Originally, I had assumed I’d only take on a new project after I finished one. And then my doctor sentenced me to six weeks in a walking boot to heal a stress fracture (that I had made significantly worse by “working through the pain” for several months). I’m taking my recovery seriously – better six weeks of no activity (even if it’s the absolute best six weeks of the year to be a Chicagoan) than several more months of pain, or possible injury beyond repair.
As one of my most significant hobbies has been dance and dance-fitness, I now have an overwhelming amount of free time available. I love to read and I have been doing so much reading and writing – but my brain needs a break. From the written word, at least. (I have not given up on Summer of Austen! I’m starting Sense and Sensibility on my flight to Boston tomorrow night.)
I don’t want to get too carried away with overlapping projects – and I realize not every undertaking in my life is a “project,” but this one is worthy. Project Ukulele. Tonight, I will take my first ukulele class, really my first music class since compulsory elementary classes. The extent of my musical instrument experience is a four-month stint with the violin at age ten and the permanently etched memory of how to play “Mary had a Little Lamb” (3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3…).
I was going to write in this paragraph about how nervous I am. But I’m really not. I watched some YouTube videos last night and practiced the basic chords. I have no doubt that the instructor and other participants will be lovely, welcoming people. (I’m taking the class through Dabble, a lovely Chicago start-up.) And if it doesn’t go well, if I can’t play the ukulele even after hours and hours of practice? All I’ve lost is somewhere around $60 and some time – worse things have happened.
Project Ukulele has a specific goal: “Moon River.” (You recreate your favorite movie scenes and I’ll recreate mine.)
It’s not an overly ambitious goal, and I might not-so-secretly hope I can master the song in something closer to a month. But it’s so new to me, I have no idea!
I make no promises for the quality of my singing though. Here’s a sneak peek (ha, kidding – she’s fantastic.)