Saturday, September 24, 2011

"comparison is the thief of joy"

I love her "foot chart" made of a laminated manilla folder curling around her feet.  
She has been using it for a year now.
It is covered with stickers from different violin activities she has participated in.
A year ago---I anticipated a much different experience than the one she has actually had.
Sophie began violin with a group of 5 other beginning violinists.
They all started with the same footcharts---and "previolins" made from VHS tapes and a ruler.
She was able to move on to a real violin on her 4 year old birthday.
She was SOOOOO excited.

We go to group lesson once a month with the 5 other students.
At the beginning of the group lesson through out this year each of her fellow musicians have earned their twinkle trophy.
She watched each trophy presentation with excitement on her face.
She was truly happy for each recipient and has never even asked me where her trophy is.  
Not even once.
I really do love that about her.
She is content with what she is doing...and for the most part---is content with what others around her are doing.
I on the other hand have felt stress.
It has been so challenging for me to hold back...appreciate where she is and what she is doing...
(she is only four after all)
and to silence the pressure I feel for her to keep up.
It is so hard for me not to compare where the two of us are in violin...with what the group is doing.

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt

Sophie has been learning her Twinkle Variations (5 different variations) over the past year.  
We play them over...and over...again.  She listens to them on her cd and practices them every day.
Some days she plays a few perfectly. 
Other days...hardly any...
and once she played every variation she tried with out a mistake!
The day that she did this she was trying to switch things up for fun.
She decided she would play with her eyes closed.
She stood right in front of me and squeezed her eyes shut.
She played every variation she knows without one single mistake each time she played it.
She has NEVER done that!
I was amazed.

Sometimes we need to close our eyes to everything around us and just play...
we need to silence the opinions of others,
the distractions of what our peers are doing...
and just to be.

Sophie has known that all along...but I am learning more from her than she is from me.


Tebbs Family said...

Wow--inspirational observations! Love the quote too... we'd all do well to remember that daily!

Stueller said...

Beautiful message.. reminds me of what Pres. Uchtdorf said last night at the relief society conference... that we need to stop comparing ourselves and embraces our weaknesses and our strengths. I love coming to your blog, it always reminds me to embrace "everything" around me, thank you!

Alison said...

I used that quote in my talk today. Good stuff.

John and Blakes said...

So sweet. A very important ant reminder for all of us.

Ashley Kate said...

Thanks Carin, I simply love coming here- for so many reasons. I hope you all have a wonderful day! :) xoxo