Staying Calibrated


My husband had open heart surgery last month and, with all the doctor appointments preceding the surgery, and a one-month vacation before that in Colorado, I haven’t had time to pick up my hammers and practice.

I have to admit, my hands and hammers have lost some of their calibration. And when people have come over to see my husband and keep him company during his recuperation, they see the hammered dulcimer on its stand in the living room and ask what it is. I explain about the instrument, but inside my head I’m chanting, “Don’t ask me to play! Don’t ask me to play!” But then my sweet hubby will say. “Linda, why don’t you play something for them.” Aaaaarrrrgh!

I need to get my hands and hammers recalibrated. STAT!

But guess what?


The truth is, recalibration is hard work, but that’s exactly why it works. It’s the effort you put in that brings the result you are seeking, putting one foot in front of the other (or in my case, one hammer after another) that makes it work. It’s kind of annoying that I can’t just pick up where I left off, that my return to playing brilliantly (?) isn’t instant. And it’s even more annoying that when I get back up to speed, the results won’t last forever … unless I keep on and keep on and keep on working.

Here are some suggested steps you could take if, like me, you need a bit of recalibration.

  • Acknowledge where you are today.
  • Clarify your priorities, where you want to focus your return to practice.
  • Communicate your goals to a trusted friend, who will keep you accountable.
  • Visualize going even beyond the point at which you were before.
  • Collect new resources … select new material. That always gets my creative juices going
  • Finally, just begin and workworkwork.

The effort we put into practicing more (or starting again, like me) is what will make the recalibration successful. So come on … we've got this! Let’s RECALIBRATE ... but in the meantime, your relationship status may look like this.



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