The Learning List

Last week while walking my usual route into work, I heard flute music. Take 5, to be exact, the notes floating up from the underground bus tunnel. I slowed down to listen, for two reasons:

1) Flute music in downtown Seattle is pretty unusual. We have guitars, saxophones, bucket drums, saw violins and some guy who plays what appears to be a sort of Vietnamese lute. But flutes just don’t seem to happen.

2) I played the flute for seven years, and Take 5 was my song. Not to toot my own horn (to mix musical instruments), but I was a damn good flute player. I was almost always first or second chair — and on Take 5, I always got the starring role. That song was so much fun to play.

Hearing it unexpectedly, downtown — well, it made me want to pick up the flute again. And then I realized, damn, there are a lot of things I want to learn or re-learn or experience and I just never get around to doing them.

So here’s the thought: by typing them up, and putting them out there, I’ll actually get down to business and do some of these things:

  • Pick up the flute again. Get good again.
  • Learn how to draw. I always like to think of myself as a decent drawer, but when I sit down to do it… no. No, this is just not a factual statement. BUT! With practice, I could make it happen.
  • Random, and not really learning, but — go get a tarot card reading. I don’t care what anyone says IT SOUNDS LIKE SO MUCH FUN.
  • Learn how to drive stick shift. This just seems like a good life skillz.
  • On another musical note — re-learn how to play the guitar. I took lessons one summer and really enjoyed it. Why did I stop?
  • Learn how to write a strong, sharp short story. There’s definitely a specific skill set there.
  • Get re-certified in scuba diving. Jacques Cousteau said Puget Sound was his second favorite place to dive in the world — AND I LIVE HERE. I’m missing out!

I’m sure there are others that could be added to this list, but those are the ones that get stuck in my head like a catchy pop song. And you know what ? Most of those items are things that I could accomplish within my own home — simply by sitting down, getting out the flute or guitar or pen or colored pencils and just doing it. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill — and really, I don’t want to be a master at any of these. I just want to be able to do them. But it starts the same way — clockin’ in the practice hours.

And you? Anything you want the Universe and Internetz to hold you accountable to?

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