Strumming and Writing

I feel like I have two main sets of hobbies. There is reading and writing. Everyone can see how those link up. You read. You read enough, and maybe you want to tell stories yourself. Makes sense in a way. Those skills seem linked.

And the. There are the other two. Writing (again) and strumming. In my case it is strumming the ukulele. Looking back on it, I probably dabbled with both of them as an adult at around the same time, and haven’t really given either enough chance to truly blossom.

On the surface, these two might not seem to have much in common. One is the playing of music, the other is putting words on paper to tell a story. It I’m seeing just how similar they are.

Sure, there can be social aspects to both. But, in many ways the growth of both is done in private. Trying to gain skill, master a phrase can take hours of work for something that feels like it takes only a few seconds to consume.

And, if you are me at least, they can both be a little embarrassing. Sure, I play. But I’m not really that good. I can strum, but have a bad memory for songs. And so many people play better. And you have a full orchestra in your phone so who needs my plunking sounds.

Sure, I write. But I only have one boom out. And it is almost five years old. There is other stuff but it isn’t really ready yet. And you haven’t heard of it and few people buy it so is it really worth mentioning. So many other people write more than I do.

I get embarrassed. I want to increase my skills; to increase my output. I want to stop being embarrassed and be proud of where I am now compared to where I was before. But life holds on. It slows me down.

For both skills I need time. Preferably time alone, somewhere quiet. But I have work and family. Such a treasure as time is hard to come by. There is never enough. And when I do get it, I am so aware of the passing of it that it feels hard to use appropriately.

The clock tells me I have 33 minutes until I need to move. Is that enough? Can I create in that time? What else needs to be done? If I use that time for my hobby, instead of cleaning or grading, am I being selfish?

The clock moves forward. I realize that before I go out I need to change clothes. That takes time as well. I don’t have 33 minutes. Maybe closer to 20. A little more. Is that enough?

Maybe for strumming. Just a little.

But for writing? Sure, I could get started, but is that enough time to find my voice? To really connect with the work so that what I put out has value.

The clock keeps moving. Never enough time.

So I strum and write in private, with never enough time to really feel I am making headway. Just enough time to be aware of how much more I wish I could pay my way with my words (and maybe just relax with my strumming. My delusions only go so far.)

Maybe over the weekend. I say this to both my hobbies, the ones I really care about as I look at my full schedule.

My family is worth it. I wish I had the same sure feeling about my work.

The clock ticks forward.

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