Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sibling Rivalry

Today is Day 5 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge 2016 sponsored by: Two Writing Teachers



Sibling Rivalry

Last year my siblings got me involved in a contest to benefit a nonprofit for adults with disabilities.  The Art Palette Contest involves buying an artist palette and creating some sort of work of art with the piece of wood. I judged I didn't have time for this contest but was coaxed into entering again because the contest was to benefit a worthy cause and because I could take some time during February vacation to make it happen.

I put a lot of pressure on myself to get it right, tossing and turning ideas around in my head for days before vacation. One thing you need to understand is that I come from a family of artistically talented people, with several sisters graduating from art school. I really wanted to paint but I judged I couldn't compete with my sisters. With vacation looming I started to doubt my decision to enter.  It was then that I had a conversation with one of my sisters about the stress I was feeling about this silly contest.  I was comparing myself to my other sisters and I knew I couldn't paint like them.  Her response was “Of course you can’t paint like them.  You don’t practice all the time like they do!  The only way you get good at painting is to paint.”  Wow!  The words stung, but rang so very true.  How could I paint like my sisters?  Why was I trying to be something I am not? 

With that thought I decided to find my niche, photography, and created something that was meaningful to me. I wasn't in the contest to win a prize after all, my goal was to have fun and raise awareness and funds for a good cause. 

But the bigger lesson for me was the reminder that in order to get good at something you need to do it often. Isn't that what I preach when I work with readers and writers.  You can't get better at reading and writing unless you are reading and writing all the time!

10 comments:

  1. Exactly! Practice makes perfect with reading, writing, quilting and vacuuming too :)

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  2. Exactly! Practice makes perfect with reading, writing, quilting and vacuuming too :)

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  3. Christine,

    So very true! Sometimes the "pressure" we put on ourselves is just plain silly IF we stop to think about it!

    Love this "You can't get better at reading and writing unless you are reading and writing all the time!" I see lots of reading and writing in your March future with Slice of Life!

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  4. I was drawn into reading this slice because I thought it was about young children and sibling rivalry - I love how you show these feelings stay with us all our lives! So true, practice makes perfect - and we all have our gifts. Next contest - paint your words on it!!

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    1. Thanks Maureen. I'll have to jot down this idea for NEXT year!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this multi-faceted post. Made me think of my beloved bro and our competitions over the years.

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  6. But the bigger lesson for me was the reminder that in order to get good at something you need to do it often. This is so true in all aspects of life. My son took up cross country in the fall. He was a disaster, but each week got better and he was quite accomplished toward the end. We showed the same thing to my middle child about practicing his instrument. A horribly sounding song became performance ready through practice. My mantra is slow and steady. Thanks!

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  7. Great slice! Seems we compare ourselves to others, forgetting that we have gifts others don't. So glad you stayed in it and did your 'thing.'

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  8. I have a twin who has always been more outgoing and confident than I am. It took me until my 40's to really feel confident in my skin and stop comparing myself to her.

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  9. I love the idea of decorating art palettes as a fund raiser. And you're so right about improving our skills. If we want to be better at something, whatever it is, we have to do it!

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