What’s new?

It is a question that adults ask daily if not several times in a day. It is proof that we as humans are always in search of a challenge even if we don’t know what it is.

When the “what’s new” question is answered, it is interesting what we do with our new information. We determine what is trivial and really doesn’t merit more investigation. Other topics peak our curiosity and we investigate further. Other times, we are interested, but for a variety of reasons we abandon further pursuit. It could be we are busy; time is limited and unfortunately we have to make choices.

Trying something new in the needle arts world can require some perseverance, some patience and practice. It is easy to fall into a rut and decide it is just not worth the effort to try something new. I hate to admit that I have been guilty of being in that rut a time or two.  It seems the easier route to take, but the shortfall is that it gets boring and cheats us of the wonderful sense of accomplishment and self confidence.

Over the past few months, I have been trying to conquer the challenges that my computers seem to delight in throwing at me. At times, I just  wasn’t sure I was up to it. There is no give and take with a computer; you can’t ask it questions and it won’t negotiate. You must conform to its ways.

At the same time, I really wanted to make the most of my new embroidery machine. It is capable of so many terrific things if I take the time to explore and learn what it can do for me. I began to realize that what I was learning from the embroidery machine was helping with the computer and vice versa. A glimmer of hope!

It didn’t happen overnight, but with the help of patient friends, business colleagues and lots of practice, I can now take advantage of the benefits of what technology can do for me. It has been a long time since I have found myself in such a challenging position and I was determined not to let it get the best of me. I did it, I wanted to learn more and now, am more confident that I can!

It reminds me of something I hadn’t thought of in quite some time. When  I was young and following the space program, there was an experiment on the spacecraft that really struck me. One scientific test was to see what ants would do in the weightlessness of space. They found that when the ants had nothing to do; no tunnels to build because gravity wasn’t working against them, they died. When you look at all of life on earth, humans are the only ones who have evolved into really not having to work beyond money to survive. All other living things have to hunt daily for food, find shelter and run from predators. Life just isn’t supposed to be that easy!

These two observations lead me to believe that we need challenges to make us happy and thrive. That is why it is in our nature to ask “what’s new” and why we need to take action. I think it is why we ask “what’s new” more as we get older; we are searching for that next challenge.

The next time you ask “what’s new”, pick a challenge and get started at learning something entirely new that will take some effort. You don’t have to go it alone! Take classes, get some help and follow through. It is self perpetuating because it makes you feel good, builds your confidence and encourages you to learn more.

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