Do you live life as a classicist or a jazzer?

Although I like to consider myself more of a “jazzer” (“able to improv through life”) than a “classicist” (“plays life like a score: no surprises & well-rehearsed”), when life doesn’t “work,” I quickly become a classicist.

Take this morning and my Jeep.  Please!  Take it!  Somewhere within its electrical system is a tiny wire or a little fuse that has decided to render the thing dead.

So at 6 AM, I began to improvise: juggling this person here to fulfill that need there, emailing so-and-so to ward off affecting you-know-who.  Plotting, planning, thinking, scheming…

Etc., etc., etc.

So as a “jazzer,” you’d think I’d love this early morning composition, which has been more like a frantic bebop piece than a cool ballad.  But I’m not.  No, I’m really, really not!  In fact, I wish my life was a classical score so I could go practice, nail my part, and bow to wondrous applause.

So how about you?

“Jazzer” or “classicist?”

Published by

J.E. Lowder

I've played bass for Shania Twain, had a black rhino charge me while on safari, and I've been in the Oval Office. In high school, I went backstage to interview groups like Bob Seger, Rush and Kansas, sorta like "Almost Famous" but without Kate Hudson! As an author, I draw from all these experiences (and then some) when crafting my stories. The quote that sums me up the best is by G.K. Chesterton: "Nay, the really sane man know that he has a touch of the madman." I'm married, the father of four wonderful children, and a proud grandfather. I currently live near Nashville, TN where I write, bike and am always on the prowl for adventure and stories.

7 thoughts on “Do you live life as a classicist or a jazzer?”

  1. Great question. I had to think about it for a minute.

    Mostly, I’m a jazzer. I can do fairly well thinking on my feet, handle pressure reasonably, and love spur of the moment actions. For instance, I once took a drive just to clear my head. Eight hours later I was in the Outer Banks, NC (a place I’d never been before). Ended up grabbing a hotel room for the night by the beach and went out exploring the islands the next morning before heading back home. Though it was a bit expensive to make such a last minute trip, it was a lot of fun and I made later excursions out there (though I usually planned those a day or two ahead of time because my favorite Island can only be reached by ferry).

    On the other hand, you can’t jazz everything. There are some long term goals that if you want to achieve them you have to plan. So I must admit to being about twenty percent classicist.


    1. I laughed reading about your Outer Banks drive. I can just imagine the call home (if applicable) to explain where your “drive” ended up. “Yes, Mom, that’s the ocean you hear. Yes, Mom, I know we don’t live near the ocean…”

      Great point about needing to be a classicist as well. Balance.


      1. Actually, I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC at the time. It wasn’t my mom who’d be upset, but rather my commander since I wasn’t supposed to be out of a fifty mile radius of the base. Luckily, nothing major happened while away that would have recalled me to base or I would have been in big trouble!


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