I think it’s one of those super-obvious things regarding willpower, goals, etc…. but at the same time so damned complex. I get that I had a whole bunch of stuff to try out and experiment with, and that worked out okay, but then another thing and another thing came along until all my plans were smashed to pieces.
Ugh…I hate overestimating how much I can accomplish and having to balance that with my eagerness to try something new.
Or, re-try something.
I used to play clarinet. I wasn’t terribly good at it, but I stuck with it for four years. I liked it, but practice wasn’t a high priority for me when I got home. The bus ride home was so damned long and I had so many chores that the last thing I cared to do was pull the clarinet out of it’s case and get some work done on it.
I used to practice a lot when I first started, but then a noisy house and annoyed stepsiblings and chores, chores, chores just put that down as a “no.” Then 9th grade was full of so much band I did nothing much else… and getting home meant doing something else for a while, finally.
Now, after many years of not playing, I’ve gotten this itch to re-learn how to read music, and how to play my clarinet. I know I’ve lost my embouchure and have to rebuild the muscles so I can play. But somehow I have this determination to get really good at it, and other things. Heaven knows I’ve been interested in the piano, too, but never learned how to play or have a chance to take lessons.
So, what did I do this week? Found my (moved) music store from before, researched music reading, dropped a couple hundred bucks on replacement supplies and learning music for my clarinet, getting a lesson book and drum pad and sticks to practice and play with rhythm. I and nearly got suckered into getting a violin on layaway.
This is the part where having an impromptu morning off, killing time before evening shift, bites me in the ass. Days off are torture for impulsive people.
Well, I thought hard and decided that I’d better get good at clarinet and piano first before I consider anything else…and the summer is going to be lean (fingers crossed that it won’t be so bad as I think).
So, that’s something to work towards.
But my enthusiasm for wanting to learn music again and find ways to practice led me to dump the plans I had and now I’m really far behind on what I’d intended.
I have to stop, take some breaths, and remember that these are self-imposed deadlines and plans and I’ll have to just ease off the schedule a bit (and stretch some classes and events out), or just pick up where I left off and incorporate what I want to do musically.
I blame Herbie Hancock and Hans Zimmer for making my little dreams stir into the forefront after all this time. I’ve signed up for way too many Masterclasses, but these are all topics I’ve wanted to learn. I wanted to learn how to play jazz for many years; certainly I’ve been an avid listener for nearly 20. And Hans Zimmer, well, I’ve wanted to compose my own music… probably since picking up a violin in 5th grade and listening to my favorite film scores over and over again.
But again, what did I do? Jumped into taking notes from the Masterclasses and neglected the schedule I’d set up. I need to practice playing a lot before I even CONSIDER working through these courses, anyway… but I’m so eager to learn from the masters.
This is reminding me of what I tell kiddos I tutor who play with my handwriting cards. If I bring the cursive ones to the table, they want to devour them, but they can barely print. So I tell them, “you’ve gotta learn to walk before you can run a marathon.”
And yet, what am I doing? My impulsiveness, squared.
Yes, the first week of my learning schedule went mostly well. This 2nd one was definitely the opposite.
I’ll have to jump back in and do some serious revising…or just shift the activities of the week.
Hell, I’m behind on my Shakespeare and book-reading goals, too! Never thought I’d see those go out the wayside so badly, but they have.
I think part of it is the weather change and my day-job schedules. I’ve been worn down the past few weeks and it just became apparent how badly the past two, when I couldn’t even keep to the most basic components of my schedule.
Yeah, one of those weeks. Tomorrow morning I’m going to lose myself in chores before I go to shift in the evening. I have to help train somebody so I’ll have to show up a lot earlier than usual to cover our bases.
Manual labor is a great breath of air most of the time. I hope I don’t let my self get all antsy about not cracking down and going straight back to my schedule. Barring an emergency, I’ll have my first Sunday off in months.
Perhaps that day of rest will help me give myself a break.