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  • Writer's pictureThe Music Makers

What Is Your Fing?

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

I want to start by reassuring adults who may be reading this with children, (and I hope you do) that "fing" is not a dirty word (at least not in the English language.) The word came from a quote by one of my favorite, smaller humans, whose name is Jane.

“Mom? I weally fink tennis is my fing. And dance is my weally fing. And when you get nervous, you just bweeve in, den bweeve out, den everyfing can be your fing too.”

I love keeping up on social media with all of the delightful things Jane and her 3 sisters say and do. They are lovingly documented by their mother, who is their brilliant guide on the journey of their lives. This is not the first time that something one of these girls said really struck me in a deep way. But this time, I thought Jane presented some ideas that adults and children can explore together. What is my weally fing? (Not a dirty word.) How does bweeving relate to all of this? How many fings should I have? Should everyfing be my fing?

Jane, keeping it real.

What is my "weally fing?" In looking at the context in which this was stated, I think this is our favorite thing at any given time. For some of us this changes frequently and for others it never changes. Success in our work and hobbies can come by having only one thing to focus on. But, who says success means being an expert at only one thing? Well, actually someone did say that, and it caught on. I know we have probably all heard the quote “It’s better to do one thing well than ten things poorly." I see the wisdom in this pertaining to careers or very special goals that require undivided focus. But most of us don't have goals of being Olympic athletes. In the case of children starting out in life, (or 57 year olds starting over in life) participating in lots of things and searching for our favorite thing, can be a fine approach. You see, there is so much to be gained in the process of trying new things. When my boys were young, I gave them the freedom to try anything they wanted but they had to finish the session of what they signed up for, that way they had more thoroughly explored if it was going to be their favorite thing. And of course, limiting the amount of activities at one time was necessary because of limitations of time and money. I think Jane's philosophy is a way of thinking, not a formula to be followed. This way of thinking allows us to give things a try, without putting limitations on ourselves through negative ways of thinking. It doesn't mean we take on too much or become someone with no focus. It just frees us up to try things without limiting ourselves. That brings me right to our next question.

How does "bweeving" relate to all of this? At this time in my journey of life, I think I can say I do live by what Jane describes in the breathing part of her quote. I will sum it up this way , “just breathe and go for it.” Perfectionism kept me from enjoying the process of learning something new without having to master it or be the best at it. I have finally shaken free of the fears of failure, not being good enough, and looking silly. I have also unloaded the heavy weight of the concern over what others think of me. We have all said or heard someone say, “That’s just not my thing” when presented with a new opportunity. Maybe it was because we tried it and didn’t enjoy it, or maybe because we didn’t think we would be good at it. It may be a good idea to reevaluate. A good way to do this is, when thinking of past attempts and future opportunities, ask ourselves, "Is it something I would want to do if there was no such thing as fear and worry?" Or, "Would I enjoy this activity if there was nothing holding me back?" Jane reminded us that we do have this tool of breathing in and breathing out, which is proven to calm anxiety. So, if the answer is yes to one of questions, then "just breathe and go for it." It might end up being your "weally fing." (Honestly, not a dirty word.)

How many "fings" should I have? I have two grown sons and I think and hope that I emphasized to them success of character, relationships, and personal fulfillment over our western cultural's view of success. The pictures of success we are shown through social media, the entertainment industry, and corporate culture, show success as obtaining physical beauty, material possessions, titles and status, and admiration by those who have also bought into these ideas. This way of thinking can lead someone to giving all their time and attention to only one thing for the wrong reasons and neglecting the gifts of life we are given to enjoy. Focusing on one thing only and becoming an expert at that thing is an amazing goal if done for the right reasons and only if second to our own self care. I have heard stories over the years of students under pressure to excel in the honors path in their education and it took a toll on their physical, emotional and mental health. On the other side, there can be different motives for parents having their children in too many activities at one time. I've seen it lead to frustration and exhaustion for both parents and children. Our well-being should always come first. So there is no magical number of things we should be trying at one time. Making sure the activities have the right place among our priorities, and are engaged in with motives that truly benefit our lives is where the magic is.

Jane, with several fings going on all at once.

Should "everyfing be my fing?" I have many thoughts on this one. Through Creative Learning House I teach children and adults in the areas of art, music, and play. I believe these are some of the greatest gifts given to us in life by our Creator and they are to be enjoyed by all. Ears and voices weren’t only given to people who would audition for The Voice or America's Got Talent. Eyes and hands weren’t only given to those whose art would be viewed in a gallery by millions. We are all music makers and we all have the ability to create and to play. We need to ask ourselves if the downside to only focusing on one thing may be that we are missing out on these beautiful gifts given for all of us to enjoy.

One of my favorite things in life is to watch a tiny human, whose existence on the planet is still counted in months, move to music just by using their head. They don’t really know yet how to use their arms in dance, and they can’t stand up to use their legs, but they sure can bob that little noggin. Then when they do learn to stand, they bend those chubby knees and really move that diaper padded bottom to the music. Now, we don't tell that tiny human they have no talent for dance. We allow them to enjoy the gift of dance and music. That little one is a dancer. That is their "weally fing" at that point in their life. When do we stop being dancers? Do we stop dancing when we're told we aren't good enough for the talent show or the solo part in the dance recital? I hope not. So many have stopped singing since the "American Idol culture" gave us the message that we should leave the singing to the ultra talented. We gave our young people the message that they should stop singing, sit at home, and watch others do it. Tragic!

I don't think I can count the amount of times in my 30 years of sharing music and art with young children, that a parent has asked if their child could try a class to see if it's "their thing." I try to share, and hope I'm heard, that I believe music and art are for everyone if we see them as gifts to be enjoyed, not as things to be mastered. And the great thing is that no matter if we master these things or not, what comes out of us when we “just breathe and go for it” will be unlike anything that comes out of any other being in the universe. If it brings no one else joy but ourselves and our Creator, it is worth doing.

Jane, being wonderfully inquisitive.

So, here are my final thoughts after pondering Jane's philosophy and combining it with my own experiences. We can have as many things as we want. We can even have many at the same time. Or we can focus on only one favorite thing. Our life has been given to no one but us. We are the deciders. So what if we only have one interest? So what if we're wearing ballet attire, with a motorcycle helmet on our head, while we stop to piddle in the garden a bit. Who says that's not allowed? And if someone says anything about it, we can just "bweeve in, and den bweeve out" and say to them, “Everyfing can be your fing too”

So what if Jane wears 4 hair bows at once. Who says that's not allowed? She is the decider.

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So as you can see if you look at my website, I currently have a lot of "fings" going on. Some may say that I have too many "fings." Maybe, but I am enjoying the process and I am the decider. :) I promise I won't write many blogs. You can sign up with just your email above this article. Thanks so much!

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