Sometimes my brain wakes me in the early hours of the morning with an idea that refuses to go away until I write it down.

Yesterday I blogged about backsliding, and how I try to learn from my mistakes and move forward. I included a quote from my primary school teacher about life not being a dress rehearsal and a link to Diana Krall singing ‘Pick yourself up.’ The interesting thing about the clip was that although it’s listed as a live performance it’s actually a rehearsal. The musicians have a discussion at the start of it about how the song begins, and another chat at the end of it about how it all went.

Two things about rehearsal. Hmmm.

The idea that popped into my head last night was about rehearsal and what a great analogy it is for change.

My husband is a full time IT employee and a part time musician. He plays bass in a rock band and acoustic guitar in a cool trio. One of the most frustrating things about performing in a band is the way people make requests as if they are a juke box. There seems to be very little appreciation of all the work that goes into adding a song to their set list. My husband feels tempted to say to them “Sure thing. Just book the band for two months time and we’ll play it for you!”

Apart from agreeing on a song and figuring out how to play it, there are issues around which key is best, which arrangement is best, which tempo is best and often, whether or not it’s sufficiently good to add to the set list even after all that work has been done.

I’d love to be able to play something well enough to be in a band. I’m not interested in the performance side of things but I’d love to be able to rehearse. Plan, do, review, learn, plan, do, review, learn……and around and around again. What a great reminder of how rarely we get anything right the first time.

It’s also a gentle process. Musicians that don’t rehearse well together rarely last as a band. There’s an acceptance of imperfection, mistakes and everyone’s different levels of skill and mastery. It’s not only okay to make mistakes, it’s essential to the process. It’s also about recognising that moment when something glorious happens and it all comes together.

It’s given me a new way of thinking about my efforts to conquer cancer. I’m not backsliding.

I’m rehearsing.


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