Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Achievement

It's easy to excel at something that you are naturally good at.

Music has always come easily to me. I've spent most of my life so far doing ONLY music. Practicing around the clock, getting into summer programs, earning two advanced degrees- music has been a big part of my life. Both of my parents are music teachers, and I was started on my first " stick instrument" as soon as I was able to grasp on and pretend I was playing the instrument choice of the day.


I never went outside the box to try anything new because it was easiest to just pursue that which came effortlessly to me. I'm not an organized person but who cares? I'm not good at it so why try? I'm not athletic so why try? If I didn't get a good grade without studying, I soon lost interest in the subject because WORKING to learn a skill that didn't come naturally to me was HARD.

I would give excuses as to why I was bad at something and then console myself with my musical skills feeling that redeemed me in life.

(OK, I don't know what's up with the camera spot on these next few...but the pics were too cute not to share anyway)

ENTER: ADDISON

Nothing comes easily for her (except extreme cuteness)

When she was born, she had to work hard at BREATHING and EATING; things that I had previously taken for granted. As I helped her learn basic skills, I found that for the first time in my life, I was truly having to work hard at something.

Her body has low muscle tone and extreme flexibility, so such such things as standing independently, isolating her pointer finger, taking steps without holding on, talking- all of these things are VERY hard for her to accomplish.

Working with her and seeing the incredible reward and satisfaction that is there as she conquers "small" skills that have taken her months to learn- I have learned a new level of appreciation for hard work and pushing yourself to do things that don't fall into place easily for you.


The smile on my face and the feeling of accomplishment in my heart when I saw her learn to suck from a bottle for the first time made whatever musical success I had pale in comparison. The day Addison finally came off of oxygen (at 9 months) I wanted to celebrate more than when I had successfully finished my masters degree.

I find myself inspired by her. It's amazing the wonders that the world holds when you don't limit yourself to simply what comes easily. I've started to truly care and work at things that previously held no appeal for me. 

Writing (these past sleep deprived posts don't count)

I have taken a lot of time and effort to attempt to become a better writer. This past year and a half of blogging has stretched me in new ways. I've never tried to write before because I didn't win a Pulitzer prize the first time I composed a few original paragraphs. So why try?

In the spirit of trying something new, this past year and a half I have been writing a novel. Starting out- I was so horrible that those who read my first drafts deserve some sort of "true friend" medal (and an even bigger reward for not laughing at me). But I kept trying and working- taking the cue from my daughter.

I'm not saying that now I'm a professional or that my book is now ready to hit the shelves...but I am MUCH better, and I can only imagine where continued work and growth will take me and my humble little book. (can hardly wait to get back to editing, but giving myself time to get the kids on a slightly better schedule first...and waiting to get the notes from my agent/editor)


I'm so thankful to have a daughter who has to work for everything because it's caused me to realize the real joy there is to be found in life. The smallest of achievements are all of a sudden a big deal- the gloss-over-until-it-interests-me approach that I had previously taken to EVERYTHING now leaves me wanting to conquer those pesky skills that I had always excused myself from because "I'm good at music".

I feel like I'm truly experiencing life for the first time. Why settle with those things that just seem easy? There's an amazing feeling that accompanies a skill that you truly had to work at.

Zumba class...I have to work at "the moves"...but I've never had more fun! I never would have tried this class without Addison's inspiration backing me.
I'm still not the most organized person in the world, but for the first time, I'm trying...and enjoying the challenge!
I'm thinking of taking up running. It would help me get rid of these annoying baby pounds and give me a physical outlet as well. (I've always admired runners, but been too scared to try...because it is hard)
I owe my new lease on life to Addison...what an inspiration she is at only 20 months. I can only imagine the joy we'll find as we continue to follow her little miracle life.
Are you tired of the daily posts yet? (-:

14 comments:

  1. Never tired of daily Addison posts :) and of course your awesome writing helps too!

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  2. It is really neat that you and Addison are teaching each other different things. She is very lucky to have you as her mother! Is she also interested in music?

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  3. I love coming here.Addison is so precious...Carter too. Your words and her life inspire me and give me a lift. Your words seem to come so easily and after reading today's post you make me want to try new things. Thamk you for sharing.

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  4. Love, love love this post. The pictures if her standing are awesome. I could read your blog everyday!! Addison inspires me and I don't "know" her. Knowing how hard she had to fight for her life, and the things she accomplish everyday is pure inspiration

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  5. Several of these pictures shocked me with how closely Lauren and Addison resemble each other! especially pics #5 & 7 ... they are definitely cousins! very, very cute! :)

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  6. This post resonates so much with me. I too have usually chosen to really only do the things that come easily to me. I love that Addison is inspiring you in this way and I hope that Cora does the same for me. (She's 9 months now but has already made some amazing accomplishments- like learning to breastfeed after being a tube baby). Proud of you. And LOVING the adorable Addison photos. I just wanna eat her up!

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  7. So true!
    Btw...last year I decided for the first time to start running... I ran 2 5ks and found I really grounded me. I miss it! I have a start running program I used on my blog if you decide to start.

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  8. LOVE this post. Addison is truly an inspiration and the Lord is using her in ways that are far outside our realm of understanding. Thank you, Deanna, for these "dailies"...look forward to each and every one!

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  9. I look forward to each new post.

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  10. These are the best Chubbs pictures yet! And as if anyone would ever be tired of daily posts from you!!

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  11. NEVER tired of your posts. Or pictures. And then there is the fact that I labor for an hour trying to say something on my blog, finally hit publish and then come over here and find out that you wrote it so much better than me :)

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  12. I'm never tired of reading your posts and I can't wait to read your book!

    Addison is so cute standing there all by herself!

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  13. I always crave the next post from you!

    And, again, you've made me tear up. :)

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Thanks for reading about my Everything and Nothing. I would love to hear from you!