I have had various stabs at playing the piano. Today is the start of another. When I purged most of what I owned and headed down under for a couple of months, I handed my piano over to a friend. This morning it has returned home. I can definitely not just sit down and play. I am still very much a beginner. When time and other things get in the way, you take a few steps back and cobwebs build.
What I am interested in as I jump back in is how long it will take to get close to where I was after a shorter gap. I bought the keyboard in about October last year. The gap then had been about 13 years. I had only been a beginner pre-gap, having done lessons while teaching at a school in Chichester, England. I tried to push on teaching myself, but put it aside when my studies got overwhelming. Priorities and all that jazz. I really enjoyed getting back into it. There is something quite magical when your fingers seem to detach with a life of their own and the sound starts to have feeling.
We often put aside things we love because of 'more important priorities'. Some call it the Protestant Work Ethic, but it is not just protestants who work hard. There are things that are seen as indulgent and things that are seen as realistic and contributing to the greater good. We can be seduced by success and sucked up into only the things we are good at. When you dive into the indulgence, the guilt soon kicks in. Should I be do something else? Often it isn't even indulgence. Simply sitting still for a bit can be seen as an unproductive use of time. Laziness.
I don't see time spent on things that don't make anything explicit as indulgence. I am a big believer in looking after your energy levels. It is not about balance. It is about filling your self up with creativity and passion to be able to solve some of the more vexing problems in the world. The idea that we need to 'put aside our childish ways' in order to achieve more important things than play is just plain silly.
If you brush aside the cobwebs, which of your childish ways would you breathe life back into?