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Are you good at what you do? What would you like to be better at?

I’m a pretty good cook, and I enjoy it. Thankfully, my husband and I like most kinds of food, so that gives me room to experiment. I try to cook with mostly fresh ingredients, and my newest finds are Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. They’re both rather bland and there are lots of neat things you can do with them to spice them up and make them quite interesting. (I’ll leave you to find recipes online!) I’ve also been challenged by my son and daughter-in-law’s veganism, and now my go-to cake is a vegan one. I’ve also tried a number of Paleo recipes, too, and find the concept of that diet interesting, but I can’t quite commit myself to no grain. That’s party because I’m addicted to oatmeal in the morning!

That’s another thing I like to do: when I find something in the fridge that has to be used, I put the ingredients into the search box with the term “recipe” and it’s amazing how many returns I get — and new ideas.

I’m good at writing. I’ve have stated I want to write children’s books, but honestly, I’m having a really hard time with that. It’s just so much harder than I thought it would be. I’m also finding that I don’t have a great imagination. I am seriously in awe of writers like J.K. Rowling’s (and a myriad of others in young adult fiction) and how their imaginations can create whole alternative realities. I just don’t think I have it in me.

I think non-fiction is my best bet, and even there I find it hard to tell a story in terms children will best like and understand, and get all the information into it. There’s also the issue of research; I’m hard on myself at being sure I have the facts straight, and really don’t want to make mistakes, so I tend to keep looking for more facts until I feel that I’m sufficiently informed to pass the information along to others.

There are many things I could do better if I worked harder at them and applied myself more consistently. I’m one of those people who starts one thing, moves on to another, and another, and end up having several unfinished projects. I have far more ideas than I have the time or energy to accomplish. Does that mean I’m just not industrious enough, or that I need to quit thinking so much? Think less and do more, I suspect. I often recite the Nike slogan to myself: “Just Do It!” It helps… sometimes.

In my life I’ve tried weaving, knitting and crochet, painting (rooms and art), sketching, and I can’t say I’m really first rate at any of them. I go through phases — I did picture framing for a couple of years — cutting mats and wood — then just dropped it. In fact, to be fair to myself, we lived in a house where I had a perfect set up for framing. Then we moved, and I was hard pressed to find a place to work on it anymore. It’s so much easier when you have your “tools” all in place. I also sew and for years now (since the kids vacated their bedrooms), I have been able to have the machine out and ready, and that makes a big difference.

So, even in retirement, I still feel I have a lot to accomplish, lots to learn, and more to do. I just have to press my nose the the grindstone more — that’s the biggest lesson I have to learn. I think I’ll never get rid of my multi-tasking mentality, though; it’s just the way my mind works.

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