“Mama, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
The first time my kids asked me that I laughed. “I’m already grown up!” I replied. I reminded them I have my license in cosmetology; I’ve worked for a florist, now I’m their mama.
Apparently my answers didn’t stick, because when we talk about prospective future professions they still ask me what mine will be. So when my seven-year-old says she wants to have an ice cream shop, I tell her maybe I’ll run the flower shop next door. When my four-year-old says she wants to be a pirate, I tell her I can be her first mate and hoist the anchor or swab the decks.
Of course I’m half joking, but I look at it this way: we have our kids enrolled in dance and gymnastics. My oldest takes piano lessons. We are constantly teaching them to open their minds and learn, and not just for the sake of eventually finding a job, but for the fun of learning. We tell them they should have dreams, and follow them because they can do and be anything they want. But what about me? What am I learning? Am I growing as a person? Or am I showing them I already know everything I need to know? That once they reach a certain age- or become a mother- it’s OK to become stagnant and rest on past accomplishments?
If so, that is the complete opposite of the message I want to send them. I should find enjoyment in life outside of being their mama because it models healthy adulting. When my children are grown I don’t want to be scrambling for my identity, you know?
Which makes me think it’s time I signed up for photography class so I can finally learn how to use all the functions on my dSLR. Maybe by the end of the year I will even complete 3 months of voice lessons- not because I want to be a performer, but because in this life I can’t think of anything more terrifying than singing in public.
Is there something that seems intimidating to learn, but at the same time you think, “Wow that would be awesome if I could ________.”? Is it a foreign language? Maybe you’ve always wanted to try ballet or salsa dancing. Or maybe at this point you’re thinking, “Riiight, in all my spare time!” But some of these options only take half an hour a week. The average American watches 4 hours of television a day- could you squeeze a hobby in by cutting down on TV or social networking?
If it’s not in the budget to take a class or lesson at this time, how about reading a book on a topic you’ve always wanted to learn more about? Or setting aside time each week to watch a YouTube tutorial or eCourse on, say, sewing? Would you be willing to learn a new recipe each week? I mean, we have to grocery shop and cook dinner anyway, why not make it a tasty learning experience, too?
Here’s a list of the hobbies I’d love to test drive, and feel free to join in and add your own in the comments!
- learn to play musical instrument
- art class
- improv class
- photography class
- fitness/dancing class
- learn or brush up on a foreign language (either a class, library book, or a use free app)
- bike riding
- learn a new recipe each week
- learn how to make cookies with royal icing
- sewing (YouTube)
- flower arranging (YouTube)
- read a non-fiction book
- plant a garden
There is plenty of opportunity and time to grow if we just step outside our comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be time consuming. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Maybe we will discover hidden talents; maybe we will fail miserably along the way. But hey, we will never know if we don’t try- and isn’t that what we tell our kids, too?