“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Yes, you can. I believe anyone can achieve what they want most in life if they go after it and don’t give up. Of course, some people may have limitations – physical or otherwise – but there are mouth-painters who create wondrous works of art even if their hands won’t allow them to do so.

I am now 41, but there are still many things I wish to learn and achieve in life. I always wanted to learn to play the piano, so in September 2011, I took lessons. I stopped in March when I returned to my exceptionally busy seasonal job. But every now and then I sit at the keyboard and I can tell that my lessons weren’t for naught. I have remembered some of the songs I learned and I am grateful.

I also learned to knit and crochet about a year ago. I had been wanting to try and I am glad that I did. Two ladies taught me these crafty skills. It was great to learn from others giving generously of their time and talents.

I recently got a sewing machine. Now all I need is more time and, of course, patience. But my stitched lines are looking straighter. I just need to slow down. Many people have told me this throughout my life. Taking your time really does pay off. If you rush, you may have to start all over. Whether it’s dialing the telephone too fast and accidentally hitting the wrong numbers, or playing too fast on the piano and hitting the wrong keys.

I took an art class through continuing education several years back and I was impressed at how good my sunflower drawings turned out. I did one in color and one in black and white. The original photograph was taken at one of my favorite spots, Olcott.

This past fall, I learned to strum a guitar. And at Christmas, Santa Claus brought me my favorite instrument of all time, a mandolin. I am eager to learn how to play it. I bought a book and I have an instructor in mind. But she is very busy herself preparing a school production of “Beauty and the Beast,” along with working full time, church choir commitments, her family and other hobbies.

With my ever growing love of writing, I took it upon myself to review an award show that was televised a few months ago. I then sent my review to a small newspaper in Warsaw, which gladly printed it. I continue to do reviews of movies, CDs and local events. I thoroughly enjoy this and wish that I could make a career out of it. I am learning by doing because I haven’t taken a college journalism class in more than 20 years. This has provided me with a great addition to my writing portfolio.

Every year I make a list of New Year’s resolutions and add some ideas to my bucket list. Some I have been able to cross out, while others are still waiting. But I think that eventually they will all have an X through them, because where there’s a will, there’s a way.

People should find motivation from within to go after what they wish to do. It is never too late to learn how to draw, or to try roller blading, or to take a continuing education class, or to find and discover something new that they are able to do and enjoy.

In this modern world, it is as easy as pushing a few keyboard keys or clicking the mouse a few times to find something for everyone.

Best of luck in your future endeavors. Never give up; go after your dreams!

Wendy Schreiner, of Warsaw, substitute teaches at Warsaw Central School and leads the Write Connection Creative Writing Club.