Give Yourself Credit

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Spring has arrived! A rebirth, of sorts, of not only the Earth but ourselves. We’re coming out of the darkness of winter here in the Northeast. Life is starting to pop out again from our trees and gardens. New lives arrive in our nests and on our farms, in our waterways and meadows. We’re starting to shed our layers of sweaters and long-sleeved shirts, getting out into the sunshine.

I visited the Orchid show at Sonnenberg Mansion and Gardens recently, walking through the Conservatory and greenhouses. Beautiful little blooms of luscious colors delighted me. I’m always amazed when I go to the estate, delighted by each of the gardens as they change through the seasons. A small army of people tends to the upkeep of the estate. They tend to the plants that fill the greenhouses and the flowerbeds. I appreciate that people have learned to grow the orchids and teach others to do so as well.  They deserve kudos and support for all they do and have learned so that others may reap the benefits of their work there.

Rochester City Ballet held a rehearsal open house last weekend that I was fortunate to attend. They are preparing for their May 2016 performance of “Ballet on the Edge” including choreography to several David Bowie songs. This troupe of dancers has dedicated years to learn this beautiful art. They make it look easy. I know it cannot be. They are young but must endure hours of practice and sacrifice much to perform for us. They have to learn and perfect every movement, every new dance, and live a lifestyle that allows them to keep their bodies and minds in the condition to do so. Their artistic director is up to the task of crafting the choreography they perform, through his years of experience and work. I admire their dedication and willingness to learn.

I’ve spent the last several years taking art lessons from several of our incredibly talented local artists. At the moment, I’m learning  how to use pastels for landscape painting from Pat Tribastone. Pat paints in oil and pastel, teaches and has her own gallery in Canandaigua, NY.  Her still life paintings drip with juicy, beautiful colors and wonderful compositions. Her skill in landscape pastel is fantastic and her portrait work is gorgeous. No doubt she has devoted countless hours to honing her skills. Not only is she a fabulous artist and delightful person, she has also an excellent teacher. I appreciate her sharing what she has learned with her students.

I could name so many others who have worked hard to do what they do and share what they know. I could tell you about many more. Every day I am amazed and inspired.

There are fantastic people and places out there who can teach us much. Remember how much you’ve already learned and give yourself credit for it, even if you’re not perfect at it, whatever it is. Nobody else started out being able to do everything perfectly.  There is a lot to learn from making mistakes and keep trying. Your life is enriched by learning different skills, no matter what level of achievement you reach. My life has been so much richer from knowing and learning from others who can do things I’ll never be able to do as well. Never stop learning.

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