My current favorite word is "autumnal". I love how the silent "n" in autumn becomes subtly pronounced by the addition of "al". Autumnal. Say it out loud. I saw this autumnal maple leaf sticking upright in the grass when I came home from the gym this morning. I parked my bike, ran inside to grab my camera, came back out and layed on the ground to get this shot.
I don't do that nearly as often as I'd like to. Why not? Frankly, I'm a little scared to be observed taking pictures. Why? I don't know. I observe my daughter taking self portraits with her ipod about a hundred times a day, and she cares not that I see. Why should I care if someone happens upon me taking a picture of a leaf?
A quote ran through my head that I hadn't thought about for years:
"Do one thing every day that scares you." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Somebody recently asked me if I was scared of anything. "Less and less," I answered. It's true. The stronger I get, the less I fear, at least in terms of personal safety. For years I've been afraid to even touch a gun, but after a few trips to the range at my husband's insistence, it turns out I'm a pretty good shot.
Does this picture scare you? I'm a little afraid to share it!
Yet, if I'm to be honest, there is a long list of little things that scare me. I'm rolling up my sleeves and tackling a few:
Public speaking. At a recent 4H meeting, I stood up and made a plea to the audience to start bringing healthier snacks to community meetings. My kids were not happy about it. They love the Oreos and Hawaiian Punch that seem to be trademark 4H snacks. We'll see by the offerings on the snack table at our upcoming meeting if anybody was listening to me.
Sharing my creations. Every once in a while I'll share something I make here, but by far most of my creations get shoved in a drawer, never to be seen by anybody but me. My husband pointed out that I don't always accept creative criticism. Yes, criticism can be scary. Sharing what I make and opening myself up to opinions makes me feel painfully vulnerable. Yet sharing my creations is liberating, and it's part of the creative process for me. When I create and share, new ideas seem to flow more freely.
Lifting heavy weights. It is scary to lift heavy weights, especially over your head. There is a particular lift that has challenged me since starting CrossFit: the snatch. I have a mental block against this lift, but I'm determined to conquer it. I'm scared that I will hit my head with the heavy bar. A few weeks ago, I worked my way up to a 93 pound snatch. And guess what? I hit my head. Turns out it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared. Fortunately, my arms are strong enough to keep the bar from crashing down on me.
Teaching. It seems strange that, as a homeschooling mom, I am afraid to teach. I teach every day, all day, but every day I have that nagging fear that I'm doing it wrong, that I'm making mistakes. Because, truth be told, I do make mistakes. I'm fairly confident they will both survive my inadequacies. I constantly tell them - and myself - that making mistakes is how we learn best. Let's hope I'm not mistaken.
Yesterday, I taught a group of children (and several curious moms) how to can. I was so scared beforehand I even thought about canceling. I usually can alone. My kitchen is small. I'm a self taught canner who still has a lot to learn about canning. My canning pot has a rust spot. Excuses, excuses.
But in the children came, and we gathered around my table, and we packed hot jars with green beans and spices, filled them with boiling brine, immersed them in a boiling bath, then waited quietly to hear the sound of canning success: tink. Each of the thirteen jars sealed. All ten of the children learned something new. I taught my first canning class. It was so un-scary, I'm already planning to do it again.
How about you? Have you done something today that scares you?
Posted by Molly at 5:35 PM