Sundays always turn my thoughts to matters of a deeper nature. Like humility.  A few recent events have reminded me that I might–might–not be as cool and talented as I thought I was.  (I’ll let you decide.)

1. Zumba

I went to my first Zumba class at the church last Friday, led by our own lovely, Zumba-certified Monique.  She is young and hip and knows how to use her hips.  I am not young, nor hip, nor do I know how to use my hips, although they certainly provide plenty of material with which to work.  A “pear” like me really should be better at this stuff.  (And despite his repeated requests, my husband is stoned if he thinks he’s getting video for the ward facebook page.)

2. Serving as the Ward Relief Society Pianist

“This will be fun!” I naively said after the call was issued.  I’ve played the piano since I was young, and though I’m a bit, ahem, “rusty,” hymns are not usually a big problem for me.  I was excited to have a reason to dust off  these ‘ole fingers and start playing again.  And it’s just among my Ya-Yas in RS, right?  Surely I wouldn’t get nervous.

Turns out, I do get nervous.  Very, very nervous.

The real payoff came today after I played the opening hymn perfectly but missed a few notes on (okay, slaughtered) the closing hymn, essentially skipping over two full measures in my nervousness.  I had played the song perfectly this morning at home, and thus my blunders stung all the more.  I was determined not to wallow, however, and quickly regained my composure as the meeting ended. Nobody’s even paying attention, I told myself.  Just let it go. I left the room feeling proud of my maturity and confidence, painfully earned over twenty years of slaughtering piano pieces in front of church members everywhere . (I knew my lack of talent had a life lesson in it somehow.)  However, when several sisters stopped me to pat me on the back and kindly tell me how well I was doing, I knew I was in trouble.  People don’t pat good pianists on the back.


Got ’em last month.  Right now it’s a prescription for reading only, but my lovely optometrist assured me that

a) my eyes would quickly keep deteriorating until I needed glasses full-time, and

b) I shouldn’t feel bad because, you know, “most people’s eyes start going as they near the big 4-0.”  (You can imagine how much better that made me feel.)

If I can’t look pretty, I can at least look smart.  (And btw:  who needs an eyebrow wax and her roots done?  Eww.)

It took a lot of humility (okay, narcissism) to post this less-than-pretty picture, but I figured I may as well end the week on a high note.  Besides, I’m banking on everyone writing in and telling me how young, hip, and less than the big 4-0 I look in these old-lady spectacles.*

*As I’ve said before, your praise never, ever needs to be sincere.  It  just needs to be lavish.  I’m not picky.

16 thoughts on “Sufficiently humbled.

  1. Jen,
    You look smokin hot in your glasses! At least you go to the eye doctor. I refuse. I just dont want to know. I dont need a doctor to tell me I’m getting old…..I already know. Maybe when I actually turn the dreaded 4-0 in a few weeks I just wont care anymore. That can be a good thing, right? I love and miss your guts. I love reading your blog, It makes me feel like I got to hang out with you for a bit. It’s the next best thing, anyway. Love ya!

  2. 1. I don’t even have the guts to *try* Zumba…(I’m embarrassed to say it’s because of my arthritis)

    2. You are doing fabulous in RS and you don’t seem nervous at all. (Although I’m a piano dropout, so I guess that’s akin to getting a compliment from a loser)

    3. You are rockin’ the glasses like a very studious Reese Witherspoon- and at least you’re not turning the big 4-0… (I’d trade with you)

  3. I haven’t been to Zumba yet. At first I thought it would be fun! But then I thought there will be other people there! People I know! And haven’t gone.
    Your R.S. Piano story made me laugh. I unfortunately missed the “G Minor” shout out. Awesome! I can imagine several people who might have done that. I think you do great, I can only bumble through the right have of piano playing so I admire anyone who can do BOTH hands at once. Maybe we should turn the piano around so you don’t feel like anyone is looking at your back. Or maybe I could whip out my supremely lovely false vibrato voice and everyone would look at me instead of you. 😉
    And, about the glasses…the last time I went to the eye doctor, he did the exam and said, “Wow, I’ve never seen this happen in someone under 40.” Yep, I’m 33 years old and my eyes are already losing that reading vision!! AND I’ve had glasses (thick ones) since I was SEVEN! Contacts since I was TWELVE and now my close up vision is gone too? He even made me try ON the old lady reading glasses in the waiting area. Mortifying. I’ve decided just to stop reading. Zach can read now, so he’ll do it for me.
    WOW that’s a big comment!
    P.S. I think you look good in glasses too!

  4. 1) I don’t even know what Zumba is. If I get on the treadmill for 30 minutes I count that as success. And that’s why my body still looks like a rotten pear.

    2) I get nervous saying the prayer in RS. I don’t know how you play the piano there! I really admire you for playing in front of people. It is so difficult and you’re totally pushing yourself. Thank heaven for old women who speak their mind. Every ward needs one. Only one.

    3) Your glasses are hot. Smokin’. Seriously, they’re cute on you!

    4) Devil Wears Prada. Look around, Jen. Everyone wants to be us.

  5. Jen–Fired? Really? I had no idea they fired people from callings. I am soo going to look into that! And I wish we could see each other in shorts again soon–that was such an amazing weekend. How are you guys?

    Lisa, did you get fired, or just “laid off?” Or did you resign? Oh, you are in big trouble for being an accessory to me getting this calling. Primary pianist? That’s the job “a million girls would die for!” (movie?)

    Sarah–I’ve never been to Cafe Zumba. I’ve never been anywhere. But I AM going to see Ashley in Portland this weekend! I really, really wish you were coming with me.

  6. I love the glasses. I’ve seen you in shorts and you do NOT have a pear body. I have to say I play the SAME way when I have to play in front of a group–my fingers get cold and sweaty. They might fire you. They fired our Relief Society pianist–you can keep praying that happens. G Minor?? I wouldn’t even know what that meant!

  7. Well, I can’t read a single note, so I think you are amazing! Sure wish I could play piano like you! I have yet to come to Zumba, but I’m hoping to get to come Wednesday.

    Tell Derrick he can have a video if he comes and dances with the best of them. 😉

  8. I practically begged to get released as the RS pianist: it was so much pressure and I was always stumbling over the keys. Seriously, I was always a nervous wreck on Saturdays trying to get the hymns ready for Sunday. Now I am right where I wanted to be, in the primary. They don’t care if I hit wrong notes. And they don’t know what the key of g minor is either. 🙂

    So… sympathies to you that you were called to be my replacement.

  9. Ok, I’m an idiot. It’s Cafe Zuppas. DUHHHHHH! But still so so good and you should go even if I don’t actually know what it’s called.

  10. I cannot believe someone hollered at you during the song!! What in the world? Does she read your blog? Does she know that kind of behavior is perfect blogger material?

    You’ve always been fabulous on the piano – don’t let the ladies get you down.

    I want to Zamba, but I don’t know what it is, really.

    Also, your glasses are so cute. You look great! Sincerely.

  11. i have absolutely no rhythm. none. zip. zilch. stacy used to teach zumba and i refused to go to any class. i really think i would look like a beached whale trying to dance if i did zumba.

  12. I share the pear shaped body and also lack any zumba talent. I took one class that was taught by a Latin man and his hip shaking and chest shimmy could put Shakira to shame. I’ve never felt so awkward and self conscious in my life. I’ll be sticking to the weight room, I have a feeling I have far better form in power cleans than he does…

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