This question is another goodie. If you answer it, you thereby admit to probably “should be doing more of it.” For me, I’m teaching Dante guitar so we’re practicing together (he’s just building up his fingertip calluses), trying to run more than 15 minutes without wanting a walking break, and this blog series is practice daily writing. And of course I try to practice my faith – mostly in prayer and listening to Christian music – which doubles as language practice when I listen to music in Bahasa Malaysia.
When Dante and I are feeling down, or just antsy, or frustrated, we each have a go-to list entitled “Things that I feel better after doing.” We made the list when we were in a *good* mood. And you know, the hardest thing when we’re down is mustering the strength to just look at the list. Because we know if we look at it we will find things we want to do, and we won’t be down anymore, and we don’t think we have the energy for that. It’s nonsensical, but very real.
Practicing is hard. It means commitment, focus, energy, time management, and knowledge of self. Practicing is really hard. But this question reminds us that we are often doing what we love. It takes the sting or the delay out of starting what we’re practicing.
It is said that in our world, where many people work at jobs that don’t create a finished project, we need to do something each day with a tangible outcome. Woodworking, sketching, and cooking are options. I also include things that are tangible if not lasting – giving a massage, playing an instrument, having a 30-second dance party. Whatever lets you create something wonderful without demanding that that thing be perfect. Find something that you love to practice, and know what you will feel better after doing. Those are your “start” buttons.