About 10 years ago, on a casual Friday, the laces on my sneakers came untied while I was carrying a humongous stack of paper. I nearly tripped over them, but luckily, my coworker, a lovely woman named Marnie, who never wore sneakers, even on casual Friday, caught both me and my teetering tower of paper. She cast a sidelong glance at my dangling laces and said “Let me show you something my dad taught me.” She proceeded to tie my shoe, but after making the first loop, when she came to the ‘squirrel runs around the tree’ part, she made two passes! She then finished the bow and said, “if that comes undone on it’s own, I’ll buy you a new pair of sneakers.” Then she walked away. I didn’t get a new pair of sneakers, because the bow didn’t come undone on it’s own. What I did get was a new way of doing something I thought I was already pretty good at. I also think of Marnie every single time I tie my shoelaces. In fact I’ve become an evangelist of what I now call the Marnie Method of shoelace tying.
There is a Bhuddist saying that states: When the student is ready a teacher will appear. I don’t think my encounter with Marnie strictly meant that I was ready to learn about shoelace tying, but it just goes to show you that sometimes you learn things you didn’t know you didn’t know.
Today, instead of carrying stacks of paper for fun, now I blog. I love blogging. That fact is obvious to me, since it’s really the only thing besides staying married, and raising my kids that I’ve ever done consistently for more than 5 years. Notice I say I love it, I don’t say I’m good at it. I figure I have a whole helluva lot to learn before I can say that. In fact I’ve literally tripped myself up a few times, by doing something I assumed I was pretty good at but wasn’t. But as I’ve done with a lot of things since entering my fifties, I’ve decided to kick my blogging up a notch. One of my goals is to increase readership for Lala Land, and to that end, I’ve started reaching out to fellow bloggers and writers. Some in person, and some, just because I like their 40 character Twitter bios. These comrades in creativity are myriad and varied, in everything, especially their areas of expertise. For instance the mid-life, divorced, guy who writes for Huff-Post50 has nothing in common with the 20-something copywriter in my office, yet they both have taught me something valuable that I didn’t know about blogging.
Sure, blogging can be just about as easy as tying your shoelaces, but keep your eyes peeled for your Marnie, you just might learn something you didn’t know you didn’t know.