Doing What We Were Afraid To Do

One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.

– Henry Ford

There are many things that I do today that I didn’t believe I could do or didn’t know that I would like to do.

Like riding motorcycles. I love riding motorcycles and dream of riding regularly. My ears immedately perk up when I hear the rumble of motor and speed. In some ways, I am always riding.

I write. Writing is something I’ve always done, but I didn’t know I could actually call it my job and get paid for it. That’s crazy, right?

Knitting. I love to knit socks, sweaters, hats, and anything else that catches my eye. I also crochet, though I have to be careful which circles I say that in. Some people are very protective over their creative yarn-fingering of choice, you know. 

I read. Reading doesn’t seem like much, when so many can, but I wasn’t always able to. I took special education classes as a kid to be able to read, because I had difficulty putting words together. Now I read all the time and love it. 

Another thing about reading—books! My father made me a fabulous bookshelf that fits perfectly in a why-is-that-there? niche in our living room. There are other bookcases too, and tables and nightstands that elevate my books off the floor and into the light. 

For a long time, my books were the only assets I owned. I kept them in milk crates, so I always had makeshift bookshelves at the ready. My books have always been a great comfort to me.

Baking. I bake bread and pie crust, cakes and cookies. I’m told my apple pie is to die for, which is all to the good since I have two growing boys in the house.

I’m glad I can pass on special nuggets of memories and love to my boys. Hopefully those nuggets will help center them when life tosses them about, because life has a way of doing that.

I play banjo. That seems odd to say, and really to say how long I’ve been playing would imply greater ability than I have. I’m not the best, but I have fun when I play; I can even improvise some. The cool thing is I inherited a banjo from my grandmother a number of years ago and was never able to play, and now I can.

Gardening. I never was one for gardening when I was growing up. I mean, I’d try, but I’d usually get distracted with another project and everything would die. I’m way better now. I spend time in my gardens, revel in the quiet and the simplicity. I love harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables and making a delicious meal, another thing I wasn’t really into. 

There are other things I do now too, or have done. The trick, I think, in attempting anything new, is to do it whether I believe I will be good at it or not. There’s no harm in trying, and I might even come across something I can’t do without.

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