This morning I was reminded just how important the attitude I bring to the guitar can be. I got in a bit of a kerfuffle with my bonus mom this morning who is an absolute control freak and will not endure her dog to be disciplined even when said beastie snaps and growls. I am a huge fan of the dog training I learned through the Monks of New Skete, and got very wolfie with Oliver. I don’t hit dogs, it’s both wrong headed and ineffective. But I do believe in doggie discipline and I put him on his back, growled and asked Ermy and the rest of her staff to ignore the dog for 45 minutes, basically a doggie timeout. Not only did she totally ignore that she heaped affections him, basically reinforcing his behavior. Needless to say I wasn’t happy.
I’m not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to play the guitar at that point, but it is my sanctuary, especially during these family visits. But man, even though my body and hands were feeling better than they have in a couple of week I sucked. I rushed everything, was sloppy as hell, and even spaced out parts of pieces I’ve been playing for 25 years. It was ugly.
And then I took a deep breath, put the guitar down for a bit and collected myself. This was at about the 45 minute mark of my session. I was bound and determined to get through this. I calmed myself, relaxed and played the last 3 or 4 tunes well. Not spectacularly, but I didn’t rush and played with dynamics for about 20 minutes. I can’t say that it was fun, but it was satisfying to work through it.
I’m not sure if I’ll have a chance to play again today. It’s my Dad’s 90th and there’s a big party and then packing to fly home tomorrow. But if I do play, I can guarantee you I’ll have a better attitude or I won’t play at all.
Because IMHO playing with a bad attitude is worse than not playing.