the new job, then feeling I had made a huge mistake.  Nineteen months later, I'm still in the job, I don't feel like the new kid on the block anymore, I work with cool people who do interesting things, and I learn something almost every day. It's a stimulating, multi-disciplinary environment, and I interact with people of all ages, from different backgrounds, who do very different jobs to me, all for the same company.


And now my role is evolving, which is both scary and exciting. In a government job, nothing evolves. Nothing! If you want a change in your role, you have to wait until the new role is advertised, then you have to apply for it, fill in copious paperwork, hope to be shortlisted, then go for inane interviews with people who've known you for ages, but who ask you questions like they've just met you.


Today, after much vacillating, I made a decision and I made a sincere commitment to myself (for both myself and my family). I can only continue to learn and grow.

Surely that's what makes life interesting? 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

An evening set aside for writing

It’s amazing to me how difficult it is to just zone out and focus on myself, do something that makes me happy. Like right now, I have a rare evening to myself, I didn’t bring home any work, and I’d set aside precious, precious time to blog, but ……... someone is talking to me on the phone.

In order to write, I need to be alone. I am. I need silence. I don’t have it, despite all my carefully laid plans. And I need to be in a certain headspace. I was, but now I’m not. Like I’ve said so often, I think about writing every day, but because it’s hard to achieve my ideal writing conditions, I end up writing a complete post far less often than I’d like to.

 Ok……. more than half an hour later…..and now my spirit is so disturbed, I can’t write.

But I’ll post the blog. Because that was what I wanted to achieve tonight. FFS!




So if you've ever wondered why I post so infrequently, now you know. This is also part of my life. It can get really frustrating to crave time out to do something you love and to have it taken away from you, over and over again, because other people's needs always come before your own.  

Only I can change this. I need to brush up on how I articulate my boundaries. 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Red flags that signal you are in an emotionally abusive relationship

Sunday morning, the only morning I can wake up naturally, without an alarm - something I look forward to all week.

This morning, while eating my breakfast, I flicked through the tv channels, looking for something to watch. I found a programme called “Mzansi Insider”, on SABC 1, where a woman was being interviewed about her journey as a survivor of an abusive marriage. A woman with a powerful story to tell, Lulu King spoke about the red flags along the way that she had missed. Many things she said triggered so many painful memories for me, that I decided I would carry her message forward, to possibly help other women who are experiencing these things and not realising they are signs of emotional abuse.



1  Grooming phase – showering you with compliments and gifts
She said she now knew that the abuse had started with a long grooming phase, with the man showering her with compliments and gifts. This is how this type of man wins your trust, and how he builds up your belief that he is on your side, he’ll look after you, you can depend on him and turn to him for anything - just look at all the wonderful things he gives you. Depending on your own relationship with material things, including your family circumstances when you were growing up, this phase can be extremely seductive, and make you overlook many things that that little voice inside of you warns you are not right. Men who groom women in this way are skilled at the art of what we are socialised to think of as romance. You don’t stand a chance, if you’re naïve (and they know exactly how to pick their women). You many even heed the warning voice, and try to extricate yourself from being the one being fixated on, but it sparks an argument.  You may even break up, knowing on some level that this is not right for you. He’ll play the victim, be extremely hurt, give you a few days to feel terrible about having hurt him, and then you’ll get the next bunch of flowers, item of jewelry, or a special item that he knows you’ve been wanting for a long time.

In my 20’s, I was in a long-term relationship with someone 15 years my senior. In hindsight, that was already a red flag – I didn’t see it, although I’m sure many others did.  That size of age-gap is a red flag when the younger person has not had much relationship experience. I can guarantee you that, at the very least, there’ll be a power imbalance, which lays the foundation for all kinds of exploitation. The special item he bought for me was a solid-body Yamaha acoustic-electric guitar that I had ordered, planning to buy it with my annual bonus. He insisted on buying it for me, and encouraged me to use the money for something else I needed. And when we broke up, guess what he demanded back? I am acutely aware that the independence I prize so highly today is not just because I’ve always been independent – it’s because of these instances when people that I let into my heart abused my love and trust. Like so many women, I unfortunately walked this path more than once.

It took me years to tell the salesperson that I’d only had the guitar for a short time, before it was taken from me. At that point, I learnt how obnoxious and offensive he had been, refusing to pay the price negotiated by me. He had basically bullied her into charging him less, leaving humiliation and resentment in his wake. I am so thankful that I eventually found the courage to walk away permanently. That was at age 30.


