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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Yep, Resolutions Shared

Well it's a good thing daily blogging wasn't on my resolutions list. I would hate to be one of those people who drops the ball by day three!

Last year I developed a rather grinchy attitude and blew off the resolutions even though I tend to have pretty good luck with them. I've always found the new year a good excuse to align my focus. Of course, I find the change of season a good excuse, as well, so maybe I am just a person always looking for a way to improve my focus.

Anyway, I started thinking about goals this year and got pretty excited about it, but then came up with what was basically a set of affirmations. All positive and good, but not necessarily resulting in much more than a positive attitude. Then the family had a little meeting and the kids set up some goals for themselves that were truly inspirational. With this as a boost, I went back and created some specific goals for myself.

1) I'm going to learn to play Hungarian Rhapsody on the keyboard. (My daughter says Bohemian Rhapsody would be cooler, but I'm sticking with Hungary). 

A little backstory... I took piano lessons from the first through the sixth grades. I loved listening to my sister play the piano when I was a kid. (One of my favorite songs that she played was Hungarian Rhapsody). I loved tinkering on the piano when I was little. I'm not going to say I had a particular ear for music, but I learned a lot by just listening and playing. Then I started taking lessons and I grew to hate the piano. But my mother wouldn't let me quit. I was very slow to progress. In all those years, I managed only to get close to the end of the 2nd level piano book and I devised all sorts of schemes to fake practice. (One time my mother covered the entire set of piano keys in scotch tape. She asked me every night when she got home if I had practiced--cause I had faithfully written my "minutes" in my practice book--and I always declared that I had. At the end of the week she took me to the piano and asked me to explain how I had practiced all week without disturbing the scotch tape!)

In the sixth grade, I started begging my mother to let me quit. She finally said that I could be done with piano lessons if I learned to play The Entertainer. I took the music to my piano teacher and she told me I was not advanced enough to play the song. So I continued "not advancing" through her lessons and taught myself The Entertainer, line by line. To this day, I can play that song without looking at any sheet music. If people hear me play that song, they are usually surprised to learn that I can't play much of anything else.

Anyway, Hungarian Rhapsody was a song I always loved and about 15 years ago, I asked my sister to send me the sheet music, which she did. I've played with it on and off and can get through a few measures of it. This year, I'm going to take the line by line approach and learn to play it myself.

2) I'm going to walk and ride 520 miles this year. That's not much, really. 10 miles a week. If I get on the bike anything like I did last spring and summer, I should be able to make that in well under half a year. I guess I mostly want to keep track and see how many miles I go, but I made it a resolution just because.

3) I want to do a back bend again. This one is actually a little scary considering all the back issues I have had in the last many years. But I feel like I've turned a corner with my post-fall-down-the-stairs issues and now I really want to regain some of my upper body strength and flexibility. I'm taking this one slow... one day at a time. We'll see how it goes.


Anonymous said...

It is so sad that I am of the age that the back bend, for me, seems the most difficult to achieve. (and I've never even played the piano before.)

BS said...

Hungarian Rapsody, go for it!
Wonder if I can still play it.
It was my one song like yours.
Always dreamed of playing for
a group but could never tackle
a steady beat. Well I did play
for a band in college, faked my
way pretty good.

Anonymous said...

I always thought it would be so cool to play piano. Had an old upright, but not the opportunity for lessons. My paternal grandmother played, and she gave me an old hymnal that was English from one side and German from the other. From that I learned to pick my way through a few of my favorites, but never actually learned to play. Opa, however, can still play one song he learned in his lessons as a child. I'll be in your corner cheering! Grouchygma