Wednesday, September 18, 2013

10,000 Hours

Today was one of those days. I got a little down-in-the-dumps.  It happens.  I had acupuncture and went into such a deep sleep that I forgot where I was.  This after a night where I had a dream with Shelley Long and Bette Davis, whom I don't believe actually appeared together in real life.  The dream, as you might imagine, was incredibly disturbing, even without telling you that Bette Davis at one point replaced her face with a gray and green metal plate made of a speaker like an old speaker phone console while admonishing, "No one ever said it was going to be easy."

Anyhow, after the grogginess of another appointment with my acupuncturist, who told me once again how sensitive and stressed I am (thanks for that information - I live in it, I am aware), I was reading yet another article that referred to Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule of expertise.  It's the theory a la mode apparently, the ice cream that accompanies every slice of humble pie. Since I am trying something new in hopes of turning into into something possibly lucrative at some point (am I being vague enough?), I am a little sensitive to theories of how long it takes to learn something.  10,000 hours is approximately 4.807 years of 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. At my current rate, I would be close to expert by the time I am eligible for AARP.  The date is encroaching - I am currently thinking they have sent mail to me in error. The information did not lighten my mood.

Then I remembered: no one knows anything for certain. There is always a little crack of hope. I'm not even looking for expert; I'm looking for capable. How many hours to perfectly solid and acceptable?

I've been guilty of looking around the web at these "10 things you should _____ to be ____" articles and the like.  Some of them end up discouraging while trying to be encouraging, giving me an excuse to compare myself to someone else's experience.  Reading about Tina Fey's 10 Emmy's by the time she was 40 did not help the mood.  If I'm going for anything, though, I have to go for myself. I'll end up, like everyone before me, charting my own path with the encouragement of others. With their discouragement, too. I can even choose which to listen to.  There's no article telling me the 10 things I should do to be my best self, I can only find that out by exploring. Practicing, and failing.

Does this count toward my 10,000 hours?

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