Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Other Sweet Things

Since I'm off candy (with the exception of a few handfuls of cold cereal now and then, which, as you well know by now, IS candy), I have to look for other sweet things to fill my life.

One is listening to my kids play the piano. When I was growing up I always suspected my practicing was a grating irritation to all listeners, as I'm certain it probably was. When I signed my oldest up for piano lessons, I heard that old favorite "Here we go, up a row, to a birthday party," about a kabillion times--almost as many as I heard "From a Wigwam."
Strawberry Shortcake Flavored Mezzo Piano Candy, totally Japanese

Then my mother in law told me something in passing. She came by and asked the Wigwammer to please practice and she'd like to listen. She said to me, "Piano practice by children is one of the sweetest sounds I can ever hear."

That struck me. While I couldn't necessarily agree initially, it seemed I could probably change my attitude. So I did. And now, with three kids in lessons and one more ready and begging to start, I have to say I absolutely LOVE to hear them play. It's hard the first days after a lesson to hear them struggle, and to sense their frustration, to see them draped over the bench and hear the moaning of despair at a new song. (This week's despair was induced by "The Streets of Laredo.") But it improves! And it's great! And the oldest did his first solo in sacrament meeting at church on Sunday and I realized it was all worth it.
Mozart Piano Candy Bar. Who KNEW?

I think writing must be like that, too. At first the product is a mess. It's frustrating. It doesn't seem like it will ever come together. Some projects make me moan and drape myself over my desk and wish I didn't have to do it. But when I power through and keep working at it, sometimes the result gives me a twinge of joy and it's all worth it.

And there's another application, that whole "change your mind to change your situation" thing. I guess that could apply to many areas of life beyond piano noise, including editing. So, hey! I LOVE editing. It makes the whole project shine! It's fun because you get to dig right in and make things better, things that just need a little polish. Or a lot. Doesn't matter. Editing is worth it. It's a great time!

There. Now I should get back to editing. Sweeeet.


  1. Ugh piano practice... I don't even like to have my husband listen to me practice! You're a good woman if you can change your perspective THAT drastically!

  2. Love this post, Jennifer. Maybe its the difference of trying to tune the sound out or really tuning in. I know if I'm trying to tune out - it sounds like noise. When I tune into their playing, the mistakes do not stand out as much as the beautiful music they are learning!

  3. Thanks, Sherral & Tamara. With 3 in lessons the sound-time is adding up. 2+ hours a day! Eep.

  4. Ugh, I so feel that no sugar thing with you. I actually like editing (within reason). It's sooo much harder for me to create something from scratch than to tweak (or even completely overhaul) something that already exists. I do eventually get to the point where I'm ready to throw the computer at the wall. That's when I know I'm ready to submit!!! : )


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