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  • Writer's pictureRobert Norton

Recovering from creativity deficit

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

About six years ago, I spent a beautiful Fall evening with my friend Eric, a lifelong musical hobbyist. At the time, my musical pursuits had long dried up, my days of choir and musical theatre reduced to pictures in high school scrapbooks.

That night, I asked Eric to play for me, and we sat on his back porch with his guitar and an anthology of Beatles songs. We sang for hours, and I'd venture to bet it was the latest I had stayed up in years. I felt alive.

On the car ride home, I told my husband that I wanted to buy a ukulele and learn to play. My husband, cynic that he is, told me I'd be better off cutting out a cardboard ukulele, playing it for a few weeks, and then sticking it in the closet to collect dust. It'd be cheaper, he said.

So, of course, I did just that. Here's me playing the classic calypso strum on my cardboard ukulele.

Eventually, I bought a real ukulele and taught myself how to play on YouTube. After a year, I upgraded to a guitar, which ultimately led to songwriting. Later, I auditioned for a choir, my first time in 20 years. And, finally, I started lessons with Jerry, my current voice and piano teacher, who has taken up permanent residence inside my brain, helping me bust through self-imposed limitations, musical and otherwise.

Reconnecting with music gave my "me time" a sense of direction. And while it's sometimes frustrating and occasionally embarrassing, embracing new hobbies unlocked a pathway to a type of creative expression I didn't realize how much I needed.

What are you seeking to amplify in your life? Could a hobby help?


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