I saw this graphic on Facebook today:
I love this. I wholeheartedly agree with it. And I need to remind myself about it all the time.
About a month ago, maybe more, my husband and I were discussing how I never practiced anymore. This is a problem because we both feel that if Hashem gives you an ability, you better use it. And I wasn’t using mine. For those of you who are musicians, you may be familiar with the problem of without having a performance or regular schedule, you don’t make time to practice. This has been my life since, oh, 2003, when I graduated from college.
When I’ve had a performance, which, thankfully, has been somewhat regular, at least a few a year, I’ve brought out my clarinet and practiced. I’ve occasionally been involved in community bands or orchestras, so that provided me with a weekly reason to play. But outside of those reasons, I did not make time for my music, my art.
And this was a mistake, albeit an understandable one (hello, four small children and a bunch of moves, etc. etc.).
So we made the decision to send my cute baby to a babysitter (yay Fraidy!) for a couple hours in the morning right after my bigger kids go to school. During that time I practice. I do not do laundry. Not even just to throw in a load. I do not do dishes. I do not pick up the disaster that is my living room/dining room/office. I play music. That is all I’m allowed to do.
For the most part, it’s working really well. I have cheated a little and gone on Facebook or checked my email (agh, self control!! I need you!!!), which is difficult to avoid because my metronome is an app on my phone (my children destroyed my actual metronome years ago). But other than that, I’ve been remarkably disciplined. And it feels amazing. Really amazing. I’m also noticing a marked improvement in my playing (Imagine that! Practicing makes you better!!)
So I encourage you all to carve out a little bit of time for your art. Ignore your other responsibilities for a minute. That should be easy, right? I’m assuming at least some of you are ignoring your responsibilities right now by reading my blog, hehehe. So instead of spending more time online, go on and do some art. It could just be coloring in a book. Or writing something. Or decorating your house. Or singing along to your favorite song. Whatever you like.