My dad, you know, was kind of a Horatio Alger character, well, a Horatio Alger character who was an alcoholic and could never hold a job, which I guess is not a Horatio Alger character, but you know what I mean, always drunkenly promoting hard work and education:
6. Learn Something New
“I started taking beginner piano lessons at age 26 so I could schedule time away from my computer. Now I know that my Tuesday and Thursday evenings are piano nights. I’m paying money to be there, so you better believe I’ll be shutting off my work to get there.” -Allie Siarto, Loudpixel
But if you were thinking I was going to say that you should take piano lessons to help master your derby-life balance, nooo. No no no.
I can't say it enough: NO PIANO LESSONS until you've slept and eaten and stretched.
To be fair, the above was not meant to say that you need piano lessons to balance out derby. Derby is already balancing out something, derby is piano lessons. Only it's more like these bitches are trying to kill me, so you better believe I'm shutting off my work when I'm there. Which is really what I love derby for, shutting everything else out. Working out at the gym never worked like this for me, geez, all you ever do on a treadmill is think about everything. There's just no room to think about anything else when you're playing derby, you have to be thinking about where their jammer is and where your jammer is and where's your partner and who's got the line and who to get out of your jammer's way and who wants to get you out of their jammer's way. Which is not really a calming experience when it's going on, but you realize when it's over that for two hours you completely stopped thinking about That Thing that you can't stop thinking about and that was, actually, a moment of calm.
But also, you know, you tend to normalize whatever experience that you're having, so after a while you get used to the crazy fact that you play roller derby, and then what? Myra thinks that people come to derby sometimes to plug a hole in their lives, which checks out with me and with this whole Roller Derby Saved My Soul trope that you see around. Like I started ice skating when I broke up with my fiance and started roller derby when I got divorced, right? I was talking with my shoalmates about this and relationships, but it could just as well be derby; people look to derby to plug holes that will ultimately only be mended with something else. Whatever rent your parents made in your psyche, so that your bucket again holds water. So in this metaphor, your psyche is a bucket, which your parents made a hole in, and you're looking to derby to mend that hole, but derby is the water.
If you're having relationship problems, put "relationships" in place of "derby" which was how I originally wrote it. Though if you already knew that relationships are the water and thought that derby was how you were mending the bucket, sorry about that. Derby is also water. But also because life is life and life goes on, you don't have to do it all in order, i.e., figure out what you're supposed to mend your bucket with, then mend your bucket, then fill it with water. You can be in the bottom of the bucket trying to fix the hole while water is pouring down, like Sissy Spacek in The River. DRAMZ.
But my point is if you're doing derby and you're thinking piano lessons when you haven't slept or eaten or stretched, maybe see about your bucket.