“Becoming is better than being” —Carol S. Dweck
I love this grey, wet weather—such a treat in Southern California. It does slow us down though. And then we’ve all had colds, which also slow us down. All during the last week of school holiday. Actually, it has been nice to relax into this no-pressure time. So much for starting the new year with a bang…more like a ka-choo! At any rate, we are still in exhale-mode.
I’ve written here before about Growth Mindset…but at the time, I was probably referring to ways that Vernon might grow his brain back. In the end, it was clear that he had a very fixed mind that literally could not learn. But I want to challenge my own mindsets, so that my own brain might grow. It may not grow back, but it can grow forward! To get a better handle on it, I’ve been reading the book Mindset by Carol S Dweck and thinking about my perceived strengths and weakness. Maybe that’s why, that almost on a whim yesterday, I not only signed myself up for a photography class at the local college but signed Maki up too. (I did ask him first!) I figure it’s something that will make both of us smarter and more able, and its something we can do together. We both need to keep learning, it doesn’t matter if we are thirty years apart.
I feel that is something I miss, coming back into the next chapter of life: After Vernon. At least while taking care of him, I was learning as I went. I didn’t like it, but it kept me engaged in something I thought was positive and important,—even strangely fulfilling. People used to tell me I was a good advocate for him, and sometimes I was even called a good caregiver, but those are things I learned to do because I had no choice but to practice them. In time, I gained confidence, but the skill wasn’t a natural talent…it was a developed one. My brain changed. Now I can’t look to Vernon’s health as a reason for growth and learning. But I can look at the kids—I can certainly learn to be a better mother. I can look further into the things that interest me, and I can develop them. I can learn to work better on the areas that hold me back. And hopefully this will all dovetail into my career, complimenting all the bits and pieces of stuff that it has always been filled with. Or maybe it will change it entirely. It’s a messy path, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be successful. I just need to keep learning how to do it!
There is much to look forward to. Many challenges…mostly in my own mind. Here’s to learning, being teachable, getting better with time…for all of us!
Recently, Maki had a real upswing in his guitar playing. Suddenly after years of simply noodling around on the instrument and practicing off and on, he could sit down and teach himself several songs in a row. He was also writing his own music and recording it. I asked him: “What changed? You used to not seem very interested. Now you are playing guitar all the time.”
He shrugged: “I finally knew enough to really enjoy it.”
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” —George Bernard Shaw