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We are all Students of Life. Tuesday January 26, 2016

I saw this quote below earlier today and kept thinking about it long after I'd seen it.

"Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on."

It was said by Samuel Butler in 1895. He was an English novelist.

It strikes me that he is so right.

We are all learning to live our lives. Not just us in Moodscope but every citizen of the globe whether depressed, bipolar, totally free of mental health or physical issues, the physically ill, children, everyone.

We too are putting ourselves out there like the person playing the violin in public who hasn't a clue how to play it.

This picture is the stuff of nightmares (playing or doing anything in public without practice beforehand.)

But we do it every day!

We go out there on a daily basis and do normal things not really having been taught how to do them perfectly so we make mistakes, we mess up, we feel bad about ourselves, we get into difficulties at work, in conversations etc. But so does everyone, not just us who struggle with our health.

We are our own teachers and us in the Moodscope community are very harsh teachers and mark our own selves down with every tiny mistake we make.

So, life is a daily learning process, and no one can ever teach us or anyone how to lead a 100% perfect life, yet still we leave the house each day and subject ourselves to life with a capital L, shouldn't we be proud of our little achievements? Instead of self critical and always urging our inner selves to do better?

I realise blogs have been written before about little achievements but Samuel Butler's quote seemed to me to explain why everyone and especially us should be so pleased about them.

A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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LillyPet Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 3:55am

Good morning Jula,
That's a great quote and your blog is simply and beatifully written. It's left me with a feeling of acceptance as opposed to the constant striving. A really nice feeling in the wee hours while I find myself wide awake.
Thank you. LPxx

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 8:28am

Thank you Lillypet for your kind words. I am sorry to hear you were awake very early. But sometimes my day is better when I wake up in the wee hours.

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 8:31am

Sorry Lilly, I meant to sign off with.. Julia x

Mr A non Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 5:37am

Hi Julia and all scopers, No Guru,No Master,No Teacher. We are all studying at the University of Life,where mostly things run to our timetable and plan. However as we all to well know, random events occur and we are unprepared, thrown in at the deep end, unable to swim and splashing ,thrashing and paddling our way back to the side, where we are safe again.Climb out ,remove wet clothing,get dry and put on clean clothes.All ready(Hope)fully for another day's study at the University of strife. Everyone Have a Good Day Thanks Julia

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 8:31am

Hello My A Non. I am glad my blog has appeared in at least two of the inboxes. Leah in Australia alerted me to it. It's not in my inbox yet though. Anyway I love your description of the university of life and strife. Well put! It cheered me up. Julia

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 12:17pm

Sorry.. MR A Non and xxx which I left out earlier. (We must be gender neutral here!)

Leah Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 8:31am

Once at age 12 I had violin lessons for a year but ended when my teacher said she could no longer teach me as she had never taught a student like me with no musical ability and no talent for the violin!

Sometimes I feel my life is like that too, that I have little ability and little talent but unlike the violin I can't give it up so I have to keep trying.

I like Samuel Butler's quotes he reminds me a bit of Mark Twain's wit.
You have written so coherently, thoughtfully and poetically. I have much to think about.

I have this image of millions of people all trying to play a violin solo, together in a strange world. What an image! Thank you.

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 8:35am

Hello Leah. How funny. It sounds like a Salvador Dali painting. To be honest I had never read any of Butler's quotes before this one, but I am not surprised you know of him as you own a bookshop and are surrounded by books. Your teacher's words sounded a bit harsh. The way you put it made me chuckle. Julia x

susan Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 8:57am

Hi Julia, what a great image you've given us this morning. The thought of trying to play the violin yet again in front of strangers is one reason i often turn down social invitations. The idea that everyone might be holding one is helpful and humorous. I like your writing style, too. Interesting what you say about sometimes feeling better with less sleep. I've been awake sine 4am and have a busy day ahead. Best just to relax about it, yes? And the last two days an internet certificate warning appears on the Moodscope site. It's still happening on my phone but now has disappeared from the pc. Just mentioning it as people may be discouraged from commenting because of it. Hi Caroline, have you had any reports about his? Thanks again, Julia. xx

susan Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 9:00am

ps: Meant to say I haven't received the Moodscope blog this morning, either.

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 9:09am

Hello Susan. I hadn't related the violin in public image with social invitations but now you mention it, we all need tutoring in how to handle them. I sleep badly as you know and whilst I don't like it one bit, I try to act as if I'm OK. I have discovered that no-one notices unless I tell them. I haven't seen the internet warning. Thank you Susan for seeking today's blog out. Julia x

Frankie Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 11:32am

Hi both I have received the email in my inbox, and the internet warning! Frankie

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 11:54am

Where is the internet warning exactly? I am always in such a rush I may have missed it.J xx

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 12:12pm

Hi all, apologies for the problem with the warning messages, there was a problem with our SSL certificate yesterday, but it's all resolved now. Please don't worry, no-one has hacked the site and all Moodscope data is safe. Caroline

Frankie Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 1:16pm

Hi Caroline I am still getting the warning on my tablet... Frankie

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 1:21pm

Hi Frankie, Sorry, it seems that there is still a problem with tablets and mobiles. The programmer is on to the certificate provider to get it sorted. Will respond here when we have a resolution :-( Caroline

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 2:37pm

Hi Frankie and anyone else that has been experiencing problems, I'm pleased to say it's all fixed now. Sorry for any inconvenience. Caroline

susan Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 8:28pm

Hi Caroline, thank you for all that technical sorting out today. xx

Angela Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 9:10am

Thank you Julia for the blog, so helpful; I've been told many times that I'm too hard on myself. Now I try to be kind to myself instead ( it's much nicer ) x Hugs to all scopers x

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 9:16am

Hi Angela. Yes we are too hard on ourselves. I thought that Leah's violin teacher's words were harsh but when I think about it, these are the words I might well use on myself. I do try to be kind to myself and ask myself what word would I use to a friend in my situation. Thank you for replying. Not easy today. Julia xx

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 9:13am

I am going out on my bike now before it gets too windy and wet. Maybe by the time I get back, Caroline will have sorted out the technical blip. And replied to you Susan about the warning. (Sorry Caroline..we expect so much of you on a daily basis!) Julia

Lex Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 9:23am

Perfect, Julia, note perfect. L'xx

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 10:12am

Note perfect! Thank you Lex. I wish I could think of meaningful quotes like Butler's and many many others. But I wish for many unobtainable things.... I think Lex that you have the skill to produce quotes. Go on I challenge you. Jules x

Popcorn Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 10:51am

Thanks for a really helpful blog, Julia. Popcorn xx

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 10:54am

Thanks Popcorn. I think I've seen your name here before. Nice to see it again. Julia x

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 11:18am

Hi Julia,
Just a perfect, simple and well-written blog....each day we must go out and be the best we can be.
Big Bear hugs x x x

Frankie Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 11:33am

Hello Bear! Good to see you Frankie x

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 11:43am

Nice to see you too Frankie x

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 11:50am

Yes you are so right Bear. I am sure Wise Owl said that to Eeyore at some point. I just looked up how to spell Eeyore and found this on youtube.

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 11:50am

Julia xx

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 3:36pm

Aw Julia, soo ve ve cute! Some days are Eeyore days and other days, thankfully, are Tigger days! Thankfully, after over seven miles and is a Tigger day! Bearof....x

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 3:52pm

"Each day we must go and out and do the best we can be." That's your quote Bear! Tigger days are so good. xx

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 3:53pm

Sorry.. I think I'm having an Eeyore day. I misquoted you Bear. I meant BE the best we can be..xx

Frankie Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 11:34am

This is beautiful, so well written and so helpful. I love this image - thank-you Julia!
Frankie xxx

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 11:52am

Hello Frankie. The quote really inspired me to think about the topic and write something. It's the quote that made the blog! But I appreciate your kind words and very glad it helped. Julia xx

Dolphin Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 11:59am

Thank you so much for a great blog Julia. I loved "learning to live our own lives". It is useful for us to remember and also to remember that it applies to everyone else, even those who seem so authoritative and expert at life. We are good at humbling ourselves, but not using the same lens on others...I'm feeling positive today after a productive day yesterday and today also being on the way to being productive. So, what also came into my mind was that we are all creating our lives - and it is a creative process (note the positivity!). I know nothing I'm saying is new, but it helps me to reinforce the thoughts, especially the positive ones, when they come to me...

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 12:15pm

Hi Dolphin. I am so pleased you are having some good days. Long may they continue. I like the idea of creating our lives. The words Creativity and Being Creative come into my mind a lot as I can be so creative about life when I'm feeling good. But now I am thinking well I am actually creating my life as I go along. Thank you Dolphin! And to be honest I have never come across this idea of "creating our lives" on Moodscope so for me you are not repeating what has been said before but being positively innovative. Julia x

Mary Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 1:04pm

You've nailed it Julia!

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 3:04pm

Thank you Mary. I think Samuel Butler nailed it and I couldn't let this quote go by without sharing it with you all. It seems so relevant to the way we here think about our efforts to live our daily lives. We are much more successful than we allow ourselves to believe. Julia x

The Gardener Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 4:47pm

That quote and Julia's blog around it is so'sound'. When I became an ACTUAL student at 50 years old I did not think I knew it all, but presumed experience of children, cooking, buying houses, running a company learning languages et al meant that I had the ABILITY to learn. Our first initiation to using a library proved that my whole adult life had been the equivalent of the violin example. I did it and found the right way at once or by mistakes (often expensive or consuming too much time). We were taught HOW to learn, marshall our thoughts, discipline! those thoughts. Decision making (nobody believes me) is done with careful weighing up and much research - THEN I jump in feet first.

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 5:05pm

Good evening Gardener. I like what you say about decision making. It made me laugh. I too jump in feet first after weighing up the pros and cons but maybe not too much research, a little though. Interesting. I remember the library at the university I attended with its high dark book cases you could get lost amongst containing hundreds of hard backed ancient books. I was always delighted and very surprised when I actually found a book I was looking for. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Now I think about it and your image has prompted these thoughts, entering a vast University library was rather like leaving the familiar environment of one's house and venturing, totally adrift, into the unknown. Julia xx

Norman Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 5:31pm

Julia hi!

Your blog reminds me of the wonderful Eric Morecambe line: "I'm playing all the right notes, just not necessarily in the right order..."

Anonymous Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 5:50pm

Ha! Funny and clever. The self confidence of Eric's remark! I can hear him saying it now in his quick light heated cocky voice. Thanks Norman. Julia xx

The Gardener Tue, Jan 26th 2016 @ 7:53pm

My worst experience of doing something in public with no practice is reading in church here. One kind nun used to read through with me, correcting proper names and whether to 'elide' or not (won't explain, can't explain). Took me 5 goes to get the French right for Nebuchadnezzar

Anonymous Wed, Jan 27th 2016 @ 8:40am

I dream about having to sit an English literature exam but not having read one book from the reading list.That's a nightmare not reality. Your experience with the reading in French no less at your church, is the stuff of nightmares and solo violin playing. J xx

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