Always Moving Forward

My ex-husband, Tom, played the guitar. He began playing after High School–taught himself. He was a natural musician as was his father. Going into college, he was a music major. Vocal jazz was his passion. But the thing that is important here is that he began taking finger-picking lessons when he was in his late 20s. This whole idea was absolutely foreign to me. He was a grown-ass adult, an accountant who just loved to play guitar. He didn’t even play in the band at church anymore. But he wanted the routine, the commitment, and the accountability that taking lessons from a guitar teacher gave him.

Around the same time, we were friends with  Bob and Laura. (Tom and Laura worked together.) We went out to eat with them often. But I was always intrigued that Bob just DECIDED one day to play the harmonica. So he went out, bought one, and found a teacher to help him learn. I remember him saying that he practiced all the time, whenever he had a few spare minutes.

I don’t think I ever heard Bob play, but I envied and respected that drive to do something purely for the joy of it–without expectation of performance or monetary gain.

Laura and I decided to take a drawing class once. Unfortunately, we were rotten students, had a hard time concentrating, and giggled too much to really achieve much in the class. I actually found the sketchpad that I used for the class. I paged through the book remembering the practices. In one I drew a face using a grid. I copied a picture that I had turned upside down in another. They weren’t bad, for a beginner.

Now, I find myself really teaching myself new skills–to build “Sidetracked Sisters” and “Lisa Hoffman Coaching”  I’m learning lots of new things…writing and editing copy, making short videos for Instagram, and podcasting (along with all its moving parts). It is so much fun playing around with these things. But, I am goal driven in my pursuit of these new skills.

Always Moving Forward

Here is an image of my dream…

The one thing that I currently want to learn, with no expectation of achievement or profit is playing the ukulele. {Gasp…WHAT?}

Yeah, the ukulele. I bought one about 5 years ago. I bought a tuner. It sat, collecting dust on the piano in my living room. I did watch a couple of free YouTube videos, but I have rarely even strummed the instrument. Around Christmas 2022 I moved it. You can currently find it resting in the corner of the master bedroom closet, beneath/behind my jackets and cool weather vests. 

Always Moving Forward

this is my real ukulele relegated to the corner of my closet

What’s my next step? I guess it’s the same as with any desire. Is this something I really want, or not? Then you either “shit or get off the pot” (not sure who I’m quoting here). 

I did take guitar lessons for about a year back in middle school. But the teacher went too fast and I felt l was struggling. Playing on my own was fun for a while, but I didn’t make much progress that way either. So that instrument sat in the corner of my bedroom for years… just like it currently sits in the corner of my library collecting dust.

I should probably get rid of the guitar. I’ve kept it for the past several years thinking that maybe one of my kids would be interested and pick it up. Nope. 

I’ve read somewhere recently that in order to achieve any goal, you need to 1-Commit to a Goal 2-Make a Pan, 3-Take Action, and 4-Track Progress. It’s not fancy. It doesn’t have a catchy acronym to help you remember the steps. But it makes sense. If you don’t keep moving forward through these steps, you might as well just stop already and give it a rest. Spend your time thinking, dreaming, and investing in something that you do want. Get rid of the dusty guitars in your life.

I guess the question is now, “Am I committed to learning to play the ukulele?

I’ll keep you posted.


Who is Lisa

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