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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
SharonA When is it time to 'call it a day'? (78* d) RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'? 31 Jul 11

...or, better yet, please respond to the PM that I sent to you!

To answer your original question, though, I'd have to say that the time to "call it a day" and decide that "this singing/playing/performing thing just isn't a viable option" is when you give up on it as a viable option.

Sure, traveling to the gig takes fuel, which takes money... but that's why you book paying gigs, right? If the pay doesn't cover the cost of getting there and back, plus some profit, don't take it. For goodness' sake, why are you wasting your time, money and fuel to go to open mike nights where you're not getting paid and where there's no chance of getting booked for a paying gig at the venue? If it's for the "exposure" in hopes of getting hired by one of the audience members for a private party or something, I hope you are at least pumping a lot of hands and handing out a lot of business cards (which cost next to nothing to print on a computer).

Sure, it would be difficult to transport yourself to gigs if you don't get your cataract removed. Glad to hear that you're working on that problem, but I can't help thinking that blindness didn't stop a whole big bunch of fine musicians from finding someone to transport them to gigs. If you want to get there and play the gig, you'll find a way... and people will be willing to help you. (Ummm, doesn't your wife drive?)

Let's face it: the REAL question you're not asking (at least, not on this forum) is: "Is it a viable option to continue living where I'm living, in the lifestyle to which I've become accustomed?" If you're in such a terrible neighborhood that free public school is not a safe option for your kids, it's time to find a safer school district to move to. Okay, the in-laws might not like it if you're farther away and they can't see their grandkids as often, but it doesn't sound as though you're dependent on them for child care because you're home-schooling the kids, so what's the point in living so close to them if it's not working for you? (I'm not asking for a response here; just prodding you to think about this.)

"...they wanted their grandkids closer to home. They've also now paid 18 months' worth of our mortgage and car insurance, so we couldn't possibly entertain the idea of going elsewhere..." Sure you could. Entertain it. Think about moving to a nearby state where car insurance isn't so astronomical. Rent if you can't own. It sounds like your in-laws have you by the short hairs and they know it. Cut loose before they choke what remains of your life out of you (your music, for instance), and "circle the wagons" around your own family unit (you, the wife, and your kids). Forsake all others, as you promised before witnesses that you would do.

If for no other reason than that your kids need to develop an understanding of music theory which will help them with math and science concepts as part of your home-schooling, keep your instruments. Teach your kids to play them. Tell the Social Security folks that the instruments are part of the home-school curriculum. Find a way -- any way -- NOT to "call it a day".

If you decide to stay where you are, at least for the time being, do the necessary networking to find the necessary gigs. As I said, I think I can help you there... if you're willing to refrain from labeling viable options "impossible".

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