Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Beautifully Rotten Day

You know the old saying, "an elephant never forgets?"  Well here's the good news: I am not an elephant.  The bad news?  I am entering the early stages of dementia at an alarming young age.  

It is Thursday and the weather doesn't know what to do with  itself.  I wake up to sunshine, put on my flip-flops and get ready for a lunch appointment with Randy Kartchner for a little networking. I leave a little early so I can stop at the music store and pick up a Suzuki guitar book for Jackson's lessons.  But about two minutes before I get to the music store, I forget all about it and go on my merry way to my lunch appointment.  On the 40 minute drive, the sky turns black and it rains harder than I've ever seen in my life.  I am cautious to drive slowly and because I had left home so early, I am fine on time . . . OH MERCY.  It finally hits me that I forgot to go to the music store.  Dang.  I'll do it on my way home,  I tell myself.

I arrive at Cafe Rio in Draper early, due to my forgetfulness.  By now it is raining BULLETS.  I take one look at my flip flops, and take a deep breath.  I roll up my jeans, remove the flip flops and run through a football field size parking lot through the hail and into the warmth of the restaurant.  Once I am all dried off, I find a seat and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  No Randy.  I text Randy:  "I'm not sure what you look like Randy," (we have never met), "and in case you don't know what I look like, I have light brown hair just FYI for when you get here."  Not a minute later, the phone rings.  

"Hi . . . Mindy?"  
"Hi Randy, how are you?"
"I'm fine, but hey, our appointment is supposed to be for tomorrow.  Remember?  I'm in Park City right now."
"Well that's just awesome."  I reply, trying to be chipper.

The rest of the day was a mess.  I lost my iphone (for the second time that week) in the flooded parking lot.  Prayed.  Traced my soggy steps.  Found it.  Prayed again that I wasn't losing my mind.  I sat in the car and cried.  I called the doctor and asked if tests could be done for my failing memory.  I did not want the CT scan they recommended.

I was wet, tired, sick, over-scheduled, and disillusioned with life.  It was a rotten day. 

UNTIL . . .

I went to my guitar lesson that evening.

(Yes, I am learning to play the classical guitar.)

I struggled through a very mediocre "Cuckoo."  Then, I moved up another level to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."  My teacher had me play two measures over and over.  By the end of the lesson, I was feeling confident that I could figure out the whole song.  I asked him if I could try and play the whole thing.  Very slowly and with quite a few mistakes and a lot of his help, I made it to the end of "Twinkle Twinkle."  I expected him to say "Way to go!  You did it!"  But he did not.  He laughed and said, "and that is exactly what I am trying to teach you NOT to do!"  

What?  I was confused.  C'mon dude, throw me a bone, I thought.

"In the Suzuki method of guitar, you NEVER try to play the whole song at once.  You take it one little section at a time until that section is perfect.  Then you move on."

I WAS ASTONISHED at this wisdom.  Why isn't Suzuki the method for my whole life?  Why do I keep shooting myself in the foot over and over by trying to do everything all at once?  

Note to self:  My life is not a race.  Master each little section one at a time.  Beautiful.


  1. reminds me of one of my favrite children's books- "Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day".

    Personally, I am horribly forgetful like that when I am A. Hormonal, or B. Pregnant.

    Hope tomorrow is better!

  2. Boy oh boy did I ever need to read that today. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing that. Thank you, thank you, thank you so, so very much.

  3. Your blog is so much fun to read! By the way my wife and I had our baby today. Also how would you like to be a model for an iPhone app? My friends and I are designing an iPhone app and were wondering if you could be a character in it. Also look forward to the concert and maybe the your youngest fan will be there our baby girl Veronica.

  4. so sweet, mindy! yes, beautiful!

  5. Gerb, you are welcome. And I accidentally erased my last post, but I got your comment. Thank you for that too.

    Ambriz Family: Thank you and congratulations! I would be delighted to talk about modeling for your iphone app. Do you work with Michael Alvarez? You can email me more details at

    Heather: I love that book too!

    Amy: Thank you!

  6. Wow... I sooooo needed to hear that today!! Thank you SO much for sharing your wisdom on this!!

  7. I refuse to to accept that excuse. I will overcome.

  8. PS a little air guitar might give you a boost. I'm telling you dude just try it.

  9. Beautiful post! You have a neat way of looking at things and you have a very insightful soul. And a wonderful way with words!

  10. It does run in the an example ...
    when I used to wait tables I would ask someone if they'd like a drink. Then they would tell me what they wanted. I would go in back to get it and lose all memory of the interaction. Then I would go back out and say again, "would you like something to drink?"

  11. HA HA! Well come to think of it. Mom called me the other day, then called twenty minutes later about the same thing and had already forgotten that she just called me. Oh, dear. Am I done for?

  12. Hey Mindy. That is a great post and a great lesson you shared, too! I have always played a song all the way through every time I practice, always messing up at the same points! Last year, I was studying some stuff to prepare myself to teach piano, and I came across this site that detailed a method for getting kids to learn to play. They talked about not only practicing just one little section at a time, but even playing one hand until you've mastered it, then the other, then putting them together, etc.

    It should be totally intuitive, but this was a huge moment for me. Now, when I practice a song, I play the song a few measures at a time, concentrating more on the parts that I trip up on.

    Anyway, looking forward to meeting you at Sammy's tonight. My daughter is your biggest fan! :o)

  13. I have searched for a few days now to try and find the sheet music for "School Thy Feelings" and "Count Your Many Blessings" for my husband's birthday tomorrow. He adores the whole "Always" album and now wants to play them on the piano. Can you help me out?

  14. I too have searched for days trying to find the piano arrangement for "Count Your Many Blessings", but this is for my missionary son and his zone. They sing...alot...for everyone! This is a "must have" for his mission, and since he never asks for anything, I knew it was important. Hope you can help. Keep up the great work! Thanks for sharing your gift and your insights.