Learning New Skills

Clearly I’m not drawing in this photo. But I was fixing up Radar’s new boots. Adding Fray Check to the velcro edges, and sewing the boots onto her suspenders. Sewing is also a skill I’d like to practice more.

One thing I want to maintain for as long as possible is the practice of learning new skills and practicing them. Continually learning new things helps keep your brain sharp.

My most recent chosen skill is to learn to draw plants and flowers. I've started doing a daily sketch in my journal of a plant or flower from "The Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers" that I picked up from the used bookstore for a couple of dollars. It has simple line drawings, that are fairly easy to copy, of hundreds of plants and flowers. I'd definitely prefer a book with local flowers, but this was cheap, so that wins.

Eventually, I'd like to get a copy of Peggy Dean's Botanical Line Drawing.

I also find that trying and practicing a new skill is a positive thing for my mental health, in a number of ways.

  1. It helps build more confidence in my abilities.

  2. It feels good to do something that is productive.

  3. It generally consumes a significant portion of my attention while I'm working on it. Which means my brain is too busy to focus on negative thought spirals.

Have you started learning a new skill recently? How are you liking it so far?