Sunday, October 27, 2013

Candy Chang's food for thought...what is your discipline?

Have you ever thought about how you have changed since you retired? Maybe you went back to school to learn to be something totally different. Or have you created your own "Discipline" combining skill that you had learned from other stages and ages?

Remember when you were in college and you studied a discipline like math or art or accounting? It seems that we can create our own discipline combining talents we already possess. That is what I want to talk about today.

It all started with my email and a link to SumbleUpon. The next thing I knew I was looking at a weblog posted by an artist named Candy Chang.

First of all I want you to know that I am not acquainted with Candy Chang. But I do know that I love her website and better yet I love the range of her creative nature. She has given a TED talk so you know she is remarkable. She has done everything from a chalkboard on her house grown into a book to an exhibit in Las Vegas called Confessions.

After the death of someone she cared about, she painted blackboard paint on the exterior wall of her house and asked the simple question, "What do you want to do before you die?" She left chalk I think because the wall filled with statements from people passing by and soon other walls began to spring up around the world. Hence the book.

But the simple 2 minute YouTube video you see above touched me more than all of her projects put together. The video leads us down to the garden path so a place where you will ask yourself about what you are good you have a specific discipline that you excel at or are you like the rest of us...eclectically blessed. Jack of all trades as it were.

As I write about the retirement stage of my life I am more and more convinced that our happiness is directly related to what we learn or master as we age. We don't usually take up the harp if we have no knowledge of music. Yet I have known people to do just that. That person is very unique and wonderful I think. They have a clear picture of what harp playing will bring to them as they learn the discipline.

I took up writing when I was around 60 years old. I had been a teacher and did a lot of writing for my work but I had never really let myself just write what I wanted. First of all, I wanted to see my words in print somehow. Not that I thought anyone wanted to read but still I needed that kind of gratification. Then along came blogging and I was feeling hopeful.

Do you know what almost stopped me from ever beginning? My typing skills. While I knew I had the words and the ideas, I did not trust myself to put them into a blog because I knew that I was not a good typist. In order for me to practice one discipline, I had to be very good at another.

But write I did, day after day. The discipline of typing my words and rereading to correct was just what I needed. I learned and improved and worked. I had found a "Discipline" of my very own making.

So what discipline have you created at this time in your life?

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