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I Suck (and joyfully so)

It’s been a long time since I sucked at something.

I’m not saying this to brag because the truth is, it’s been ages since I tried something totally and uncomfortably new… just for fun. And this something is art because I’ve considered myself to be “not artistic” since the tree I drew in 8th grade looked nothing like a tree.

When Dave and I signed up to take pottery wheel classes together I envisioned we’d both be awkward novices. Little did I know that throwing clay is a bit light riding a bike. Dave’s 7th grade ninja pottery skills came back and in mere minutes he was confidently creating a bowl, a nice bowl, one that I look forward to having.

I, on the other hand, spent our first two 3-hour classes turning my clay into mush with the occasional piece flying across the room. After our 3rd class last night I can now proudly say that I can center my clay, the first step one must do before even trying to make a thing.

It’s proving to be humbling, fun, energizing and a bit stressful. I’m challenged to drop the self-judgment and to let go of the need to make something beautiful, to simply experiment instead. It’s become glaringly evident that the only way I’m going to learn this skill is to fail forward, ever ⎼ so ⎼ slowly.

At the moment I suck… and joyfully so.

Because I’m making progress on something that is new (and uncomfortable) and because we have a new shared interest and something to look forward to together. We’re recent empty nesters (aka “free birders”) and I’m excited to create new adventures at this stage of life. This is becoming one of them.

It’s easy for us all to fall into routines and even when they are enjoyable it becomes too… routine. Kind of like Bill Murray on Groundhog Day, doing the same darn thing everyday.

Today is the day that Punxsutawney Phil will give us a sense of how much longer winter will last. No matter what he says, your winter ⎼ and all your days ⎼ will be more fun and you will feel more fully alive when you try new things.

What do you want to try? Just for fun. I’d love to hear. And happy Groundhog Day!