There’s nothing like watching the grandkids as they develop and learn new skills. My granddaughter took her first steps the other day; she was so delighted with herself. The eldest grandson, nearly 3, is learning to play chess, guitar, and recognize some letters.
Observing them, I think about learning. I’m tackling some new challenges myself. Though not nearly as entertaining to watch, I am humbled by the opportunities.
Here’s my list:
Playwriting class: If I spend a lot of time thinking about it, I wouldn’t show up every other Monday night in a rented dance studio in New York City. Professional actors volunteer to read a play written by one of the members and then the audience, the other writers, critique the play. It’s organized by a drama professor who has led this workshop over 30 years. Some of the participants are published playwrights and have had works produced. Others have been there a few years and have several manuscripts underway. And there’s a few of us totally new to the class. I have a plot idea and have begun doing some writing. I like how it’s totally different than most of the writing I’ve done. I signed up to have something read at the end of April, giving myself plenty of time to drudge up the courage to submit a play.
Crochet: I really think I should know how to do this. It compliments knitting. I could make granny-square afghans from all my scrap yarn. Though I know how to crochet edges on knitted garments I can’t seem to grasp how to create an entire item with one needle. I’ve had lessons from my mother. I’ve bought beginner books and how-to guides. It’s just not coming. Mastering this task, sadly, isn’t looking so good.
Grant writing: I’m trying to help my son Nathan with his environmental energy start-up company. He sends me links about grants and I’m compiling the information. He instructed me on how to share documents on Google. I’m learning how to write the grants—talk about a different writing style— and how to organize the documents. I hope to get adept enough with these skills so I can do them on my own. It’s a slow process. I get nervous about making mistakes.
Yoga: I’ve decided I need to conquer some fears and work on the poses I usually say I can’t do. Most of them involve arm balancing in some form. Crane, Crow, Tripod headstand. This is a very long learning curve. I need strength and confidence. It’s very easy to just laze on the mat, take a rest and watch others, instead of pushing myself to try.
So what new learning are you undertaking? Do you attack fearlessly or cower in the corner? Please share! We can urge each other on!