Being a Life-Long Learner

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My brother’s wife, Emily Davis, is one of those really fun Moms that is equal parts charismatic and down to earth. As the mother of 3 young kids and also a smart and progressive kind of person, I asked her if there is anything she’s passionate about that she’d want to share with other moms/readers. She immediately responded that she has some ideas of things that have helped her in her life and sent me this. I love what she shares here about pushing yourself to do new things or and get good at something.

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My Mom often gives the advice to new Moms “Do something every day that can’t be undone. All day you’re doing laundry, diapers, making dinner etc and no matter what there are always more clothes to clean, more diapers to change, and more food to make. So choose something each day that can’t be undone: Sew a dress, visit a neighbor, write a thank you card, learn something new.” Emily gives some suggestions as to how to put this into practice:

Developing a Talent by Emily Davis

So having three kids is nuts.  Kudos to anyone and everyone for having kids! It is simultaneously super enjoyable and just as frustrating. 

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A lot of my personal interests have been put on pause.  I was joking with a friend a while ago that I don’t even know what I like to do anymore.  My husband offered to watch the kids and let me go do something I enjoy and it honestly was very difficult to think of something I could do.

Two years ago I felt an itch to learn something new.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I wanted something creative and useful.  I didn’t know where to start.  I literally googled “how to develop a new talent” and “new talents.”  

 One of my very first attempts at calligraphy.

One of my very first attempts at calligraphy.

After looking through a lot of lists of hobbies and talents, I thought I’d try my hand at calligraphy.  I started off slow and I was awful with a capital A.  But over the last two years, I’ve practiced and copied letters and styles and I’m pretty decent now.  I even have done calligraphy for weddings, wedding invitations, place settings, and Christmas cards. 

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It’s extremely enjoyable and I’m able to do it while my daughter is at school and my son naps.  It’s creative and I have felt progress in my own life as I have developed a talent.  It fulfills my criteria of something creative I can do and it’s useful because I can make a little money and calligraph my own Christmas cards and other things.

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If I were to suggest steps to developing a new talent, they would be the following:


1. Think about your criteria

What is the purpose?  Do you want to get fit? Do you want a creative outlet?  Do you want to find some peace and quiet in your day?  Do you want to make a little money?  Do you want to train for a job in the future?  The possibilities are endless, be specific to your needs and wants.

2. Brainstorm ideas

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Nothing is out of reach for you.  Calligraphy popped up on my Google search.  I had never thought of it before. In fact, in college, my roommate took calligraphy and I thought it was a useless class.  Jokes on me because she now runs a company that works with Anthropologie and I wish I would’ve had the foresight to try something out of my comfort zone.

3. Research the tools you need

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I’m pretty confident that a blog or Youtube channel exists for every talent or hobby you can think of.  There is usually a “getting started” post that lets you know the basic supplies you need.  You can always start small and grow your supplies.  I started with one nib and one straight pen and one bottle of ink.

4. Look for lessons

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Some lessons are free on Youtube.  You can find a “getting started” lesson online for a small fee for just about anything so you can learn at home.  Depending on your situation or how big your city is, the local rec center or library could have classes.  

Practice a little bit every day and enjoy your new talent!  It’s so fun to see and feel progress in yourself.                      

Here is a comprehensive list of hobbies if you need some ideas.

Feel free to share any other suggestions in the comments below. Thanks again Emily for sharing!

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