New Learning: Conquering My Fears

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.

The middle guy is climbing and starting to talk.

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!

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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27 Responses to New Learning: Conquering My Fears

  1. Nathan Winkler says:

    You’re doing an excellent job with the grant writing and I really appreciate it!

    Like

  2. A thank you from your child is kudos indeed! I refuse to learn those yoga poses… Smart Guys says that they can be really hard on the spine and neck, and so far I’ve that has proven true. Lately, I need to just get back to yoga at all! I would love to learn to knit and may take that up… soon. I would really like to learn the ins and outs of Twitter, self-publishing, and possibly speaking Italian. For now, I sit tied to my key board, mastering: NaNoWriMo!

    You rock Lisa!

    Like

  3. judy says:

    I would love to learn more computer skills and write more!! 🙂
    I think it is very exciting about your drama class! Tell us what the subject is someday!

    Like

  4. I like to believe I’m fearless, but at times I cower when overwhelmed. I recently went back to school full time for business while being a full time mom. It’s a hard combination, but I think when we want something we need to attack and think about it later or it might never happen. Good luck.

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    • Thanks for stopping in and good luck with school. Juggling it all can be overwhelming. When it’s over you’ll look back and wonder how you did it. But you’ll presevere! You’re a great role model for your child.

      On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 8:51 PM, cyclingrandma

      Like

  5. Wow, I love your tenacity and stick-to-it-ness! I need to think about a new thing I can try. 🙂

    Like

  6. zannyro says:

    Good for you!! I guess I push myself as much as I can with the photography and writing is my new challenge..

    Like

  7. Barbara Younger says:

    This post inspires me, that’s for sure! (and the children are darling.)

    And nope, nothing new lately except that I finally got a smartphone. I will ponder something even more creative and engaging.

    Like

  8. Grant writing has always been my most dreaded task. However, i do find that writing for Foundation grants can be easier than those for the Federal Government. I am sure you will be getting the opportunity to do both. Good luck. i am sure you will do well. I have had to learn how to do DropBox and Google Docs as I work with a younger more computer savvy group. Here is to us learning new tricks. i just reviewed a presentation for our conference tile”Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks.” It was about this topic.

    Like

  9. mercyn620 says:

    I tried yoga but during meditation all I could think about was what I would eat for lunch. But I enjoy zumba…Recent new endeavors are writing – I am taking a memoir writing class and creative writing, gardening and cooking beyond the basics.

    Like

    • Thanks- I should try zumba. Yes, there are times that I can’t sit through yoga but opt for classes that don’t stress too much meditation. Congrats on the writing classes- two at a time is a lot of work. Where do you take all these classes?

      On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 3:51 PM, cyclingrandma

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  10. I am so impressed – playwriting class! Sounds amazing! I, too, want to learn how to crochet. This fall, I decided to conquer my fear of musical instruments and have been taking ukulele lessons. It has been fun (although I am horrible at it!) Last year, I embarked on photography classes and love using what I learned. Love this post!

    Like

  11. jeanne says:

    Reiki….I’ve learned Reiki.

    Like

  12. Barbara Klein says:

    You are fabulous!

    Like

  13. susanbright says:

    I would love to write a novel. So far I have started two. Started is the key word here! By the way I do yoga and yes at the end sometimes all I can think of is what I am going to have for lunch. I absolutely love zumba! So much fun!

    Like

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