What We Don't Know, Week 45 in the Time of Coronavirus
I have to admit that I wasn’t sure that the judge I watched numerous times on Law and Order was Fran Lebowitz. It looked like her, but was she a doppelganger, or was she, in fact, the writer? After watching “Pretend it’s a City,” Martin Scorsese’s excellent (in my opinion) docu-series of Fran Lebowitz, I was happy to learn that, yes, it was her as Judge Janice Goldberg in the original Law & Order.
The short series on Netflix was a delightful, laughter-filled escape from current events this past week. I learned a lot, evaluated my own thinking, and admired FL’s ability to speak her personal truths, thoughts I often have, but don’t share aloud. Somehow the cable show also had me pondering on the wonder of all I don’t know. I’m not even sure how I arrived at that thought trend, but once there, my mind wandered endlessly to all that is yet to be explored. I’m not speaking of subjects that vaguely interest me, but not enough to occupy my time, like physics or economics. I’ll leave that to the experts. Then I’ll simply read their selective theories. I’m more thinking about what curiosities I can discover in a day, or in a new place, or with those who think differently than myself. Am I willing to let go enough to be in awe of the newness of an experience, much like a young child? I’m willing to try. I’ll see how it goes. If nothing else, I’ll learn more about my curiosity or lack thereof.
I can’t say I was in child-like wonderment whilst I tried to learn two new computer programs today. It was more like initial confusion followed by adult frustration. My curiosity quickly morphed into baffled exasperation. Though I wasn’t as open as I would have liked, I was able to marvel at my reaction, and my limited ability to take in perplexing information. I will try again briefly today, but it appears I need more time and energy to learn these programs. May I say that the tutorials for both wrongly claim the ease in which one can get them up and running. What I didn’t fully appreciate before is that I cannot rely on old knowledge to magically create aptitude for new skills.
It helped to admit that I couldn’t figure out how to launch the programs. Though I was hoping not being able to master the first program, I could figure out the second one. Not having the bandwidth to take in anything new happens more now in the pandemic. And, if that’s not enough, even old facts leave me with limited mental access. If I once knew something but can’t recall it at a particular time, I’m more embarrassed than if I never knew it at all. Or, if I am familiar with a topic, but know no specifics about said topic, I’ve been reluctant to admit that. I am happy to eschew that behavior by proudly admitting all I don’t know. I certainly don’t know how this will go, but I’m curious to find out. In the meantime, I’ll reread Fran Lebowitz’s essays.
- Admit that you don’t know something. It’s better to learn by not knowing than to be uncertain of what you might know.
- Make room for making mistakes, it’s bound to happen, and it helps us grow.
- Shape recommendations or suggestions to accommodate your life rather than shaping your world to acclimate to specific advice.
- Watch Netflix’s “Pretend it’s a City,” or something else true to your sense of humor.
- Place a light fragrance on your wrist, sniff it periodically, to get you through tough times.