Practicing Practice

February 23, 2021

Growing up, I used to hear “practice makes perfect.” I thought it was dumb.

I still do.

How can anyone reach perfection in anything? To say that if you practice you will reach perfection suggests there will be a time when you can stop practicing. But to incorporate practice into your life regularly is sort of like deciding to eat mostly good-for-you foods most of the time. It's a way of living, not a short term project. Whether we have athletic dreams or creative aspirations or even financial goals, we all must set our minds to the idea of practicing for a lifetime.

Practice to improve yourself.

Practice to learn a skill.

Practice because it’s fun.

Almost everything we do can be looked at as an exercise in practice. (I would like to exclude laundry here and put it under a different category. However, I see how my middle sister has practiced this and has turned it into a beautiful-smelling, wrinkle-free art.)

Let’s look at the opposite of practice. Neither the thesaurus or dictionary stated its antonym, but to me, it is stagnancy.

stagnant: verb

1 a. not flowing in a current     b. stale

2 not advancing or developing

Yep. That about sums it up. If you aren’t practicing, you are becoming stagnant, stale—dry bread, smelly pond, you get the picture.

I wish I could say that practice gets easier, but I don't think it does. Think of an endless set of stairs. At first it is hard because you are out of shape and out of breath, but as you develop stamina, the physical part gets easier. Then, the mental challenge kicks in and you begin to develop the perseverance to just. Keep. At. It. We are all pretty good at finding reasons to stop. Take a break, yes; temporary rests are needed. But stopping completely creates stagnancy. (Phew, and that smells.)

Next time here at the Creative Farm Girl we will talk about the MOST important thing we can practice. (And I will give you a hint: It’s not creativity—though I’d absolutely put it in the top 3.)

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