Guest Blogger, Lorie Sheffer: You CAN Teach An Old Dog New Tricks!

Photo: Courtesy of Lorie Sheffer

At some point around the time I hit the half-century mark I developed this sudden fear of becoming a fogy. As in “old fogy”. We all know a few – those crabby old people who refuse to budge in their ideas or give an inch when it comes to anything even slightly resembling change. They live in a rut, doing things the same way day in and day out.

Learning something new or trying something different need not be exotic. Stepping outside of your comfort zone doesn’t have to involve parachutes or grappling hooks. It doesn’t need to be done with the risk of public humiliation, ala Dancing With the Stars.

Today, I finished a project that I am very happy about. I have a sense of satisfaction that only comes with accomplishing something you weren’t sure about.  It all began with a vision of fabric for new kitchen curtains. After endless searching I realized that although my dream curtains didn’t exist, the dream fabric did. I found it one day while randomly searching a vintage fabric website. I thought of the sewing machine sitting in the spare bedroom. In a moment of self assured weakness I ordered six yards, quite certain I could not only make the curtains, but also pillows for my window seat. Not long after placing the order I was filled with self-doubt. I had flashbacks to the day in high school home ec. class when I  ran a sewing machine needle straight through my finger.

What was the worst that could happen? I would end up having wasted money on fabric. But that’s not what happened. Tired but satisfied, I hung the curtains this afternoon and placed the first pillow on the window seat. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

This experience makes me want to try something that I have not had the courage to do: Enter a Christmas cookie contest. I know, it sounds ridiculous. Considering some of the things I have done in life without ever batting an eye, a cookie contest seems pretty tame. The irony of the things I am doing in order not to be an old fogy isn’t lost on me. I mean really; sewing and baking? But then I think of Project Runway and Ace of Cakes, and I realize that everything old is new again!

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.