2. Excessive attention and monopolising of your time
The next red flag she mentioned was the man making excessive demands on your time, often starting with him phoning you throughout the day. In the beginning it’s flattering, you feel special, but this attention often turns into unhealthy forms, like wanting to know where you are all the time, who you’re with, and making a big fuss about the time you spend with anyone other than him, including your family and your girlfriends. These days, your social media behaviour can be a huge area of conflict. Everything you do that does not satisfy his idea of how you should behave, ends up in an argument. The arguing becomes a part of the relationship, and it can wear you down, to the point where you comply with whatever the demands are, just to avoid yet another round of shouting and being accused of being deceitful.  

In Lulu's case, she was told how to dress, was not allowed to wear make-up, and not allowed to see her friends. The latter is so common, that people start to feel this is normal when you’re in a relationship. When you break the cycle of abuse, and you eventually free yourself, one of the steps towards getting yourself back is rekindling your friendships that you sacrificed along the way. This is also why so many abusive relationships last for so long – because the woman is not in contact with her usual support structure, who could give her a different perspective and help her leave. 

Lulu was eventually locked up in her home, while her husband went out and partied. When she had a baby, she was not allowed to buy a pram, because he wanted to know where she was planning to go with the pram.

In my most recent long-term relationship, my uncommitted partner stayed in my life for years, until I made a conscious decision to honour myself more than I was honouring him, both for myself and for my children, who were witness to my doormat behaviour. Fiercely independent, yet wanting to be around me whenever I was in the public eye, his favourite line was not “When are you free so that we can spend time together?” Instead, it was a dismissive, disrespectful “I’ll see you when I see you.”  I grow sad at the thought that, for eight and a half precious years of my life, I believed that was all I deserved. As Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, do better.” 


 3.    You are expected to sacrifice activities and interests that make you happy
Writing about this is painful, not only because it scratches open old wounds, but because this is still happening, all over the world, to millions of women. Girls are raised to love and nurture. Before we know it, we have learnt to put our needs last, while we take care of everyone around us. For many women, this narrative is so strong, that it influences everything we do, including the types of jobs we choose. We become good at making others look good, good at equipping others to move forward towards success, and good at serving and enabling. This has disastrous effects when you’re in an abusive relationship, because you’re convinced that whatever is going wrong must be your fault, and you try, in every possible way, to adapt your behaviour (and views on things), with the sole aim of avoiding the next argument, which, as a harmony-loving nurturer, you find soul-destroying. 

In my 30’s, I was in yet another emotionally abusive relationship, married to someone much older, and again I didn’t see the red flags. My friends would invite us over for a braai and remind me to bring my guitar, because that was part of how we hung out – we’d braai and  sing together around the camp fire. Between the day of the invitation and the actual braai, I’d be subjected to a relentless onslaught as to why I shouldn’t take the guitar. I was accused of wanting to be the centre of attraction, and of being a conversation stopper. The Trudy I am today would not stand for that kind of bullying, but the Trudy I was then didn’t know it was emotional abuse. In the beginning, I’d stand up for myself, but it would always end in an argument, followed by days of him ignoring me. That’s a terrible way to live in one’s own home. In the end, to avoid the inevitable confrontation around having to explain why I wanted to take the guitar, and that I wasn’t an attention-seeking conversation stopper, I would end up not taking the guitar. When we got to the friend’s house, I’d have to lie about why I hadn’t brought it. I don’t think anyone believed me when I said, “I didn’t feel like playing.’’

After my divorce, a friend who liked partying a lot and couldn’t understand why I would want to leave at a certain time to go home and play my guitar, accused me of using my guitar as a crutch. If she only knew the role guitars had played in my life - as a tool to subjugate me, as a weapon I had thrown at an insanely jealous partner, but simultaneously as a constant symbol of beauty, healing and peace. If she only knew. That is why I am so strongly connected to the peaceful souls I’ve met along my guitar journey – they understand.

                                With Wayne Bosch @ the District 6 Museum, Dec 2014.
4. Why you should shout Fire! and not Help!
Lulu's interview ended on a very sobering note. She had been chased through the streets by her knife-wielding husband, but no-one had stopped to help. She had gone to the police station after being severely beaten up, but had not been taken seriously. She reached a point where she believed that she was all alone, and that people did not really care.
Her parting advice was: If you’re being beaten, don’t shout, “Help!”. Instead, shout, “Fire”, because people will only help if they feel they might be affected.

5.  My advice to women who suspect they are in emotionally abusive relationships
If you have friends who make you happy, who make your soul sing, and with whom you share a wonderful history, and your new partner expects you to give them up in order to be with him – that’s a red flag. 

If you have a hobby or interest that feeds your soul, and satisfies you in a way that gives meaning to your life and makes you like who you are, and your new partner wants you to give that up – that’s a red flag.

If your taste in music, clothes, food, leisure activities, movies, books, or whatever, is criticised and belittled, to the extent that you start giving them up - that’s a red flag. You have a right to like whatever you like and be with someone who likes different things. 



