It’s late afternoon as I move through the room and throw back the cover. The dust shimmers in the sunlight streaming through the window. I cough, run a hand over the stool before I sit down. Once seated I reach forward and ruffle through a stack sheet music and make my choice. I glance down and place my hands on the keyboard. After a few moments I realise my fingers are finding the keys on their own, the melody is mostly maintained, and the familiar strains of Bach fill my headphones.
I do not play piano often enough.
It’s one of many things that seem to slip from my thoughts as day follows day follows day.
I don’t play piano often enough, I don’t meditate often enough, nor have I found the time to write, or the inclination to get back to the gym.
My days slip from work, to home, to work again. My leisure time has moved to shared time on the sofa, walking the dogs, and the minutae of everyday life. I put more value on these things than my hobbies (rightly so?).
I am failing at many things.
Yet I am happier than ever.
It’s taken me some time to realise, time to reassess the balance that my life has found and how the subtle shifting of weight that some things previously held (or perhaps I gave them) has brought me to where I am now. I’ve let go of some things, and embraced others.
It’s a shift in my thought processes prompted by many little reminders here and there, themselves made possible by a shift in my approach to social media (goodbye negative voices, hello positivity) that’s made me realise that none of these things are failures.
Every time I sit down at the piano is a success. It doesn’t matter if it’s only once a month.
Every time I take time to stop and meditate for 10 minutes is a success. Every time I think about one of the two novels I have half-written is a success. And once I am past my (current) batch of physio I will get back to the gym a couple of times a week; success.
Recently there was an article doing the rounds about how people need to stop treating hobbies as things to get good at, instead we should enjoy them for what they are, a way to relax with no expectation. As I continue to step away from my old habits and learn to stop setting expectations, stop making plans, so I find myself failing more and more often. And it’s wonderful.