Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Change of Pace

I like to expand my skill set every once in a while. Try a new technique, try a new craft, try cooking a new food. 

(I've failed at the last few new things I've tried to cook. I tried to make gluten free pancakes that turned out all sorts of terrible and most recently my falafel fell apart. I'm a great cook but something is off. 
Something is off.)

If I had to pick a time in my life when I am most likely to try something new, it is when I am sick and have a cold. I am hopped up on cold medicine so of course the best thing to do is to try something that requires more concentration than a normal project. I get this from my mom. A few days after surgery and recovering while heavily medicated on pain pills that specifically said, "Do not operate heavy machinery," and "WILL cause drowsiness," my mother decided to build a new computer desk out of a piece of leftover countertop and some 2x4s. She had to cut the countertop down to size and to do this she used a jigsaw and while a jigsaw isn't heavy machinery, it's not something you should be using while taking Vicodin. It wasn't pretty but she did make a useable desk that we used for the family computer for quite a few years. It's now sitting on the porch and is used mainly for holding platters of hamburgers when we grill out. 

So I come by it honestly.

I haven't made a desk or even used power tools but I think it's mainly because I don't own any. I made a book one time. I hadn't ever made a book before but I sat down and made a notebook out of old papers and some thread I had laying around. I even made the glue for the binding out of things in my kitchen. When I finally got out of my cold medicine haze, I had a useable book that I used as a food diary for quite a while. 

This past time wasn't as exciting as a notebook and definitely not as exciting as making a desk with power tools, but I did start a blanket. Not just any blanket, but a complicated one. One that required lots of counting and recounting and counting a third time. I still didn't count right. In addition to the counting, I also had to learn new crochet techniques. I don't know crochet. Sure, I can do a few things with a hook but most of the time I'm lost. Add some Sudafed to the mix and it isn't pretty. But I did it. I came out of my medicine induced stupor and I had a good portion of a blanket done. And it looks correct or at least to me, the relatively untrained crocheter, it looks right. I've continued to work on it and it is much easier now that counting to four isn't a challenge. 

But why do I wait until I am so stoned (because of cold meds) that staring at a blank TV is entertaining to me? Both the notebook and the blanket are things that I had wanted to do for a while, a long time. Maybe being fully aware of the time involved or the fact that I'd have to learn new things stops me from doing things I want. Maybe I don't start a new craft because I know that I won't have time for it eventually so what's the point of learning at all? Maybe I'm afraid of failing. (I am.) The cold medicine and slight fever are enough for me to get over that fear and just do it. To try something new and something that is scary and something that is intimidating. 

I should never buy power tools.

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