By Melissa McNeely
From time to time, I have to sit down with myself and give myself a little ‘talking to’. Maybe you do this too? What happens is that I think I’m going along easy peasy and doing ‘okay’ and ‘a decent enough job’ at something I’m working on with the piano and then when I really think about it, and choose to be honest with myself, I know that I have somehow gotten ‘in my own way’ of success! And then I have to take a deeper dive, within myself, to attempt to identify what behavior I’ve been participating in, that is keeping me from progressing with my piano goals, or without mincing words, I have to become very honest with myself.
I had the joy of going to Costco this last weekend. Now I love, and sometimes hate Costco. There are so many fun things to look at and great products to buy and you can walk away after completely emptying your bank account with only ten items! The carts they have at Costco look and feel ENORMOUS when I walk in and SO TINY by the time I leave! My husband sometimes goes with me to Costco, and he cracks me up every single time he joins me. Our attitudes start at two completely different sides of the ballpark, but the story has a happy ending because by the time we leave, we are usually on the same side again. What I mean is while we steer through the 42 blocks of Costco I’m heading in the direction of ‘stocking up’ on anything I see, saving me bags of money over the long run, and he looks at every giant package and says, ‘how in the world are we EVER going to use ALL OF THAT!?’ But here’s the thing, he is absolutely the one that ENJOYS having some of the delicious items, particularly the sweets, around the house, available for HIM to consume. What I find myself doing as we wander around Costco, is grabbing the items I know he’d enjoy, and putting them in the cart.
And like clockwork, and without fail, every single item I put in the cart with his happiness in mind, he picks up and turns around to put that item back on the shelf and he says to me ‘I can’t eat ALL OF THAT!’ But then, I remind him that he LOVES these brownies, or these chips, or these delicious dark chocolate caramel candies, or this pasta sauce, and I ask him if he’s sure he doesn’t want it, and does he want to just stop and think about it for a second and BE HONEST WITH HIMSELF? Let me just say that he is a great guy, because he actually DOES stop, pause and then think for a minute, and then, he says, “all right” and turns and puts the item back in the cart after taking a minute to be honest with himself. If we could all be this in tune! LOL!
What I find myself doing when I’m having these ‘sit down talking to sessions’ with myself is really trying to identify where I could be doing better in my practice. Right now, being honest with myself, my current challenge is that I’ve become fairly busy with lots of things happening in my life, and I’ve been letting my own piano goals slip to the background. By not allowing myself the necessary time needed to stay focused on my daily practice goals I’m in essence short changing myself.
I do not want to short change myself, so after identifying that my issue is not allowing myself time to get the work done that I need to make the progress I want for myself, I have come up with a plan of action to address it. Digging deeper into self-honesty, I feel like I’d possibly do better switching my practice time to better serve me and my piano learning goals. For me, I’m most alert first thing in the morning and so that’s what I’ll be doing going forward. Piano practice first thing in the morning. After coffee. This could work! And if not, I’ll have to invite myself to sit down again and be honest with myself. I’m already winning when I decide that I can be honest with myself. Is there a part of you that wants to dig deeper and be honest with yourself?
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