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Posts tagged ‘creativity’

Swimming Lessons

swim

My son is learning how to swim.  After a few years of being tentative around the water, he suddenly loves it — grinning throughout every minute of the splashing and kicking and flailing and sputtering that inevitably mark the early days of swimming.  He hasn’t figured out the difference between a jump and a belly flop yet, and he earnestly looks up for approval every time he slams his stomach onto the water.  I try to smile encouragingly when it happens, and immediately brace myself for him to do it again.  He “floats,” if only for a few seconds before the teacher scoops his legs up using one of those styrofoamy noodle things.  And when he gets out, we talk in detail about how it feels to float, wondering if it’s how astronauts feel when they’re walking on the moon.  When he watches the adults gliding through the water a few lanes over, his eyes glimmer.  “I’m going to swim like that someday,” he says confidently.  “You sure will,” I reply.

Eagerly strapping on his little neon green goggles, my son is intoxicated by the thrill of learning something new…of getting a little bit better and a tad bit more confident and notably stronger every single day.  I covered the idea of learning new information a few weeks ago in a post called “Girl Meets Cheese,” but I think it’s worthwhile to think about learning new skills too.  When was the last time you learned how to DO something new?  Something totally brand new — like walking or talking or swimming or playing the guitar or riding a unicycle?  As we get older, it feels like our opportunities to learn how to do new things diminish; but in reality, the only things that diminish are our willingness to fail and our perceived ability to learn new things and our bandwidth to make time for them.  The new things can be small — like how to bake bread with quinoa flour (something I’m going to try to learn this weekend), or big — like how to code (which I’d love to learn).  And the little things matter just as much as the big things…I’d even dare to say they might help keep us young.

When I think about the things I’d like to learn how to do, here’s a quick and rough laundry list:

  • Learn to code
  • Learn to speak conversational French
  • Learn to paint with acrylics
  • Learn to skateboard
  • Learn to ride a tandem bicycle
  • Learn to swim the butterfly
  • Learn to do the whole ashtanga primary series by memory
  • Learn to coach other people
  • Learn to kitesurf
  • Learn to bake bread with quinoa flour (never hurts to put something on the list that you are likely to be able to check off soon!)

What’s on your bucket list to learn in the future?  And what’s the last thing you’re proud you DID learn?

P.S. If you read this post in hopes of getting a swim workout to try, here’s one I posted a few months ago!

Word Art

Today’s Idea: Surround yourself with visual reminders of the people, places, and things you love.

Going about our everyday lives, it’s all too easy to forget what matters to us most — who we are at the core…what brings us joy…what we love.  There are tons of ways to prompt ourselves to remember — first, doing these things (duh), but when that’s not possible, surrounding ourselves with photos and artifacts and music and books that transport us to times when we really felt like ourselves.

One of the cues that works for me is a painting I made a few years ago.  I love art (and believe that making stuff makes us feel whole), but am not that good at it, so it’s very basic and quite rough.  So it wouldn’t ever hang in a museum, but it does hang on our kitchen wall every day to remind Sean and me of some of the little and big things in life we love.  Here it is:

word art

Have you ever made something that really captures who you are and what you love?  What was it, and where is it today?

On Making

ARTI’ve been working on an art project on and off for a few months, and I finally finished it this weekend (yeee-haw)!  This is a big deal for me for a few reasons: 1) I have so many unfinished projects tucked away in drawers or filed on my computer that I often doubt whether I’m capable of actually finishing anything, 2) I’m pretty psyched to have something new to hang on the wall, and 3) It clarified that although I may not officially be an artist by day, I can still do art (we all can)! Read more

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