May 24, 2013
By Beckie Carlson
Mr. Matthews was an amazing band teacher. No, he wasn't my teacher, he was my kids' teacher in Junior High. He was fun, engaging, and knowledgeable. He told a daily joke, usually a "yo mamma" joke, which the kids would bring home to me...their 'mamma.' He made band fun. Kids that normally wouldn't dream of setting foot in a band room, were lining up to be a part of his posse.
When a student reached the sixth grade in our school district, they all went on a 'field trip' to the Junior High for Band Day. Mr. Matthews had every kid try every instrument, whether they were interested in playing it or not. Students that already played each instrument were there to listen and take notes on the instrument trials. It was a pretty cool process. After the kids all got their 'scores,' Mr. Matthews would talk to them individually about what they played well. His theory was, if an instrument is easy for you to play, it might be the one you want to focus on. Even if you dreamed your entire life about being a world renown tuba player....if playing the oboe came easier...pick that one. He told the kids they could play whatever they wanted, but getting good at something that came easy as opposed to something that was hard....well, it was just easier! It made a lot of sense to me then, and it makes sense to me now.
Some things in life are just easier for us than others. I wanted to be an accountant when I first started college.....many years ago. Unfortunately, after a couple attempts, I figured out I really sucked at accounting. I could have beat my head against the wall for years, determined to be an accountant, damn it, but I didn't. I changed my path and tried different things til I found something that was easier. That happened to be getting married and raising six kids for a couple decades, but whatever. Now that I am back at school, learning to be a teacher has been easy for me. I could have gone into medical stuff...but, that would not have been easy simply because I hate sick people. (sorry...)
Other things in my life have shown themselves worthy of my time because they came easy to me. I can talk about most anything like I am an authority, I can make almost anything that requires a glue gun, I can do almost any household repair using a table knife and tweezers, and I'm reeeal good at putting homework off til the last minute while I update my blog.
There have been things in my life that I may have really wanted to do, that I really had a driving urge or desire to make work, but were as far from the easy side of the scale as the side borders of Texas are to each other. Those things have been and are being purged. Those things are not worth my time and energy. Life isn't about being miserable all the time as we stretch ourselves to reach unrealistic and hard goals. Yes, I believe in stretching and bettering myself, but....I don't think we need to kill our selves, our passion, or our spirit to do so. I've found a happy place....an easy place....and I'm staying. Cause I said so.
Photo credit: http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Boy-Sleeping-in-Tuba-Art-Print-Poster-Posters_i8756939_.htm