Dubious Skills

As a child, I pushed myself to color inside the lines, climb to the tops of trees, and jump until the rope-turners quit. I believed my fan base would increase each time I made a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

Now I’m easier on myself when I’m developing new proficiencies or abilities. Rather than trying to outshine others, my goal is to be engaged and content—especially when utilizing my more dubious skills.
For example, I enjoy arranging flowers from our garden in decorative vases for display around the house. I feel energized and creative as I snip branches, trim leaves, and position blossoms.

However, when I step back to admire my handiwork, I often find I’ve created a lop-sided bouquet littered with bald spots. And why did I think a single lilac blossom and fourteen yellow tulips would be an attractive combination?

But I’m not discouraged. As soon as the daisies droop and roses wilt, I happily create new eyesores.

When alone in the house, I sing with volume and drama. I belt out ballads, pop tunes, cowboy laments, and church hymns. Song fragments burst from me. I wail, yodel, and growl like Janis Joplin—all off key.

Singing with others, I hum along demurely, not wishing to offend the sensitive or startle dogs.

woman_driving_2I like to drive. I snack, sing, and comment on the driving of others: “Well, hoity-toity lady, aren’t you something as you drive your little red car very, very fast and pass on a curve. Tut, tut!”

But when I have passengers, my enjoyment falters as I’m made edgy by their white knuckled terror.

On Saturdays, I enthusiastically assemble my cookbooks and make a weekly menu and shopping list. I scan coupons, check the refrigerator and cupboards for ingredients, and badger Joel for ideas. I then prowl supermarket aisles, anticipating the fine cuisine I’ll prepare for our dinners.

Then, as the week unfolds, I discover I planned three pasta meals, forgot to buy the chicken for the fricassee, and picked up a can of corn instead of pineapple bits for the fancy dessert.

Vonnegut Saying www.ArtProMotivate.comBut neither questionable skills nor challenged talents dissuade me from pursuing activities I enjoy. Excellence is no longer required.

Have some thoughts
about questionable skills you enjoy?
I’d be interested.

Summary of Comments on “Family Economics”
Three wise ladies, all sharing the same philosophy, agreed with Aunt Beulah that developing financial sense in children matters. mrs1500 mentioned that it is up to parents to teach their children how to “take care of their financial house.”  Janice added that living within one’s financial means allows for independence in many other ways; and Becca explains to her children that sometimes its less about what we like and more about what works.  Wise words all.


10 thoughts on “Dubious Skills

  1. This made me laugh! I’m glad that this isn’t just me!- I can totally relate to all of your “questionable” skills and could add many many more, such as my ability to dress myself…. When shopping, I am drawn to cute tops and shoes, but most days find me in my bearpaw boots complete with sweats and a hoodie. 🙂


  2. Hey! I own a little red car. I drive fast but not on curves, and I’m the last thing from hoity-toity. Have I been tut, tuted? Actually, your way of talking about errant drivers is much nicer than mine, and I’m going to try your light-hearted humor instead of snarky frowns.

    Once again, Aunt Beulah, you’ve posed a thought-provoking question and I’ve taken it to heart. I realize I don’t try new things anymore and that’s sad. In keeping with my new theme of “authentic” for 2014, I’m going to
    sit thoughtfully and remember how it used to be. I’m making a list of fun things, and by gosh I’m gonna do them. ((I want to go to Paris with Janice))


    • I find it interesting how our self perceptions differ from those others have of us. I’ve always thought of you as someone who tried new things with the abandon Janice recommends. I’d love to know what makes your list.


  3. I don’t know how I managed to do well in school since most often I seem to miss the point of your questions and ramble off on my own tangent. What I should say is, I’m going to make a list of fun things and TRY them, without worrying about my skill level….as long as they don’t require new clothing.


  4. When I learned that perfection is not always the goal, I began tasting and trying and looking for fun activities, no matter my skill level. A book of some time ago noted that we do expect Michael Jordan to play basketball well, but give him some slack on other talents. Perfection? Not i.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s