Military mama: Don’t stop trying

In my personal opinion every person on this planet needs to have a hobby, a passion outside of anything work related. Something that is not only a recreational diversion, but also mentally-stimulating activity. Facebook does not count. I’ve learned that it’s easy to do what you’re good at, but what about everything else?

It is wonderful when you have natural skills in one field, but the real challenge for me is to expand past my comfort zone. I’m an artsy person, I always have been. So naturally, my hobbies and interests fall into that end of the spectrum. Taking a walk through an art museum is peaceful and often inspiring. Whereas that same trip for my husband would have the sole focus of earning brownie points for later use.

I consider myself lucky that my interests reach far enough that they overlap into my husband’s zone of entertainment. I am by no means a jock or a hardcore fan of any particular sport. I know and appreciate enough about the games to endure without too many gripes. And often I find myself enjoying the games.

When it comes to sporting activities I struggle because I used to be a decent player. Past tense, being the key word. I am just competitive enough that when I can’t be the best or close to it I just get frustrated. Yes, I’m a quitter. But, one of my new goals is to keep trying at things that I suck at in the beginning.

I have come to realize that I’m not setting the best example for my kids. My oldest, Kaleb, has come into a serious gaming fixation. He loves playing games on the Playstation 3, my computer and my phone. His skills far surpass mine. I am the type of person the Wii was created for, the kind that does the jerking jump motion with my hands before my fingers ever press the correct button to get the character to respond.

When he hits a stumbling block and hit the point of frustration I encourage him to keep trying. He tries to give up, but with a little support makes it through the next challenge to reach the next level. It was a good reminder for me that I needed to be my own cheerleader as well.

So what if I’m not good at first? I most certainly will never improve if I don’t keep trying. I could stink forever, or I could lose a little less clumsily each time I try. Eventually I might even get better. And maybe as I get better my interests will grow as well.

So watch out world, I’m going to challenge myself to do new things. If you’re lucky you may even get to glance first hand at my awkwardness, If you’re up for it, why don’t you try to tackle a few things that you do terribly, too.