Music has always come easily to me. I've spent most of my life so far doing ONLY music. Practicing around the clock, getting into summer programs, earning two advanced degrees- music has been a big part of my life. Both of my parents are music teachers, and I was started on my first " stick instrument" as soon as I was able to grasp on and pretend I was playing the instrument choice of the day.
I never went outside the box to try anything new because it was easiest to just pursue that which came effortlessly to me. I'm not an organized person but who cares? I'm not good at it so why try? I'm not athletic so why try? If I didn't get a good grade without studying, I soon lost interest in the subject because WORKING to learn a skill that didn't come naturally to me was HARD.
I would give excuses as to why I was bad at something and then console myself with my musical skills feeling that redeemed me in life.
(OK, I don't know what's up with the camera spot on these next few...but the pics were too cute not to share anyway)
Nothing comes easily for her (except extreme cuteness)
When she was born, she had to work hard at BREATHING and EATING; things that I had previously taken for granted. As I helped her learn basic skills, I found that for the first time in my life, I was truly having to work hard at something.
Her body has low muscle tone and extreme flexibility, so such such things as standing independently, isolating her pointer finger, taking steps without holding on, talking- all of these things are VERY hard for her to accomplish.
Working with her and seeing the incredible reward and satisfaction that is there as she conquers "small" skills that have taken her months to learn- I have learned a new level of appreciation for hard work and pushing yourself to do things that don't fall into place easily for you.
The smile on my face and the feeling of accomplishment in my heart when I saw her learn to suck from a bottle for the first time made whatever musical success I had pale in comparison. The day Addison finally came off of oxygen (at 9 months) I wanted to celebrate more than when I had successfully finished my masters degree.
I find myself inspired by her. It's amazing the wonders that the world holds when you don't limit yourself to simply what comes easily. I've started to truly care and work at things that previously held no appeal for me.
I have taken a lot of time and effort to attempt to become a better writer. This past year and a half of blogging has stretched me in new ways. I've never tried to write before because I didn't win a Pulitzer prize the first time I composed a few original paragraphs. So why try?
In the spirit of trying something new, this past year and a half I have been writing a novel. Starting out- I was so horrible that those who read my first drafts deserve some sort of "true friend" medal (and an even bigger reward for not laughing at me). But I kept trying and working- taking the cue from my daughter.
I'm not saying that now I'm a professional or that my book is now ready to hit the shelves...but I am MUCH better, and I can only imagine where continued work and growth will take me and my humble little book. (can hardly wait to get back to editing, but giving myself time to get the kids on a slightly better schedule first...and waiting to get the notes from my agent/editor)
I'm so thankful to have a daughter who has to work for everything because it's caused me to realize the real joy there is to be found in life. The smallest of achievements are all of a sudden a big deal- the gloss-over-until-it-interests-me approach that I had previously taken to EVERYTHING now leaves me wanting to conquer those pesky skills that I had always excused myself from because "I'm good at music".
I feel like I'm truly experiencing life for the first time. Why settle with those things that just seem easy? There's an amazing feeling that accompanies a skill that you truly had to work at.
Zumba class...I have to work at "the moves"...but I've never had more fun! I never would have tried this class without Addison's inspiration backing me.