Ellen Cello wrote:
I started from scratch 9+ years ago as a mature adult. 

1. At a year and a half, you are just beginning.
2. Don't bother finding another teacher until you practice at least 7 hours per week, because if you don't practice you won't progress, period. Having a different teacher won't matter if you're not practicing. If you can't or won't practice at least 7 hours a week, you really should consider playing another instrument. I recommend the piano.
3. Books and equipment won't help you if you're not practicing. Nothing can replace practice...nothing.
4. Your teacher should be teaching you how to practice effectively and efficiently.
5. Practice doesn't make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Practice without errors, otherwise, you are only practicing errors.
6. Books don't matter. If you have a good teacher, they will have a definite opinion on which books you need.
7. Listen to your teacher and try to do exactly what they tell you to do, and then do it better.
8. Avoid trying to "exercises" away from the cello. Spend that time practicing.
9. Learning to play the cello is a lifetime commitment. It takes years to gain some level of proficiency. If you don't enjoy the process, you might want to consider doing something else. If you do enjoy the process, then welcome to the club!image

Hi Ellen!  I'm always happy to see that there are other people that began the cello as adults!

I am definitely just at the start of learning the cello.  I'm sure even at 5 years I'll not be even close to being good.

7 hours a week is definitely doable for me.  I lack the stamina to play an hour continuously on the cello at the moment but 30 minutes multiple times a day is doable.  An hour a day is the minimum I'd like to play which is my short term goal for March since it's about time I start taking my cello playing more seriously.  I don't expect learning to play the cello to be an easy feat but the ease of the instrument is definitely not why I chose the cello.  If I wanted something slightly easier to learn I would have chosen the piano or the guitar.

I appreciate everyone's responses so far!