Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Later, 88s

I'm a bit melancholy today. In a few hours, I will be telling my piano teacher the bad news: I have decided to discontinue my lessons.

Music is a huge part of my life, and I have loved loved loved playing the piano over the last two years. Since I played for several years when I was a kid, I was able to pick it up pretty quickly. (It's a lot easier this time around, since I'm not grumbling and complaining about how much it sucks.) My teacher, Kirsten, is incredible. She encouraged me to play the kind of music I wanted to play instead of what was prescribed in some lesson book. I have played some wonderful classical, jazz, contemporary, and new age pieces, depending on my mood. The pinnacle was to be next month's Spring Recital, where I was going to dazzle the audience with my rendition of David Lanz' Dream of the Forgotten Child, a nine-page killer piece that allows me to tap into my Inner Rachmaninoff. I adore playing the piano. It is a creative, freeing, joyful experience for me.

And now I'm gonna give it up.

Sadly, I have not been able to practice for well over a month. As my life is getting busier with my book promotion and speaking activities, I am not carving out the time to practice. Simply put, there are other activities that take precedence over my dalliance with the ivories. I need to have time to meditate, practice yoga, write, and do the kazillion other things associated with getting my work out into the world. When hubby and child come home, I want to spend time with them instead of sitting at the piano to work out the next Chopin piece. I wish there were more hours in the day, but there just aren't. If I want to remain remotely sane, a change is required. Priorities need to be identified. Tough decisions need to be made. Things that I love, like playing the piano, are going to have to go by the wayside. For now.

Every time I quit something, I experience a corresponding guilt trip. I was wracked with guilt when I had to quit Karate a few months ago. Similarly, my painful adieu to Zumba had me singing the blues. However, I also know that I felt better after having released those joyful tasks that eventually became a burden to me. I didn't want the piano to become a burden, but it has. I have grown weary of making excuses for my lack of practice, and the lesson times are cutting into valuable work time. So, I'm finding myself bathing in QuitGuilt right now, and it totally blows.

Maybe someday I'll be able to resume my playing. I'd like to think so. Emma is still going to continue, and I am going to support her 100%. Hopefully, she won't end up like I did thirty years ago, saying goodbye to an instrument that brings with it so much beauty and joy.

But if she does, I will do my best to make sure her journey, unlike mine, is guilt-free.


For your consideration and/or comment:

Is there some activity you love that you decided to quit? How did you feel about it?


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1 comment:

Rick said...

I've decided to quit telling myself I'm gong to quit my bad habits. I think this one I'll be able to pull off without any guilt.