Lessons from Learning to Play Guitar after 50

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Lessons from Learning to Play Guitar after 50

July 08, 2023 - 01:53
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Seven months ago, right around the time I turned 51, as I contemplated that our 25th wedding anniversary was coming in 2023, I got the hair-brained idea to learn how to play the song we danced to at our wedding. In my mind, I imagined the look on my wife’s face as I strummed along to Tim McGraw's, "It's Your Love." A sweet song about how love can change a person for the better: certainly appropriate for the occasion. Inspired by the love for my wife and motivated by the possibility of delighting her with this song, I began the grueling journey to learn how to play a guitar in secret so that I could surprise her with this gift.

Here are a few things I learned along the way:
LESSON ONE: Keeping a secret like this is REALLY difficult. The idea festered in my mind for only a couple of days before I had to reach out to my adult children to conspire with them and get their help to keep me accountable for completing the ‘secret project.’ I even discussed it with friends at the office who also helped keep me going. But keeping it a secret from my wife, my very best friend, was extremely difficult. There were so many times when we were listening to the radio together and a song would come on that sounded like one I might actually be able to play and I so badly wanted to share that with her.

LESSON TWO: Learning guitar literally hurts. All of my learning was done virtually through online videos and mobile apps. The beginner lessons warned that finger pain was real and it was HIGHLY recommended that beginners pace themselves and be smart about taking it in little chunks of time as the fingers toughened up. They were so right! The first few weeks were really painful but with slow, steady progress, my fingers did toughen up and stretch out enough to properly depress the strings in a way that started to sound right.

LESSON THREE: If you dedicate 30-minutes per day and STICK TO IT you can accomplish anything over time. This is so powerful and it is the primary reason why I am sharing this experience with all of you. Some of my Coulee Conservative friends have expressed to me that they feel overwhelmed by the situation our nation finds itself in today. It feels like the woke forces of evil are winning all the important battles and our nation is lost. I am here to tell you that is only going to be the case if you surrender. Here are a couple of quotes to give you courage:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

“The victor is not victorious if the vanquished does not consider himself so”

The woke mob wants you to give up and surrender so they can claim victory. Don’t give it to them! Instead, dedicate just 30-minutes per day in the fight for freedom and our traditional American values. Spend 30-minutes studying your Bible and drafting opinion letters for us to publish here at CouleeConservatives.com, or volunteering for the campaign of a candidate who shares our values. Or, any other activity that helps the cause of restoring Liberty. Just do SOMETHING on a regular cadence and, over time, results will come.

LESSON FOUR: Patience is a wonderful blessing from our Heavenly Father. Cherish that blessing by being patient with yourself too. This is the final lesson that comes to mind. Along the journey of learning guitar I made more mistakes and fumbled around the instrument more than you can possibly imagine. I was tempted almost on a weekly basis to throw it away and just admit defeat due to my impatience. I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t learning fast enough. I’m too old for this kind of thing. Satan kept whispering those ideas in my ear and I nearly succumbed. Be patient with yourself. I had to ‘embrace the suck’ and push through the hard times, patiently telling myself that I would eventually start to see improvement. And I did.

On mother’s day weekend this year my oldest confirmed to me that I had graduated from ‘terrible’ to ‘bad’ so I took that as my queue to reveal the secret to my wife. I’m certainly no Joe Satriani but it was at least discernible music to my wife and she was overjoyed. I will continue to practice and improve even more over the many months and years that we have together. I pledge to cotinunue to practice reading God's word on a regular basis, practice guitar regularly, and participate in activities to uphold and strengthen our traditional American values, and I pray you can have the same kind of joy in your efforts too.

P.S. Another added benefit that just occurred to me as I edit and review my rough draft of this article is the blessing that these lessons help to pass on to my adult children...

LESSON FIVE: You are never too old to learn something new. Youth is in your heart. Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep studying God's word and growing in your understanding of what He wants your life to mean.

If this inspired you then please drop a note below and share with the team here. We'd all love to hear your perspective on these ideas and we welcome anonymous comments.

There is 1 Comment

Sad, because now Chris will be on the concert circuit with Tim McGraw, and I will miss him.

To add a comment on the entire article, it is all interesting, and I will never give up. When I see the lives we have in America, the freedom, and stability, I am thankful. I have worked hard raising my children, and I will continue to fight for what the great founders of America gave us. It is so little to ask.

The agenda we are fighting is having so much fun tormenting the decent people of America, they have never had anything in the past that was so successful, and the media is making their goal seem worthy. I guess fighting evil is and has always been a challenge.

It never ceases to amaze me that an atheist will go to great lengths to try and convince the rest of us, that he is right and we are wrong. For example, I don't believe in ghosts, I have never seen one, I keep an open mind, but I don't for one second try to convince people they don't exist!

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