OPINION

GOOD MORNING: What skill have you improved?

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Jerrie Whiteley

While most folks probably won't look back on 2020 as one of the best years of their lives, many might look back and see it as a year that saw them pick up a few new skills.

For one, we all are now very versed in how to wear a face mask ... except for those who refuse to wear them. But I am not going down that rabbit hole. 

Many people dove head first into break making about the same time that I gave up eating bread. Others got really good a putting together giant puzzles. I decided a few months ago to try to get really good a very pretty handwriting. I wanted to be able to hand draw those signs that everyone is always showing on Pinterest and those social media sites. 

Because I am a book person, the first thing I looked for was a book that would walk me through the steps of what is a type of fake calligraphy. Then I found some videos on Youtube and other places. I quickly found that a person can spend a great deal of money and time and effort just in assembling the tools to begin to learn to do that sort of thing. 

Or, a person could just happen upon a book at a local discount store and not spend all of that money on it. I found a book called "Crayoligraphy" that teaches one how to get that look with very affordable Crayola or other similar markers. The books, there were a few, cost a $1 and the markers are about that at any local store.

Now, the next step was practice. I can tell you I felt a bit crazy sitting down and practicing writing letters that I haven't thought about writing since the first grade. But I also found it to be kind of Zen. Practicing the up and down strokes and trying to figure out exactly how to broaden the lines in some places and make them more narrow in others is relaxing in a way. That is to say, it is relaxing when I can get my inner Martha Stewart (or other noted perfectionist) to go sit in the corner and zip it while I practice. 

I think many years from now when we all look back on 2020 and probably 2021, what we are going to remember is that it is a time when we all collectively remembered that we are start from scratch with a lot of stuff. We have to crawl before we can walk whether we are actually talking about walking or calligraphy or bread making or any other skill.

Some things just just take time to get good at doing and it is OK not to be the best at everything all of the time. Sometimes, it is OK if you your pie crust doesn't look Pinterest worthy. All it really has to do is taste good and hold in the fillings.

It is also OK, to take time to practice writing pretty letters instead of constant scrolling on social media to keep up with the latest round of hateful stuff about politics or whatever is going on at the moment. It is OK to check out from that constant buzz sometimes and focus on something else. This time is meant to teach us something. So, what have you learned? 

Happy birthday to Ronnie van Zandt of Sherman and Lucy Piazza of Denison.