The Streak

2,680 days. That’s how long my practice streak had lasted when I ended it this past weekend.

Since January 26, 2010 I have practiced drums for at least five minutes a day, every day. That’s more than 7 years straight. Over the past decade I have practiced more days than I have showered or brushed my teeth.

I have long believed this practice streak was indicative of who I am. Proof of my dedication. Proof of my devotion. Proof of my professionalism. Of my musicianship. My sacrifice.

But, over the past few months, the immense responsibility of parenthood and the sheer exhaustion that comes with it relegated my daily ritual to the last few minutes of each day. I had even stopped journaling my practice; it was too depressing. I wasn’t working on anything. I wasn’t developing anything. My daily practice had become a chore rather than enticing progress. It was–and is–time to end this chapter and begin a new one.

The drums were my first love, but I now have a great deal more to love in my life: My son, Aidan, whose every small accomplishment I experience as if it were my own, and my incredibly inspirational wife, Sivan, who works tirelessly to support our family.

Over the coming days, weeks, and months, I will consider how my next streak might better suit this new chapter of my life. What goal I might work toward and the new ways that working toward that goal might fulfill me. While my current record will be a hard one to beat, the daily ritual of focus, practice, and mindful improvement of my musicianship has already accomplished what I set out to prove so many years ago. The only loss I have suffered was in a number, an imaginary concept tying together a lifetime of work. Whatever I do next, I’ll do it the only way I can, one day at a time.