Practice Makes Perfect…and Annoys Friends and Family


Writing this blog is good practice for me. I aspire to write more. One of the purposes of going back to school has been to investigate areas of interest that have been neglected and to maybe zero in on things my husband and I would like to study more in-depth. In the process, I write about things that interest me. I write about current events and science and scripture. I write about education and efficiency and art and music. As a blogger, of course you want somebody to read what you write. So, you might share your blog with friends and family and even Facebook friends. This can be annoying. Other writers get it. Other bloggers understand. Facebook friends maybe not so much if you have your WordPress account linked to your Facebook Timeline. How would it go if I posted my piano practices? OR how about my opera singing practice? Can you imagine people not liking that? I can! It doesn’t always go over well when I am practicing Porgi Amor during Monday Night Football. Other musicians get it. If I merely hum within earshot of my older son, he heads for the piano. We’ll have an impromptu jam session going in no time. The neighbors mentioned hearing the music one time. They were cordial about it. So, my husband is very diligent about making sure we keep all music during normal business hours.

Practice of anything for me is at its highest quality when I am absorbed with hypnotic devotion. This is difficult to achieve. I remember when I was about 13-14, I learned the joys of running. I was training with my mom and brother for a 10k and went out each evening with them to run around a low-traffic circular turnaround in a nearby subdivision. After weeks of this I discovered that sweet-spot, the runners high, legs pumping effortlessly as the endorphins flowed and time seemed suspended indefinitely. I’ve experienced this in prayer, while singing, while reading, while drawing, while writing, while cooking and driving. The common thread in all of these is that I was completely alone in my pursuit, in complete harmony with God or complete harmony with those around me…uninterrupted.

How difficult is it to sustain an activity uninterrupted in this culture at large and the local one we create ourselves? When I was about 19, I went away to camp at a place with no modern conveniences. It had conveniences, but they were un-electrified. The conveniences were innovative, but they required preparation to access them. Everyone had to participate. Everyone shared the load. And it was a Christian camp where every morning we went off to our respective places alone for quiet time after breakfast and every day was spent playing games together and learning. Every night we shared worship together. Coming back to reality was a rude awakening. I was in camp mode and I remember someone being angry at me as soon as I arrived back home. This is the way it feels when I am practicing and I’m emoting in one way or another and I have to pipe down or speak up, or do the impossible, like process a question and give a intelligent answer. I’ve heard people call it ‘being in the zone’. I like that. Psychologist, Dr. Martin Seligman, calls it “flow”. He contrasts it with pleasure, where you are feeling what is around you. Whereas flow is being detached from the environment and being completely engrossed in what you are doing.

Currently, I need to stop blogging and get in the ‘zone’ of my psychology homework.


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