Practicing. I feel like I already wrote about this in my post about gymnastics, but I know in my heart of hearts is that what almost all of us think about when we hear the word “practicing” is the piano.
I was a reluctant practicer. And would be as much of a disappointment to Malcolm Gladwell as I must have been to my mother.
I was also a failure at making my kids practice. Although to be fair, we did faithfully try. We paid for lessons for all of them even when we could hardly afford it. And eventually, because life was crazy and my husband was working nights and weekends and we were truly madly deeply just doing our best, we quit. At the end of the day I think kids have some responsibility to be accountable for their own choices to practice or not to practice. (Read: I cannot logically beat myself up both for being a lousy practicer as a child and for my children choosing not to practice without bribing, threatening or cajoling, so I’m going to absolve myself of at least one of those baggages of guilt.)
In any case, here’s something I did and am and will continue to practice:
Trying to be a decent human being.
Charity. The real kind, that’s a lot harder than simply writing a check.
I began practicing that as a child, watching both my parents continue their lifelong practice.
And I will keep practicing. Even when I am tired. In pain. Sad. Or empty.
At the pearly gates may I be forgiven for not having become a professional, or even a truly proficient piano player or accompanist (and even for having fallen out of practice from when I could play) and for the fact that only half my children pursued music (but somehow even those who didn’t managed to have their synapses form and become sassy smart intelligent anyway).
But most importantly, may I not be found lacking in charity.
[Day 104 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]