I’ve been writing for a long time. I still have so much to learn, but some things are getting easier.
I did not love being a beginner writer. I declared my major English in college during my first English class because I found it so hard to express my ideas and I wanted to be as articulate as the teacher. I sought out writing in all my jobs and ended with an 18 year career in technical writing, and though I’ve been writing and studying fiction for many years, I consider myself about 30 years old (assuming a 100 year lifetime, hopefully). I still have tons to learn (one of the things I love about writing) but am able to write and edit my stories. (A new novel is in the works!)
I’ve been taking photos for a year now. My blog made me do it! Seriously, I love shooting photos and sharing them with you and really love looking at your photos. Then I wanted to do some art and quickly grew frustrated with all the supplies and mess. Although it is fun and I want to do more.
My husband observed this frustration and mess (he took the above photo), knows I love my computer, and bought me a Wacom Bamboo. The digitizer tablet came with Corel Painting Essentials, which I love. After trying digital painting and drawing, I found myself wanting to return to paper for those things, but really enjoying the auto photo painting.
I enjoy being a beginner with art.
Piano is something I spend a little time on every day.
I’m not an absolute beginner, though. I taught myself to read music as a kid and then had lessons. I would say I’m just a tad above beginner. I’m trying to unlearn bad habits and learn the timing carefully in the songs. I find this phase a tad frustrating so I set a modest goal to be able to play 4 songs well by the end of the year. This goal allows me to enjoy the process and not turn it into work.
Since I started skiing so young and grew up on a ski slope, I’m an expert in that realm, though on the bottom level of expert. I am not into extreme skiing and have no desire to improve.
I’m completely happy with my level and skiing for me is just about the joy of nature, the freedom of movement and the satisfying feeling of working my muscles. It’s also about sharing giggles, skiing stories, and good food and grog with friends and family.
With yoga I’m a total beginner. I avoided yoga because I’m stiff and the one time I went to a class everyone was doing amazing things and moving quickly through poses. I couldn’t keep up and it hurt. I hated yoga. But last fall, after getting off a 12 hour flight with an overall stiffness to my body that wouldn’t go away, and finding myself not at all motivated to get back into my weight-lifting routine, really in a state of desperation, I went to a yoga class at my YMCA.
It was called Adaptive Yoga. I figured if the yoga was adapted to people with various physical restrictions, it should work for me! And I stumbled upon an amazing teacher. I started going to all six of her YMCA classes because I love the work (enjoy the journey), want to make progress (a general, wide-open goal), and the classes make me feel well physically and mentally (a constructive, healthy journey). The teacher shares about her yoga journey and encourages us to embrace our own yoga journey while she carefully guides us through various poses.
I enjoy thinking of myself as being at the start of a lifelong journey of working with my muscles, bones, and joints, taking care of them, and increasing my ability to do poses. It should be frustrating to be so stiff. But beginning yoga has really taught me how to pursue an art:
- Enjoy the journey.
- Define success as showing up and doing the practice.
- Have very general goals like regular practice and improvement.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Make rapid initial progress.
- Build new neural pathways, which is good for your brain.
- Socialize, which is also good for your brain, not to mention your spirit.
- Cure midlife blues by starting a new journey.