These days, though, it’s time for you and you and you and you.
I never thought I’d be the mom who sacrificed beyond her boundaries, but then I had three kids and a job and another job and a few dozen animals and voila: it’s all about comfort waistbands and glasses of wine desperately sipped in between shampooing boys’ heads and rescuing the hamburgers from certain death by too-high heat.
So what’s my solution? Take piano lessons. Because nothing says give back to self like signing up for an activity, one that has to be practiced every day. I have to practice every day because, it turns out, I have zero talent in the piano department. If I don’t practice I actually get worse than I was the week before. That’s some strange physics.
But I love it. I love it like I love writing, only it’s a teensy bit better because no one is ever, ever going to pay me to play the piano for them and so there’s no commercial pressure to improve, to get bigger gigs, to mail the invoices. It’s just me in a room with a piano. And a bunch of toys, and usually a kid or two who have to be bribed with skittles. Just me, plunking out almost recognizable melodies. Feeling, for half an hour, completely myself. Here I am, sincerely apologizing for every time I rolled my eyes at the headlines on the cover of women’s magazines that urged me to Treat Yourself To Twenty Minutes Alone or Take a Mini Vacation in Your Bathtub! None of those editors ever suggested Take Piano Lessons, but they should. All those carefully timed notes are weirdly freeing.