Not something I do often and I'm still feeling a bit funny about it.
It had been my New Year's Resolution in 2014 to learn to play the bagpipes. I have been learning for 2 years now.
Well, I had been until last week.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I play a few musical instruments but this was the hardest I have ever attempted.
I spent 12 months on the practice chanter before I got unleashed on the pipes.
I gave it a go but last week I realised I had to give it up.
Or indefinitely suspend input of time and energy in this endeavour.
Maybe I'll come back to the pipes one day.
What have I learned?
Reflecting on this experience I have learnt a few things:
1. I can't do everything. Thought I could. Must have been mistaken. My resources of time, commitment, patience, enthusiasm etc are finite.
2. It doesn't feel totally satisfying to quit something. In fact, I was a bit disoriented. I can no longer think of myself as a "student of the bagpipes" - I am now "a former dabbler in the noble pipes".
3. My family is probably celebrating the peace and quiet.
4. It's not that big a deal - it was only the bagpipes.
5. It's okay to quit sometimes. It doesn't make me a loser. In fact, maybe there's a bit of "growth mindset" here for me.
6. There are some positives in giving up - it reduces my stress levels, gives me back some precious time and opens up a few possibilities for the future. I wonder how the family would feel about trumpet lessons?