Often, in the bustle of getting on with life, paying bills, and fulfilling responsibilities, gratitudes get lost in the mish-mash.
A recent birthday – I think I’ll stop counting – had me reviewing my life and looking ahead to what I want to accomplish in the coming year. It’s a tradition I began some years ago, a chance to pause and review my goals, as well as count my Blessings.
Regrets are less frequent than when I was younger, which is a blessing in itself. There is nothing worse for the spirit than dwelling on ‘mistakes’ or less than perfect choices. We all make decisions based on the knowledge and circumstances we have at any given time. Okay, so not all choices turn out to be what we anticipated, but that’s a fundamental of life.
As I’ve matured, and aged, I’ve allowed fewer opportunities for small adventures to pass by. There are moments when I think a more adventurous spirit would have been beneficial when I was younger. Then, I cared too much about what other people thought. It held me back.
With age comes wisdom, or so it seems. I’m so busy getting on with and enjoying my own life that I have neither the time nor inclination to study others’ doings with a critical eye. And perhaps that’s how it should be, and mostly is. Too often I have attributed too much power to ‘imaginary’ critics.
I’m learning wood engraving, by doing and with the aid of a mentor. Old habits die hard. It took me over a week to make the first mark on the wood. What if I can’t do it properly? What if it’s a disaster and I waste the precious block? What if my eyes are too dim to even see what I’m doing?
Who needs outside critics with such a vocal inner gremlin?!
Like the adventurous Thomas Edison, I learn many ways how not to do things until I achieve something verging on success. After that, I either continue to hone the skill, or I am content with having at least given it my best shot.
Although others’ opinions are no longer paramount for self-worth, it’s always a buzz when something I do or create inspires favourable comments. During recent art shows, two of my works received notice by the judges. They were works which I was pleased with. They made me smile. They also made others smile. What a blessing.
Ah, yes, the wood engraving. My first attempt is not ‘perfect’, but why would it be? Like all creative endeavours, it’s a journey. One which I have begun. Today I will see how it prints. I’ll let you know.