I understand your hesitation. Back 3rd year after a 30-year hiatus. There have been some milestones along the way that has kept my motivation up (like scoring a great setup and getting my sound dialed in). With a job and family, I cannot commit 3-4 hours of practice daily, but I try to get at least 7 hours of playing time per week across practicing, lessons, and sessions.So, all the cynicism aside if I can generate a spark perhaps that can light the fire. I always said I played because I loved the sound of the saxophone, specifically the alto. I didn't play for adoration or attention, honestly I could care less what people think, except for my teachers.
The decision to start playing again is still scary. It's the commitment. It's like getting married... yes it seems that big and daunting to me. I know what it means, long tones, scales, patterns, triads, classical etudes, all that stuff. I'm not sure I can do it, make that commitment like I used to, and I don't know if the sound of my Mark VI can keep me inspired like it used to.
Now I am feeling like I am in the same mental place I was 30 years ago when I put the horn down. I've definitely improved beyond where I left off, but I feel stuck again and wonder if I am not just postponing the inevitable confrontation with my limitations. My initial goal was to be able to show up at a session and hold my own (which I am comfortable with now), but I am finding sessions to be alienating experiences. Everyone there seems to be in their own world and working on their own shxt, or you can't stand someone's playing, and rarely gels cohesively. And then you stop and wonder whether that is what others must be thinking of you...
I am finding it is tough to run on self-motivation alone and craving to be part of a band or group of players at a similar level, share similar taste in music, and can work together (open to suggestions and criticism) to improve our craft. Maybe some lone genius type can create beauty in a vacuum, but that is not me.