I really should have taken advantage of the unlimited practice time I had back in the day. I’d stay up late into the night drumming, jamming, recording, singing. I used to just grab my guitar when the feeling struck me. I’d discover a new part of myself in a song and then play it relentlessly until it’s hold on me had weakened. Then I’d add it to my set list and move on to the next. Days would sometimes go by without me singing a single note or picking up my guitar at all because if the feeling wasn’t there, I just didn’t do it. I never learned how to set up a daily practice routine and stick to it the way my father still does, 40 years after picking up his guitar for the first time. Now if I want to play at all, I have no choice but to schedule time for it; and I’ll admit, it’s pretty freaking hard to do. Often, my desire to play at all is dampened simply because it started with a ‘penciling in’ on my weekly planner.
I often wonder if the little practicing I’m doing is even worth it at all. Sometimes I have to learn and relearn and relearn a song because I couldn’t take the time I really needed to just nail it and move on. I sometimes lament the time I used to have, and wonder how further ahead I’d be if I just took advantage of my time when I had it.
I can’t even play my heart out during nap time because Cienna’s supersonic hearing can wake her from any deep sleep, and then the whole day turns into cranky baby time; and good luck practicing then! Most days I get a few hours to do absolutely everything that I can’t do while Cienna is awake: straighten up, take a shower, do laundry, put my feet up, send some emails, prepare for music classes, practice my instrument(s). So, I can’t just play when the desire hits anymore; it has to be focused, planned, deliberate fingers touching strings.
I’m hoping that one day I’ll be able to practice while she’s quietly playing on the floor next to me, angelic with her big eyes and her little mini guitar like mommy’s. For now I’m learning that time is a very valuable thing when you’re a mommy. Somewhere between administering baby food, steadying little legs, rocking, shushing, patting, walking, and playtime, I have to find time to practice. I have to learn to be both a musician and a mommy.