A Spark of Life

What lights my fire and makes me leap out of bed every day?  I’ve come to realize that it’s the excitement of learning something new and applying that learning in some tangible, creative way. 

As far back as I can remember I loved making things — dioramas, doll clothes, little wooden boats, embroidery samplers, rag rugs, birdhouses, etc.  Perhaps I can attribute it to scouting.  Earning badges for my sash occupied my youth.

Although I can’t remember taking piano lessons, I do remember my voice teacher and how much he encouraged me to sing. This fueled my desire to accompany myself, and hence, I self-taught myself to play the piano.  I know I drove my parents crazy listening to me practice constantly, in spite of their own love of music.  I always looked forward to an evening at home alone playing and singing to my heart’s content.

College was the most wonderful time in my life.  Not only was I experiencing independence for the first time, but those years were all about learning, learning, learning.  I loved it all, not just the music, but history, languages, science, and theater.

After college came the “busy years” of marriage and raising a family.  I truly believe that raising children is one of life’s most creative jobs. Like everything else I approached it as a new learning challenge.  I read every book I could on childrearing.  In retrospect many theories were flawed, but my dedication to the job of parenting was whole-hearted.  However, knowing that I needed to keep learning to satisfy my inner spirit, I took on projects with my children where we could all learn and grow together — such as horseback lessons, remodeling, camping, cooking, sewing, computing, theater, bug and plant collecting, and always building things.

Once my children launched themselves into their adult lives, I relished once again having uninterrupted time to explore new learning activities.  I returned to college to get a degree in nursing.  I taught myself to program computers, learned new photography skills, new embroidery and quilting skills, and animal training skills, new gardening skills.  Then I learned how to fund raise and create a city library. 

Fast forward many years to this current era of self-isolation. Once again I have found solace in the joys of self-learning and creativity.  Through websites like www.skillshare.com I have been learning watercolor painting and Photoshop.  Both of these classes lend themselves to exploring new creative outlets.  I can only wonder what I will learn and create today!