Detours and Tangents

Side trips off the straight and narrow

My Crooked Path Toward Perfection

When I returned to piano lessons as an adult, I never dreamed how much I would learn about myself. Read More

Smarter with age

Such a sweet and inspiring story. Sometimes the best stories in the world are ourselves. Very kind of you to share yours.

Your May 1 Comment

Thank you so much for reading my column, Franky, and for your very kind comments. I woke up this morning thinking that perhaps I had revealed too much in this post, so your thoughts have been extremely reassuring. I wish you all the best--and I hope you might enjoy reading my other "Detours and Tangents" columns!

Very encouraging to me, as

Very encouraging to me, as I'm trying to learn piano as an adult myself.

Your May 1 Comment

Thank you so much for reading my column, Ed, and for posting your thoughts! I wish you the very best in your piano studies. I predict that you will keep getting better, as I did!


Thank you Susan for such an uplifting story, rich with self-knowledge and the hope of second chances. I was enthralled. Congratulations, also, on having a great column from which your readers can take insight.

Your May 10 Comment

Barbara, thank you so much for reading my column and for your thoughtful comments. I am honored by your response and your perspective!


This reminds me of an adage I learned just a few short years ago that has essentially "let me off the anxiety hook" ... "Progress not perfection." It replaced the "look at the audience and pretend they're all naked" which never really worked. Seeing people naked makes me more anxious, but that's another story.

Your article encourages me to continue to pursue progress in spite of the anxieties that hold me back from pushing my envelope. It also reminds me to give myself grace and, most importantly, to tell myself it's okay to set boundaries. "I will do this, but I won't do that."

Five years ago, everything in my life was set by an "all or nothing" attitude, which probably caused me to miss out on a lot of good opportunities. Now, with a "progress" position on things, I'm able to take small steps toward achieving personal goals, even if it sometimes means upsetting others, who might have different expectations.

Good stuff, all around. Thanks.

Your May 12 Comment

Laurie, thank you so much for reading my column and for writing such a detailed, thoughtful response. I love this idea: "It also reminds me to give myself grace." What a wonderful expression! I hope I will remember it in my own life. I also love the idea of telling oneself it's OK to set boundaries. And your difficulty with the advice to "look at the audience and pretend they're all naked" is priceless! Thank you again!

Susan Hoopers article My Crooked Truth Toward Perferction

I really enjoyed Susan's writing, she writes simply and beautifully.

Your May 13 Comment

Rees, thank you so much for reading my column and for your comments. I very much appreciate that you took the time—not only to read my column, but also to leave such a kind response.

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Susan Hooper, a freelance writer, is a former newspaper reporter and government press secretary.


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