Tuesday, 14 April 2015

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks

Some of you may know that last year I put out the to the universe a long held dream.
That I wanted to design & make my own tableware.
I wanted to master throwing pottery on a wheel.

You may or may not know that straight after school I studied to become an Art Teacher.
Art has always been a passion.
And while I felt like I was ok at most mediums, well Pottery always had the better of me.
I could never ever seem to master that dang wheel. So many failed attempts.

image via Rob Ryan

I don't really like NOT being good at stuff.
It doesn't sit well with me.  Are you the same?
I am learning to let go of my unreal expectations but it isn't easy.....

You know the saying 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks'?
Well I call BOLLOCKS to that.
I am an old dog & I quite like learning new tricks.

One of the things I think is super important as an adult is to keep learning.
And one of the most important & best things I have learnt as an adult is how little I know.
And how much stuff there is to learn. So much good stuff. Endless in fact.
Encouraging myself to try new things & learn new skills allows an appreciation of the world.
You get to see things in a new light. Be more humble.  Be more aware of how hard stuff is.
Appreciate things more. Be more grateful.

NOT being good at stuff is actually really important. I have come to learn and accept this as I get older.
It is good that other people are better at things than me.
It is good to NOT be good at all the things- as uncomfortable as that leaves me feeling.
Not being the winner is important.
It is something I have written about in terms of parenting before. The notion that we are not doing our children any credit by not letting them experience the sting of defeat or hardship.  It is one of the hardest of all things to do as a parent- to stand by and watch your child not win. None of us want to see our children feel sad but surely resilience and an ability to get up and try again and to be able to congratulate the winner is ultimately just as much an important life skill as winning? To be able to admire someone else being better at something is a pretty good thing I think. And one that brings with it it's own rewards.  Being able to be joyful for someone else's success or mastery feels really good. A selfless but joyful act.
When I see it happen out there in the real world it is pretty darn special.

I think about this stuff a fair bit. The idea that consulting experts is a good thing.  That acknowledging that years of expertise in any given area gives people a deep understanding of things that others skim across or could only ever understand in a superficial kind of way.

For instance- try learning another language as an adult gives you a keen awareness of how hard it is for others to learn English.  We take our primary language for granted but sheesh it is SOOOOO hard.  Learning another helps give us a sensitivity to the people who come here and are expected to speak our language.  That is a good thing I think.

Last year, after many tries, I had the help of a friend to help teach me crochet.  I am a left hander & it has been hard to learn as most of my pals are right handers. I have been wanting to learn since I was a child but it never really happened until last year.
My friend & I sat side by side and I just copied her. She taught me chain stitch and then I just experimented from there.
That was when I started my Rug.  It was supposed to be a granny square but I missed the corner and it became a circle that just kept on going.
It is now a beautiful reminder of my gorgeous friendship & a reminder to try new things.
I really like how it didn't turn out at all as what I had expected but is actually more beautiful than I could ever have hoped. And as my friend has moved away *sob* ,  I LOVE that it will always be my smiley colourful reminder of her.

At the beginning of this year I took a Pottery Wheel class and fell in LOVE with it.
I have bought my own wheel and am busy creating bowls by the dozen.
I had a great teacher & somehow it just worked this time despite all my other failures in the past.
Another message to me to keep trying new stuff- sometimes for whatever reason it is the right time & it works.
I hope that soon I will even have some GG Coffee bowls for you to purchase.  Watch this space.

All these things are wonky and not perfect.  My favourite sort.

This week my new project is a Crochet Cape. It looks a bit like a rainbow at the moment & I kind of like it.

Are you learning anything new?
Or making something wonky & not perfect?
DO tell!

Until next time: