What's Next, Jim?
June 11, 2019
My take-away from my cancer experience is that life has at least two components, journey and destination.
In my youth and during my years in Nashville, I was driven by an unquenchable thirst for destination. I failed to enjoy the journey back then, and to be honest, throughout midlife and beyond, I did the same thing to a lesser degree up until the cancer diagnosis.
In January 2019, I resumed my graduate studies at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. I have been accepted into an interdisciplinary master's program where I can study non-pharmacological methods of managing chronic stress to reduce levels of human stress hormones to improve outcomes for cancer patients and their caregivers. My desire to do this is a result of forming and facilitating a creative writing workshop series for cancer patients, which is sponsored by the ThriveWell Cancer Foundation in San Antonio, Texas.
Rest assured, I will continue to create and perform music. It was during the 2017 treatment months that I began to realize that life is richer when one can stop and smell the flowers, or in my case, stop and smell the music. I’m allergic to most flowers.
I am thoroughly enjoying my life's journey, no matter how long it may last.
The first stop on this journey was to complete a new album titled I Sure Do Miss My Hair, which I have done. It was a challenging experience. And, so far, industry reactions have been positive. On September 21, 2018, the first single, Rode Hard and Put Away Wet, replaced Garth Brooks' All Day Long as the nation's #1 indie country song, according to IndieWorld Country Record Report. Since then, two more singles, Doublewide Bride and I'll Love You Forever, have reached #1. Here are some favorable 2018 comments after I released the CD.
From Kathy Forste, KC Cafe Radio (May 2018):
"Jim is a true artist who believes the song is the most important thing. Jim has the uncanny ability to deliver a great vocal to a terrific lyric and bring the song to life."
From Rowena Muldavin, Heartland Public Radio (May 2018):
"I've been doing Country radio for quite a while. It's a mix of new and old with an emphasis on independent artists who are simply not on Nashville's radar. From the first note and lyric to the last on Jim's latest album, I Sure Do Miss My Hair, I was nothing less than mesmerized by each song. What a stunning talent he is!
Yes, 2017 presented some bumps in my journey. The first, obviously, was my illness. With a drop in energy, I had to work in short bursts and took lots of naps.
Second, I had major equipment failures in the studio including critical mixing and monitoring units. But, I kept saying, “Grasshopper, life is about the journey not the destination.”
I believe that we can have a desired outcome (destination) only if we have a pleasant journey.