I have fourteen piano students. Many of them do not practice as they should, and invariably they have very good reasons why not. For instance:
"We got a new dog and that took all of our time."
"I was just too tired all the time."
"My mom wouldn't let me."
"I just didn't understand."
"It was just too hot."
"We didn't get home until late."
But this next one was my favorite. The little boy, who is five, began to play his piece and was noticeably fumbling. He kept playing his way through, and in between measures, this was our conversation:
"You didn't practice this song enough, did you?"
"Well, I had to go to the bathroom."
"The whole week?"
"Whoa. That's weird. I've never heard of having to go to the bathroom for an entire week."
"Yeah. I had diarrhea."
"For a week?"
"You're lucky you're not dead. Did you have time to eat?"
"Yeah, but the rest of the time I was going to the bathroom."
"Did you have time to watch TV?"
"Yeah, but then I had to go to the bathroom."
"Were you able to sleep?"
"Yeah, but when I woke up I had to go back to the bathroom."
"This is the weirdest excuse I've ever heard, you know."
And so it was. And meanwhile, Mom was cracking up in the back room listening to this story of her son's intestinal backfiring. No, she said, he wasn't sick in any way. So why go to such lengths to excuse not practicing?
Well, probably the same reason I go to such lengths to excuse myself from not doing any number of things that I know I should be doing. Exercising, cleaning the bathrooms, writing a letter to my grandmothers, playing with my children more, finishing that article, reading my scriptures, eating carrots instead of cookies, you get the idea.
'cause I'm too tired.
'cause the noise would wake up the baby.
'cause I can't find a pen.
'cause it's too hot.
'cause I'm upstairs and my scriptures are downstairs.
But the truth would be that because right now I'm feeling like a lazy procrastinator who'd rather do fun things than dutiful things and. . . (now we're getting to the heart of things!)
I don't feel like it!
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