Learn a new skill. Item #26 on my List of 50 Things I want to do before my birthday. I have agonized over this one since I made the list. What skill should I learn? This summer, when we visited my sister in Ohio, my family tried to make me count playing Cornhole as a new skill. I refused. I remained stuck in indecision about choosing a new skill to learn. When I think about learning a skill, I worry about NOT being able to do it because my vision is so bad. So many “skills” require sight, at least in the learning stages.
My daughter, Emily, approached me about signing up to take a glass beadmaking class together. Before my vision started to deteriorate, I loved to make jewelry and I had thought about learning to make beads. I left jewelry-making behind as a hobby when it became a huge struggle to thread the beads on to the wire. It was so frustrating that I gave up. Still, when Emily suggested the class, I thought that I might give beadmaking a try.
We looked online and found a local glass studio that was offering a class. We signed up, along with my husband John and Emily’s boyfriend Justin. After we registered, I had second thoughts. What was I thinking? Low vision, flames, and molten glass could NOT be a good combination. How would I see the small pieces that I would need to manipulate? I decided to just do my best and went to the class.
The class was a lot of fun. I wore my best reading glasses, so that I would have the best chance of being able to see the small beads. At first, I was really afraid of the flame. The studio had a lot of safety measures in place, so I felt comfortable giving bead making a try. The truth is, I really could not see what I was doing very well. I just muddled through and did my best. I chose different pieces of blue and green glass to work with. Once the beads are hot, the colors change and it is really hard to tell what the bead is going to look like. This was not because I have low vision. Everyone with me had a similar experience. When we finished each bead, the instructor whisked them away and put them in the kiln. We will pick the beads up tomorrow and then, finally, we will see what we created.
Even though I was kind of afraid to take the class, I went ahead and tried. I have begun to learn a new skill. So, I feel like I earned the right to cross this item off my list. I had a wonderful time with my family members. We all have talked about going back and taking another class together. For this class, I will end up with a handful of beads. Time will tell what those beads look like. No matter what, I am proud of myself for not allowing my low vision to stop me from trying something new.