Our lives change, this is only natural. Our lives change most when there has been a seriously interruptive event in them –  although we can change our lives because we want to do, we do this most efficiently and quickly when we need to.

Have you talked recently to your friends who just had a baby? Did you notice how your fun loving, clubbing and theatre going friends with whom you could discuss current affairs and classical literature have been reduced to semi coherent people for whom discussing nappies (this is the English for diapers) and breast feeding is the pinnacle of intellectualism? Well this is how it goes and, don’t get me wrong, it is well worth it. Problem is that the changes that come with having children persist for a very long time; long after the infant has almost become a teenager.

John and I were not immune to this; although, probably not as affected as others around us. We were lucky – our baby liked eating and sleeping, which meant that we didn’t reach the state of gibbering incoherence. With us it was more about the kind of things we did – instead of going to the theatre we will ‘nip out’ to the cinema; instead of going to a concert we will ‘nip out’ to the cinema…well, too much cinema really.

Last night, after a very long time, we went to a concert again  at the Royal Northern College of Music. It was divine and we loved every minute, every second of it. It was mainly Mozart – symphony No 30 in D major, symphony 35 in D major ‘Haffner’ and the piano concerto in A major.  Mozart’s music is so easy to love, even if one doesn’t understand classical music much, and enjoy although not always easy to perform. It is, I find, very ‘young’ and optimistic music that, if you let it, washes all your worries and troubles away. And then there was Schuman’s cello concerto in A minor that filled my soul with cheerful longing. We were fortunate to listen to two young, award winning soloists, Joris van den Berg and Maya Irgalina, both graduates of the college and the world class Manchester Camerata.  In a word – bliss.

I had forgotten how it feels to go to a concert and how music, and the ritual of listening to it with others, heals one’s soul.

This, I have been thinking, raises a very interesting question: is going to concerts, the opera and the theatre a need or a want? I think that it is a need and this is my logic.

  • We look after our bodies by giving them food, shelter, warmth and clothes. These are needs!
  • We look after our souls by giving them reading, interaction with people, music, dance and generally enjoyment.
  • Our souls need care just like, if not more than, our bodies. Hence, going to concerts, theatre, opera etc. are needs and not wants.

What do you think?

And now, I would like to point to some posts I liked this week; probably in tune with my more contemplative mood these are not about personal finance; or not immediately so.

When I first started this blog I often mentioned Leo Babauta; I have stopped, but I still think that the guy absolutely rocks. This week, there is a post on his site, Zen Habits, that sets out some very simple and easy to do actions that will help you be contented. Please, if you have any sense get off my site this very instant and go read this article; even better click on the link – you won’t regret it and it just may change your life; at least for some time.

Did you hear that Chris Guillebeau at The Art of Non Conformity has a new book out? If you haven’t, note this down: the book is called ‘The $100 Start Up’ and is well worth a very good look; then again, I have always liked Chris and what he does. He is a fellow sociologist (which proves that degrees are about what you do with them) who is on a quest for ‘world domination’; and he is taking many people with him. Last week, Chris published an article about how important it is to realise that we all have many skills and that these are mostly marketable.

And if you want to know how to be happy go to Goodlife Zen and watch the video on Positive Psychology.

Till next time, my friends!