When Rachelle contacted me about posting my song in her “Forwards From Fifty” group and website, I was very honored. But it wasn’t until I went to the website and read what it was all about, I saw that my song was a good fit for what the group is trying to accomplish. The song is also a kind of turning point for me personally.
“Of An Age” came from a very dark place originally. I’ve been pretty depressed lately due to all the major life changes that have occurred over the past few years. I had a long career in Television Production and had large blended family, consisting of two older kids from my wife’s previous marriage and one of our own. But recently I had to go on permanent disability because of a bad back (spinal stenosis), soon after my wife passed away, and finally my youngest son, now 21 years old, decided it was time to move out. So now I’m alone with nothing but my pets and my music. I left all my friends in New Jersey (I’ve been living in WA State since 1993), and when I quit working, I lost touch with the friends I made there. Facebook is pretty much my only social outlet.
After my wife passed away, I sort of became preoccupied with my own mortality, and realized that, at 55, there are many more years behind me than in front of me. And if I let it, the notion scares the heck out of me. That’s probably one of the reasons I’ve been writing so many songs, recording and producing CD’s, I feel like I need to leave something behind for my friends and family. Something that tells people about who I am and what I’ve been through, in musical form. To date, I’ve produced 8 CD’s worth of music, with hopefully many more on the way.
So, back to the song…..As I said, it originally was pretty depressing, but as you can tell from the lyrics, I didn’t continue in that direction. I made a conscious effort to turn things around and fight back against the depression to say, Hey I may be getting old, but I’m not dead yet, and I want to make the most out of the rest of my life.
Finally, to tie this all into what “Forwards From Fifty” is all about, I decided that I want to start producing music on a professional (part-time) basis. I’ve produced several songs from Singer-Songwriters with pretty encouraging results. From writing and recording all my own songs, as well as all the equipment and software I’ve accumulated over the years, I feel I’m well equipped to be a sound engineer/producer for singer-songwriters, solo acts, or duets. (I don’t have the room for a full sized rock band)
So after I gather more information and prepare how I want to run this business, I’m going to start advertising locally (this is a college town, with a lot of local musical talent) and throw myself into producing music, mixing and mastering, creating demo tapes, finished CD’s, and/or streaming downloads.
So that is the turning point, both in the song, and in my life. I still have to deal with physical pain and mental health issues, but I figure the busier I keep myself, the less I’ll notice the bad stuff.
Thanks for letting me share my song and my story!
Inspiring a Generation
How would you like to help inspire our generation to embrace life’s possibilities by sharing your experience with others?
Whether through their own choice or circumstance, a growing number of 50-pluses find themselves facing the prospect of choosing new careers and life-styles with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.
They seek wise counsel, practical advice and reliable support. Above all, they are looking for inspiration.
Forwards From Fifty is a new organisation dedicated to empowering people facing major work-life changes. Through online forums, webinars, and consultancy we will build a community that helps make those transitions easier.
We do hope you will join us on our great adventure as we seek to inspire our growing community to live their dreams and prove that there really is life after fifty.
Of An Age by Lee Shapiro
TA place for people who are over 50 to share, learn and explore today's work world while looking for new opportunities.