Monday, January 6, 2014

Practice. Process. Resolutions.

I can hear Roommate1 practice the piano downstairs. (It'd be near impossible to *not* hear her!) Initially I feel annoyed with the repetitions of phrases as she works through the music, but boy does she have stamina to keep at it! It isn't pretty (yet!) but she's doing what she needs to do to get the pieces together and that impresses me.

I keep wondering how she gets herself to set down and start practicing, especially when it starts like this. One of the hardest things for me to do is to **start** hard projects.

Once I'm in the middle of a project or task, I find it less challenging to keep at it. Once my running clothes are on and I'm out the door, I'm unlikely to give up. Once my

Maybe that's what I need to practice: starting.

Anne wrote recently about working towards a process, not towards a specific goal. She had greater success trying to walk 10,000 steps a day than with going one full pull-up.

This focus on process reminded me of what I like about running: the process. I don't train so that I can race. I race so that I can train. It's the process and while the goal is nice it's not the point. I like small, iterative tasks (hello, crochet!) because it's nice to see something done and is often mindless, two things I greatly appreciate in my line of work.

I haven't written any New Year's Resolutions for 2014.

Partly out of fear of failure.
Partly because I don't want to shift my focus from completing my dissertation.
Partly because I'm not sure what I want to work on.

My savings goals are automated and I've built an ongoing community around running, so those two will continue until I can re-evaluate post-grad school. Other things I want to do/begin are slated for my summer of intentional unemployment.

2013 seemed to be a lot about becoming aware of what I want and learning to ask for what I want. This also meant a lot of moving away from what I didn't want.

2014 could be about focus, or practice, or celebration, or hope. Stay tuned?

1 comment:

  1. I forget where I heard it, but a recommendation I've heard for practicing the piano more is to give yourself the daily/weekly/whatever task of touching the keys. If you touch the keys, you're likely to start playing. Maybe this can be adapted for other things you have trouble starting.