“I can’t do this!”

Jun 3, 2010 by

My daughter Hannah has been taking piano lessons for about a year and a half now….

Every weekday, she comes home from school, plops herself down on the bench and tries her hardest to play each assigned song “the right way.”  Her words, not mine.

I will listen to her practice as I’m getting dinner prepared, or helping Josie with a puzzle or feeding Cole…and everyday I hear a version of the same thing come out of her mouth:

I can’t do this!

With every encouraging phrase I can think of, I try to convince her that, “Yes, you can.”

A recent day in particular was frustrating for her…not sure why, but I could tell from the sound of her voice and the pounding of the keys that something was a little off.

Gently, I tried to help her…but she is just so impatient.  She wants to learn her songs in her own “timetable”…not taking into consideration that it may take a little longer.

After coming down from her somewhat emotional rain cloud, I watched her try again. And again. And again. Soon she was doing it, quietly singing the words to the song as she played. I in turn quietly sang a prayer of thanks in my heart to my Heavenly Father.

I wonder if we, as women especially, forget that we have no control over how quickly something will come to pass in our lives. That even after we practice over and over and over again…we still may not get the results we want. And I wonder why we’re not more gentle with ourselves.  Why we insist on getting things right “the first time”? It’s in the journey that we find ourselves, right? So why speed it up? So you can start on another journey? This life isn’t a race. Inspired by the poem by Carol Lynn Pearson titled “The Grade” I say this, “We are not being graded on a curve.  There are As enough for all!”

So be gentle with yourself Hannah. You are worth it.

I love you.


  1. Heather L.

    Thank you, Katy!
    I think you’re right — we expect perfection now, when, in God’s plan, perfection is a process.
    Hard to remember sometimes, but this is a great reminder!

  2. Janelle

    Sometimes when I think, “I can’t do this” I don’t even try. I wonder how many things I could do if I just tried them without the expectation of perfection.

  3. Sue

    Hannah is a lucky girl to have such a wise mother.


  4. Heidi

    It is so easy to forget that practice is required for most everything we do, from the day we are born. : )

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