So today for the first time in twenty years I played the harp in public.
It was a company talent show for which volunteers were eagerly "solicited". For a good cause and all of course, and with fabulous prizes, so I signed up.
I have not been playing the harp as much as I should be. Just got busy, I suppose. But making myself perform put me in a position where I had to do something. So for two weeks, I practiced.
It was harder than I initially thought. I started with three O'Carolan songs that I remembered and was rather diligent to practice them. The three slowly whittled its way down to two, which then became one about ten minutes before I performed.
How did I do? Not terribly by even my own rather critical estimation. There were a couple of moments of blank to be sure, but this was a slow song (Blind Mary) and so I had plenty of time to correct. Applause all around when I was done, and a gift card to boot.
The most important part of the exercise, though, was the fact that I did it. And remembered how much I enjoyed doing it. And how even carving out 30 minutes a day can make a real difference - perhaps not learning songs as fast as I did when I was without children and this was my other hobby, but progress can still be made.
Two points here: the one is that it represents (potentially) another source of income. Not a large one by any stretch of the imagination but something that I am in complete control of and I enjoy doing.
The second, of course, is that it involves entertaining one's self rather than relying on others to entertain you. And that is yet another point of self sufficiency and ichiryo gusoku.