I’ve had a goal to learn how to play the guitar for a while. Last summer, I bought a guitar, a wonderful left-handed Fender model. I got some self-teaching books, but I never made it past first string. I have also felt it would be a good idea to get lessons, but it’s always a matter of schedule and expense, etc.
Since this year is still young, I figured I’d pick up the guitar again and learn it. I made music flashcards with notes and string positions, so I can arrange them any way I want: open strings, by string, sharps, flats, etc and even throw a chord or two in at a time. I came up with a way that works for me in the meantime and I was excited to try it out.
Yesterday, I came home from Guitar Trader with a tuner and strap for my guitar. I clipped the tuner to the head and started with the first string. It was very taut and I knew it for a while. I told myself the night before I needed to properly tune it. I didn’t know it was so tight that it would bust with a short turn of the tuning key. And it was irritatingly inconvenient at the moment.
I felt derailed right after that string broke.
I had just come home from a several mile ride across two cities with the bulk of it spent on the freeway, and I didn’t want to repeat the trip on a late Friday afternoon/early evening.
The good thing, though is I knew this problem was solvable and and that I could do something about it on a saner time. While it didn’t require sleeping on, that I could put this off until the next morning was self care.
When it came to writing, self care wasn’t always evident. Even with methods of backing up data, computer crashes can still take writers by surprise and it is stressful. It doesn’t help for people to say that you should have backed up your files. You lost your writing and it can be traumatic. There are the times when someone makes crazy in your life and it hinders you in trying to write. When you succeed in getting them out of your life, it may take some to recover both your sense of self and the writing practice. It’s not as simple as buying an E string and installing it on the guitar.
Once upon a time, I wanted to learn to write and I set about making a goal of it. It helped to have those literacy skills. I then got the education. And I got the reminder that learning writing is a never ending process.
My goal to learn how to play the guitar is a more personal one. Here, the equipment is important and there are a lot of practical solutions to problems. However, this is a process just like writing and it requires patience and self care.
This was originally posted on The Shindoverse Notebook.