That's very kind of you, thanks! Some personal setbacks have slowed my work on further developing the site, but thank goodness it's only a broken bone! 🤣 The healing path for that is a little more, shall we say, linear than my mental health journey.
Ukulele isn't the first instrument I've tried to learn. It's just the one that stuck. I enjoyed trying to learn piano, even though I didn't get very far with it. (I think I might have with a different teacher, although I'm grateful to the one I had for as far as I got.) Guitar wasn't an especially good fit. I tried multiple times, both folky (metal strings) and classical (I think nylon? but might have been gut for all I know - it was a looong time ago LOL), but I couldn't get it to stick. There were a few other instruments I tried, with the same result.
For ukulele, I think it was a combination of being easier to start with, and being smaller. There was something so sweet and cuddly about the mahogany soprano I started with that just made all the inner knots start unwinding. It helped a LOT that I was making something resembling music from the start.
I'm still exploring other sizes and woods, and suspect I may land on a 5 or 8 stringer as my daily driver some day, but it really does feel different than the other things I tried. Instead of a chore to learn, it feels like a balm. I'd like
to get a lot better, and I'm happy enough with my progress...but I don't actually need
to get a lot better to get what I need from the ukulele. That's pretty amazing to me!
It was also never the case for me with either piano or guitar. For whatever reasons, I just couldn't climb up to a skill level where I enjoyed hearing myself play. Starting ukulele forty whatever years later, less physically and mentally nimble than when I tried to learn before, I still was having real live fun almost immediately, and achieving genuine relief that I wasn't expecting. Kinda hoping for, mind you, but still. That seemed like an awful lot to ask from such a little instrument, but here we are.