It’s Saturday. It’s awesome. My husband is helping a friend move and I’m, well, useless. This belly gets in the way of everything, I can barely bend down, and lifting is out of the question. Tune in next for the pregnancy woes…
Here it is: the house to MYSELF and the possibilities are endless! I know I’ve got to soak this in because as rare as it already is, I’m terrified it may never happen again and I’ve been containing my excitement about it for a week.
First, I did the obvious. (Cleaned the house, right?) As I’m jamming to a fresh batch of downloaded tunes and making my way through the house, I’m inspired for my next task. Nope, not slicing yet. I’ve changed my mind 17 times already about what I’m going to write about so I still need time to decide. It’s time for my dear old friend: the keyboard.
It has been several months, but it’s not my fault. Radio stinks lately and if I’m not inspired…I’m not inspired. Thank. You. John. Legend. You’re the man! I’m obsessed with his new song. Hopefully it will last long enough for me to learn at least a fraction of it, but again, wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier if I just knew how to read music? I could just pull up some sheet music, print it out, and play to my heart’s content? Only in my dreams…
I taught myself how to play the piano when I was a kid. (Well, five notes. No Beethoven.) I was four years old and mom was in the back of the living room ironing when I marched up to the piano during a commercial break and tried to play the intro to Eureka’s Castle. It was probably a week before she signed me up for lessons. I loved them! I loved using the mechanical pencils to draw and erase notes, and I loved earning the shiny little stars every time I aced some task I was supposed to do. I had books of all of these easy songs. My teacher would pick one, play it for me, send me home to “practice” and then make me replay it the following week. It was great! Then she stopped playing for me. She started sending me home with harder books, tell me to practice, and I would choke. My secret was out and the fun came to a screeching halt. How am I supposed to play these songs when I’ve never heard them before? So, I quit. Sports were easier and more fun.
Now, a couple decades later, my skill level is only slightly better. I know more songs, but it still takes me forever. When I hear a song I love, I sit and play the beginning few seconds a bajillion times on repeat until I have it down and then I move onto the next few seconds of the song and so on until I get frustrated, BANG all of the keys at once, and press power. I’m done. And in that moment, I think about my students. I think about my struggling readers. I think about stamina and how long it takes to build. I’m overwhelmed by how much I want to accomplish, how much work it would take me to get there, and how much easier it is to just bang on the keys and walk away until I’m inspired again. Because, let’s face it, I could sit here for 3 more hours and keep trying but it’s not going to be pretty and I can find a MILLION other things to do for fun. (It’s not you John, it’s me)
So when we have those frustrating times in class, I kind of get it. Among other things, they need to be inspired, they need time, and sometimes they just need to be done for a while and enjoy something else until they’re inspired again.