Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Not So Secret Life

Do you ever feel like your real life and your internet life are separate? I do. There are things I talk about to people in person, things I talk about to people on the internet, and then there are the things I hardly ever talk about, even though they're part of my everyday life.

On the internet, I mostly talk about books and writing.

In real life, I spend a lot of time trying to convince kids (whether they're my own or the ones I teach) that they want to do their schoolwork. I teach three to five year olds, so the amount of time they actually spend learning to read or write is minimal compared to the time we spend on other activities. Really, it's a job that's as fun as you dare to make it.

Or I'm showing older kids drills that (if practiced) will improve their chances of putting a soccer ball where they want it to go. Our team only has one more game to go. We've won two, lost two, and tied two. I'm competitive enough that I'd love to see them win their last game, especially at the middle school level, but not as much as I'd love to see everyone on the team score a goal. It's such a boost for their confidence. I only have one child left who hasn't scored that goal. I know she can do it. She scores in practice, every week. But I can't score that goal for her. All I can do is teach her and do my best to make sure she's in the right place.

And now we're to the secret. Around the end of August, I started taking piano lessons. My nine-year-old had been wanting to take them, so he and I started taking them at the same time. I enjoy it. I'm not sure why I don't talk about it. I like practicing, but I've noticed that if I don't practice fairly early in the day, it doesn't happen. I get too busy. This usually only happens about once a week.

But it's made me wonder if leaving writing until the end of the day is such a great idea. If I wrote earlier in the day, I could still write at night. Some nights, my brain is too tired. Of course, that's true of some mornings as well, but I'm going to switch things up a bit and see if I can't get more done.

After all, the end of soccer season ought to free up time for things like housework and watching singers in elephant costumes ride unicycles. ;)

Seriously though, if I don't make time to practice skills that are important to me, I won't improve at the rate I want to. I'm still learning how to write stories.


  1. You are so funny! I talked about the piano last month! Way to go on taking lessons, what fun! I will someday get a piano.

  2. Oh yes my lives are quite separate like this. Which is why i can get so sucked into the internet. I like that better than my real life LOL, except for the writing part of course. But not really because I should be writing now, it's on my schedule and instead I'm blog hopping.

  3. I'm the same way. I hardly have anyone in my daily life to talk writing or books with- so that goes on the blog. Day to day is talking to kids 7 and under.

  4. Interesting post, Myrna. Wednesday is my day off from work, so I wrote for two hours this morning. Yay! It felt wonderful. No internet, no interruptions. Normally, though, evening is the only time I can write. I'm sure I'd get more accomplished if I wasn't so tired.

    As for different lives, well, I'm a bookseller, so my life is all about books, and I work with a couple of people who are aspiring writers also. But when I'm home with my husband and younger son, we don't talk about books and writing at all. They're not really readers. When my older son is home for holidays, we talk nonstop about books and writing.

    Good luck with the piano lessons! I took lessons when I was young. When I got married, and no longer had access to a piano, my fingers used to itch to play. But I could only play when I visited my parents. Then I finally bought my own piano... and now I don't play anymore. Wonder what the lesson is in that?

  5. I know, Maile. I almost said something, but for some reason I've felt shy about sharing this. I hope you do get your piano.

    Karen, I do the same thing.

    Mine are getting older, Melanie, but my youngest is the same age as the ones I teach.

    Joanne, I'm glad you got those two hours in today. Two hours is just about the perfect amount of time for me, if I can get it without interruptions. Unfortunately, my youngest two interrupt a lot.

  6. Awesome that you're taking piano. I can totally relate to not sharing everything going on in life on the Internet.

    I'm too tired too at night to write. And until swim season ends, which thankfully is soon, in the morning. But that's when I get the most done.

  7. Since my kids are grown and I have a lot of free time, my blog and my life are pretty much one and the same.


  8. Oh man...that is so wonderful that you are taking piano lessons. I've been wanting to get back to that for a long long time now. Used to play in high school but stopped. My life life is much more than internet books and writing, too. Grandma, librarian, book clubs (er, okay that is book stuff, lol), but I do know what you mean!

  9. So true. My whole writing/blogging/internet life is separate from my other life. It's not bad that it is, it just IS how it is. Writers get that 'sitting at the computer' is how a writer writes. :-) This is a cool post, Myrna. Thank you.

  10. "it's a job that's as fun as you dare to make it": I love that philosophy! My son's prek teacher subscribes to that too.

    We should start texting or emailing eachother early in the morning to encourage us both to be up and writing. Best of luck, Myrna!

  11. oooh you will have to give us a piano performance!!

  12. I'm a morning writer, Myrna--as I am a morning person. If I had to write at night, I'd just have the keyboard letters imprinted on my forehead from faceplanting on the keyboard.

    It was nice to see what else you do in your life. Good luck with the piano lessons!

    Never in a million years would I have expected that strange video for Paradise! It's been getting a lot of airplay (and I have been singing it, as it is catchy.) My 5-year-old begged me to stop. But he's just seen the video and, as he loves elephants, it's his new favorite song.

  13. Oh, fun! I took piano lessons for ten years--the first few were because my mother forced me. I started in the first grade, and I threw a lot of tantrums about having to practice. I hope you're having fun with the lessons :) And it's interesting to hear about your teaching job and soccer coaching. And you are probably right about the morning being a better time to do things like practice and write. For my Senior Thesis class for my art major, we're supposed to write three pages of whatever comes to our minds every day. I've found that if I don't do it in the morning, I have a really difficult time writing even one page. I've found that the Pages are most helpful, though, right before I go to the studio, because they give me a chance to unload non-art things and generate ideas. Also, thanks for the elephant video!

  14. Yeah, Natalie, that's how I feel during soccer season, but it just ended. We had our last game on Saturday.

    I've noticed you share a lot, Sue. It's one of the things that drew me to your blog.

    Deb, I didn't know you were a grandma. Isn't funny how we assume people are closer to our age than they are?

    You're welcome, Barbara!

    That's a good idea, Jackee!

    Niki, my daughter plays the piano better than I do. :o)

    And I'm a night person, Michael. For whatever reason, that's always been when my brain wakes up. It also makes me a bit of an insomniac. I love that you've been singing Paradise so much that your son asked you to stop. Too funny. My four-year-old loves the elephants in the video too.

    Sarah, for one of my writing classes, we had to write down whatever we were dreaming about when we woke up. Fascinating and disturbing. It did generate writing ideas though.

  15. That's actually really interesting. I was just thinking about that the other day -- my "Internet self" is so disparate from my real self; I only wish I could be half as eloquent in real life as I am in writing. :)

    And oh, I completely agree with you about the piano -- I've been playing for about 8 years, and I still find myself too "busy" to find the time to practice. (Or that just might be my lazy excuse.)

  16. Maya, if you've been playing for 8 years, you're probably amazing. Do you think it helps you with your poetry?