When I was a child, I hated it when I would ask my parents to do something for me, and they would insist on teaching me to do it myself. I remember asking my father to make me some scrambled eggs, and his response was to whip out the cast iron skillet and proceed to teach me how to scramble an egg, so I could do it myself the next time. If I dared to complain, he would just say, “You’ll never learn how to do it any younger!” My mother was even worse, since she was a kindergarten teacher, and therefore tended to explain things very slowly, step by step, just to make sure I was following along. My thought was that if I had wanted them to show me how to do something, I would have said so, rather than simply asking them to do it for me. But I was smart enough not to say that out loud.
Now that I’m on the upper end of middle age, I find that I am much more willing to learn something new than I ever was before. I have learned quite a few home improvement skills (despite what my husband thinks, but he’s never forgiven me for that crowbar incident…you can read about it in: What Did You Say?), my gardening skills are much improved (most of what I plant lives, which is new for me) and I’m thinking about taking a wood working class. Despite what my kids think, I really do try to learn how to use new technology and spend quite a bit of time and energy trying to figure things out. My constant questions to them about my cell phone and my computer are simply because, despite my best efforts, there are some times I still have to throw in the towel and ask for help.
But I have had some success learning how to do things on my computer without my children’s help, and “exhibit A” is my blog. I remember when I first heard of blogging, my initial thought was, “What kind of idiot would keep a personal journal on the internet?” (Apparently, the same idiot who looks back at me from the mirror each day.) But eventually, with the steady encouragement of a good friend, I did start my blog, despite my deep misgivings about sending my writing out into cyberspace where perfect strangers all over the world could not only read it, but comment about it as well. Frankly, I still find that part a little bit intimidating.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in this blog (if you use WordPress, check out the entirely random pictures I was horrified to see added to some of my posts in the Reader section), but I’m also having a lot of fun and my list of followers is growing steadily. And as much as I enjoy blogging, I do miss fiction writing, so I’m planning to learn all I can about e-publishing and see if I can figure out how to do that as well. And who knows where that might lead?
It pains me to say this, but I have come to realize that my parents were right. There is so much I want to know, so much I want to do, and learning to do it for myself is the best way. And I’m not getting any younger…..