A humble secret for a happy life
This summer has been especially hot, and the fever of excitement from watching the Olympic Games has spread around the country. Many of us stay up late or wake up early to cheer for Korean athletes, and their performance and outstanding results more than make up for any lack of sleep.
After days of immersion, we may feel dispirited when the Games end.
But I have something else to be passionate about: the drums. I have been playing for four years, and although I am still a novice, people say I’m getting better. At first, drumsticks looked like chopsticks, and the drums seemed like pots and pans. Now I’m starting to look like a drummer.
However, playing is still a challenge, and I often miss a beat when the drum has to lead other instruments. Sometimes, I get so excited when playing to an audience I mess up the entire performance. I am always eager to play, but my body doesn’t move as my brain commands.
However, I still haven’t given up because I set a goal four years ago when I started the instrument. Three years from now, when I turn 60, I will celebrate with a hard-rock performance. The concert may take place at a small venue, someone’s garden, on a subway or at a public park. If arrangements cannot be made, I will just perform in front of neighbors and offer fried chicken and beer.
Grown-ups also need toys and hobbies. Just as children can spend hours with building blocks and puzzles, we also need a toy we can play with whenever we are bored. We need a hobby to keep ourselves occupied and focused.
If you don’t need to boost creativity or motor skills with puzzles and building blocks, how about learning to play an instrument?
It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and you can easily find an instructor at local culture centers. Let’s look for an instrument that fits your talent and start taking lessons. We can start by setting a goal. It may take more time for older people to learn an instrument, but as your skills improve and you get closer to the goal, you will feel just as content and proud as an Olympic athlete.
If you have a spare room at home, you can easily turn it into a practice room by putting up soundproof material on the walls. There are also practice rooms that can be rented for low fees. It is also very romantic to go out to the riverside park and practice your saxophone, harmonica or accordion. With the same passion we have for athletes, learn to play an instrument.
Whenever I feel happy or sad, I pick up my drumsticks and play freely. As I play with my toy and relieve stress, I get closer to my goal day by day, and that’s my secret to a happy life.
*The author is a guest columnist of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Eom Eul-soon