As I watch the seasons once again change, I can’t help but think about how quickly time passes. There is one side of me that can’t wait for cooler temperatures of autumn and winter to arrive, while the other side of me is beginning to be cautious about what I am wishing for, as that time will pass quickly too.
It was humid and muggy yesterday here in our area. The kind of mugginess where everything feels almost damp and you can’t tell if you are too warm or too cool – or both. I found myself wishing for the cold and the snow, for at least then you know you can put on a sweater and perhaps bundle up with one of the cats.
Many cringe when I say that, and I realize that I am not stating a popular opinion when I say that, but I still maintain that I would rather be in a cold climate than a hot one, as it is always possible to add another layer of clothing (or a cat) to make myself comfortable. I don’t do well at all with the heat and humidity.
But it is what it is, and like anyone else, I take what is offered and try to make the best of it. If I am not careful, I will find myself wishing season after season away and not take the time to enjoy the present.
I spent the day once again working on some new directions for my designs. While these new directions initially appeared to be something that would be an easy transition, I am finding that it is far more complicated than I had first anticipated. Now that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I say it more out of surprise than anything. By outer appearances, it would be a much easier path to travel than I am on now.
But isn’t that always the case?
We look at something with a fleeting glance and think to ourselves “Oh! That’s easy! I can do that!” and then when we begin to see the inner workings of things and how to do them properly and successfully, we see just how much work is involved. Such is the case for so many things.
I find it funny (odd) that this is a surprise to me, as I am usually the one who tries to look at things with consideration of the skills and learning processes to make them possible. I, after all, am the one who has preached in the past that the key to creating a good design is taking something that may be a bit complicated and make it look easy. I have always spoke of how important it was to look at things from a beginner’s point of view, and how the success or failure of a pattern lies within the ability of it to teach basics. As an experienced designer, I am rather successful at teaching my patterns so that even a beginner can understand them.
But now the tables have turned, and I am the one who is the beginner. While I have general knowledge of the area that I am working in, I am certainly not as comfortable or highly trained in it as I am with scroll sawing and painting. There are new sets of rules that apply, and I find that there are many things that I have to learn. Even the terminology is different than what I am used to, and learning to phrase things properly without confusing others is in itself a small challenge.
It is all a process.
I enjoy learning new things. I am a firm believer that we are learning every day we are here on this planet. New experiences and events keep our lives interesting and exciting.
While there was a time when I felt a bit overwhelmed yesterday, I stuck with what I was doing and there came a time when things started to click. And it encouraged me to continue. I saw there was some hope that things would be OK after all.
It is a good thing for me to be in this role as beginner once again. I have been in the role of teacher for quite a while now, and by putting myself into this role of student it once again it reminds me and helps me understand how someone just learning feels. And it will make me a better teacher in the long run.
Photo by Harry Wittier Frees
Today I will continue working on designs – both old and new. For there are still so many scroll saw patterns that I want to make, as well as pursuing these new avenues. I will play the role of both teacher and student, and hopefully make progress as both. And I will enjoy the processes of being both student and teacher.
“He, who learns, teaches.” ― African Proverb
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"