Yep, three years since I picked up my flute for the express purpose of playing again and sticking with it. I played for five years before I quit, and in that time (at risk of sounding conceited) I got pretty damn good. I spent a few years in concert band, first in primary school and then in high school as first flute. I was classically trained in high school. I have a collection of music that's reasonably impressive. I was good - I was playing Grade Five AMEB without ever having done AMEB before. (AMEB = Australian Music Examination Board, or something similar. Very fancy.)
And then, like many other things, I got bored with it. I quit. The conductor in band heda-hunted me for a while, and I was head-hunted again when we moved interstate, but I never got back into it. In the last few months, I've felt tempted to go back to it. Music has a power to it, a sense of release. You can stop playing but it never really leaves you.
So, yesterday, I got my flute and my sheet music out of my cupboard, sorted through it and resolved to get back my talent. I'm rusty, no doubt about it - I'm ashamed to admit I've got a fingering chart on my desk in case I've forgotten notes, which I have - but the sound is okay. I need to exercise to get my lung capacity back up, and need to do something about my poor arthritic fingers/bad circulation. But I can do this.
I've got three pieces out: one I know for certain I was playing perfectly before I quit (Chorale from Jupiter, from Holst's The Planets), one that's stunning and moderately difficult verging towards technically challenging (Sicilienne, from Pelleas et Melisande by Gabriel Faure) and one that I spent six months on with my tutor just to master the first half - the technical nightmare that is Hungarian Serenade by Victorin Joncieres.
I know I've got a lot of work to do - I'm working first on re-mastering Jupiter, and when I'm satisfied that I've achieved perfection with it I'll move on to Sicilienne, which is more challenging. And when I'm content with that, I'll resume tearing my hair out over Hungarian Serenade. Once I've mastered those three, it's off to the music store to get NEW SHEET MUSIC :D
I may post videos of the perfected pieces if you beg enough :P