Sunday, 23 August 2015

Learning New Skills

I think that, no matter what your interests or talents, life is so much more fulfilling when you continue to learn. Stepping out of our comfort zones can be scary, yes, but exhilarating. I am very grateful that I was able to take part in a cheese making workshop yesterday and I have been walking on air making plans and schemes and feeling like life is full of possibilities. Isn't that great?





I did a mosaic tile table top workshop when my first son was a baby. It was one of the first times I'd left him all day (with my mom, but still!). I was exhausted, I missed him so much that by midday I almost burst into tears and left to go home. But I also felt an old spark rekindled...a creative side that had become bogged down in midnight feedings, diapers, loneliness, isolation and the feeling that my own identity had been swallowed up by something (although wonderful) much greater than myself. I began to remember who I was.

My mom suggested that I do a pottery class a couple years ago--love that woman! I had done a class pre-children and really loved handling the clay. I hand built some pieces that we use all the time. Creating bowls and cups on the wheel is still on my bucket list and the class I did in 2013 really gave me some confidence and it was so healthy for me to have a few hours a week pursuing my own interests while mom took care of my kids.





My love of gardening continues to grow. We have an elderly neighbour who also loves his garden and we visit back and forth to compare notes (he drops in to see if I've got these weeds under control yet!). Even at the age of 75 he is still seeing new things happen in the garden and he is interested in the types of things I plant and he loves to share his vegetables. What a hobby, to garden. The fact that a 99c pack of seeds can bring me years of delightful flowers just makes me full of joy. This yard...my garden...there isn't a day, not one day, goes by where I don't look out my window and thank whatever powers have brought me here to this place in my life.






It is such a delight to have friends that share my interest in crafty, homemade things. I shared a craft table at the local Christmas sale last year and we have plans to do another this year. Scheming and sewing and planning keeps every day interesting for me.



A friend and I made soap a few weeks ago (it may be a bit soft but we are letting it cure. And cure some more!). We plan to try again and as much as I enjoyed taking part in the process it is the company and connecting as friends that really feeds my soul.



The cheese making workshop yesterday opened my eyes to more than just a new homesteading skill that I am interested in. It was a group of local people that are pursuing similar hobbies and the lifestyle that I aspire to. I didn't feel so alone in my curiosity. I felt inspired. I felt like I can do all of the things swimming around in my brain. I felt really grateful that we can afford for me to do these occasional workshops and days out, and I felt very happy to come home to my family that supports my trying new things. When I look back on five years ago when I felt washed up, spent, and like my own identity was lost forever, I feel the need to spread the word to others that if you do the work that you must you will eventually find the time to do the things that you love. Read about it, blog about it, read blogs and borrow books and visit the places that inspire you. Build your knowledge so that when the time is right you can begin.

Not every one would want to try the things that I have taken a crack at in the last few years. We are learning about chickens and ducks and lambs and making syrup, baking bread and quilting and I have a list of things to come. These are not very scholarly or professional endeavors. They are hands on, tactile, artistic, grass roots crafts and skills and that may not be your thing. But I hope that you find your "thing" and pursue it with all your heart. The world opens up when you find your groove and never stop learning new things :)

6 comments:

  1. I love trying new things and learning new skills. It keeps life interesting, and the added self sufficiency is always nice.

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    1. Hi Robin! Yes, self-sufficiency (or close to it) is the goal. Right now I am dabbling, learning what I can. The more I do, the more it all seems possible! Thanks for commenting!

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  2. What a lovely positive and inspiring post. I've started a writing course recently, in fact I wish I'd done it years ago. But I'm doing it now, which is maybe what counts. All the things you're trying are really appealing, it's good to learn useful and creative things I think. I'm wishing you much success and enjoyment. CJ xx

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    1. Good for you for doing the writing course, CJ! It's intimidating to take the first step but I don't want to look back on my life and wish I had tried more things. I'm glad you took that leap--maybe you will eventually post some of your work on your blog ;) I hope so! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  3. Great post Jill! I think I needed to read this today :-) And I just love the ceramics in the pics. I have a couple in my home that a relative made and I love looking at them.
    ~ Pru

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    1. How nice that you appreciate the gift of pottery :) There is a local potter that sells small items at a really reasonable price at our Christmas sale. I have a few of her things now and use them all the time. I'd like to get that skilled but I'm nowhere close yet! Thanks for commenting :)

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