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Column: Piano


Every morning when I’m home, I am awoken by piano music. It isn’t my alarm or a CD; it’s my little sister Becca playing her heart out. The girl is a musical genius. She can quickly and easily learn to play any instrument she touches. She sits at the piano, and her fingers seem magical; she can play by ear or just sit and write a song.

When Becca was younger, my parents wouldn’t ground her from her cell phone. She had no interest in it, unlike most preteen girls I know. She had to be grounded from playing the piano; otherwise, she wouldn’t get any homework done.

But for some reason, her musical ability annoyed me. I couldn’t stand when she’d pick up a song on the piano by ear or perfect a chord on the guitar that I’d been working on for weeks. Now, I think that was just an insecure jealousy.

I hate to admit it, but when I left home for my freshman year at the University, I somewhat looked forward to the break from the constant piano playing.

Two years into college, that constant piano playing is one of the things I miss the most about home. When I was on the phone with my mom the other day, I practically begged for my sister to sit at the piano and play her newest song for me. And I get genuinely excited when Becca tells me about the song she’s working on next.

It seems crazy, right? But being almost 800 miles from home has taught me to appreciate everything about my family, from the big things to the small things — especially the small things.

What’s so important about the little, everyday things we may not think twice of when we’re at home?

From dinner cooked by Mom to so-stupid-they’re-funny jokes throughout the day made by Dad, these simple moments will be the things I look back on and remember the most. Every little moment in our lives holds a purpose, whether it’s just to make us smile on a bad day or to make us stop and think.

We often think of our lives in stages, years or days, not moments.  With our busy lives and many distractions, we don’t take the time to appreciate the small, momentary details throughout the day. Becoming so focused on our schedule, what is happening with our favorite sports team or on social media, we often go through the motions of our day without thought.

When you look back at your day, what moments stick out to you the most? Was it the stress of your hectic schedule and the way your outfit just didn’t look quite right? Or did you remember the funny conversation at the dinner table or the way you were surprised with your favorite food at a meal?

Take the time to appreciate the little things in life and don’t take them for granted. Put down the phone during dinner or take a break from homework to help a sibling with their own homework. Valuable moments can even be found in the “bad experiences” if you take the time to look for them. When you’re home, cherish every moment you spend with your family, even if it’s not exciting or not quite the way you’d planned things. Those special, unexpected little things may become the memories you cherish the most later in life.

The first thing I plan to do when I get home after the semester ends is listen to my sister play her heart out at the piano — my favorite little thing in life.

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Column: Piano