I have been playing the guitar for roughly eleven years, but I doubt that anyone listening to me play would be able to tell that.
It made me blue for a few minutes...that I'm not as "good" as some other folks are--some of whom have not played nearly as long as I have. But, I have never had any aspirations to really be a professional. Oh sure, I've had those far out dreams of 'someday' having a family band, but I never really expected it.
I have a difficult time with music memorization. It is something I work on--sometimes.
But then, I got to thinking.
I love music. I love the guitar. These are the reasons I play. Not to awe people with my talent (do I have any?) and my skill. There have been times when I felt like crawling into a corner and bawling and I have gone and picked up my guitar and started playing--and in a relatively short amount of time, have been restored to a more joyful outlook.
So yes; I have been playing 11 years and no, I don't sound as awe-inspiring as I could...but in the long run, so long as I continue to learn (which I do) and enjoy the music I make, it really doesn't matter that I cannot match up to other people. And you know what? Those other musicians don't sneer at me for my lack of gorgeous tone. :)
I also took the following into consideration: I have had stretches of time were I did not play regularly (summertimes, frequently; or when I was in Florida--for various reasons) and then, with my Lyme, my hands got stiff. I did not realize it at first, but once I did, it helped me see why my playing had seemed to reverse instead of improve. I lost agility and therefore speed, accuracy, and clarity. Thankfully, I have had some improvement on that front.
I printed off a whole new stack of music last night and I look forward to easing into it. But for now, I have stuff to do that does not have to do with sitting down to essay that.