And finally, understand that extricating yourself from such a relationship or marriage can be painful, goes through many phases, and you will need a lot of love and support from your people, whoever they may be. The essential truth you must hold on to is: One day, all of this will be part of my past. I will be the me I like to be again, and I will thrive outside of this current situation. It’s a journey I am taking, one step at a time. Every morning when you wake up, commit to finding your happiness again. And believe it will come. 

Another thing I would add is – give yourself enough time to be single before entering your next relationship, because the healing process takes a while, and your judgement might not be as sound you think it is, within the first year (or even longer) of leaving one abusive relationship. 

An excellent book I would recommend, which helped me understand so many things , especially about why we find ourselves in successive emotionally abusive relationships is “Women Who Love Too Much”, by Robin Norwood. 


Peace,
Trudy   



Sunday, 25 June 2017

Straddling

I've just watched the 7-minute animated film, called "Alike", which is captioned, "How Society Kills Our Creativity".

Of course I would watch something like that, because it's something I feel very strongly about. The interesting thing is that I didn't watch it immediately - I shared it on my Facebook wall, and watched it only today, two days later. Because I was too busy. With whatever.

But let me go back a few sentences - this is not something I just "feel very strongly about", it is something I live every day. My entire being screams out to be immersed in my art form - music: creating it, performing it, growing in unimaginable ways through it, allowing it to light me up and organically take me beyond where I ever thought I'd go, and, through living that way, inspiring others to be immersed in their art. But how I actually spend my daylight hours is in an office environment, typing on a laptop, trying to get through an ever-growing To Do list, with limited decision-making powers, and a brain that borders on shutting down every single day, because it's so understimulated, and constantly trying to convince myself that, because my office job is related to my art form, it's the same as doing my art every day for hours and hours. But, let's face it - it's not.

I don't even know where the path split, and where I chose the one I'm currently walking. I know a few things, though, and the truth is that it's not easy living your truth 100% as an artist. Choosing to be a full-time artist is not easy. You generally have to forego a set monthly income, and you are constantly trying to generate work for yourself, the supply of which hinges on factors ranging from how small the local pond is, to global recessions. If you are responsible for only yourself, that's already hard; as a single mother who opted not to get financial assistance from her ex-husband, my choices were a lot harder.

In a world where everyone's fighting to be the best, the most, the highest, etc, the idea of artists collaborating, to help each other achieve artistic goals, is almost unheard of. As long as we buy into the lie that there's just one pie, with a limited number of slices, we will continue to believe that by collaborating we are somehow working ourselves out of possible success, and we will not find artists collaborating for mutual benefit. It's a winner-takes-all, scarcity mindset that's encouraged in our education system, as well as our economic system. Popular  get-famous-overnight competitions, keeping millions glued to their tv screens, serve merely to feed that beast.

But you know what? I never gave up. I don't believe in giving up. In fact - think about what it is that you're passionate about, and you'll know exactly what I mean: giving up is not even an option. Your passion is who you are. Without it, you simply don't exist.

So I do what I do, and I straddle the  two worlds, constantly trying to create a balance that I can comfortably live with. I try not to go for too many days without playing my guitar. For ten months of the year, I have a weekly restaurant gig, which at least keeps me in touch with myself as a musician. I do occasional corporate and private functions, some on an annual basis. I've also been producing concerts of my original work, since 2009. This year, my next concert comes just seven months after the last one, and I feel like this could be the year I start doubling the frequency of my concerts. Not easy, because I self-fund the events and manage everything, which is stressful.

Sometimes, just when I think I can no longer convince my fingers to hold onto the lifeboat, someone offers me an opportunity to be involved in something, in my capacity as a musician, and I'm saved from slipping into the abyss.  

I've learnt how to live in such a way  that I always have something to look forward to, and this is a way of living I'd encourage everyone to adopt. This is how I buoy myself forward. The truth is, I'm easily bored, especially by repetitive tasks that require very little thinking, and especially when I'm just following orders, and not generating or creating, myself. Multiple Yawn Syndrome.

What am I looking forward to, right now?
1. Thursday, 29 June, at 4pm, I'm doing a Master Class at Cornerstone Institute's Winter School for Creatives. My self-chosen topic? Music As Part of a Value System.

2. Friday, 30 June, at 12 noon: I'm doing a one-hour lunchtime concert at Cornerstone Institute.

3. Saturday, 15 July, 7:30pm, at Nassua Hall: Trudy Rushin & Friends in Concert. This time, I'm doing the main set with KEITH TABISHER (guitar), DYLAN TABISHER (bass guitar) & ABUBAKAR PETERSEN (tenor sax). The opening set will feature talented young artists, including CLAYTON SEAS, on guitar.

A woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do.

One of my mottos is: If I'm going to be alive, I might as well be very alive.

               A selfie taken in Sept 2016, at Sabria's Restaurant, in Wynberg, Cape Town.