Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things at Which I Am Not Good

Or, "Things I'm Not Good At".

In light of a sudden rash of "confession" posts all over homeschool-mom blog land, this post has been rattling around in my head for two or three weeks now. Why such a depressing title? I think it is rather ENcouraging, considering where I've come from--"I'm not good at ANYTHING" was the original idea!

So, a list, with a few descriptions, of WHY I am not good at (ahem!)anything. . . or many things.

1. Grammar. Rules. I have a DEGREE in English. I know grammar. However, the inability to THINK in terms of NOT-PUTTING-PREPOSITIONS-AT-THE-END-OF-SENTENCES, or the impossibility of properly using quotation marks when their use comes into question without first looking it up via Google REALLY bothers me.

2. Sewing. I currently have three sewing machines in my cabinet. Two that belong in my house, and one that belongs to a friend. She loaned it so I could try a new thing I had seen, and I've not taken it out of the case. Why? I am afraid. I have no table space to set up a sewing machine. I DO NOT READ PATTERNS. That is, I could do it, if I wanted to, but it takes SO LONG to follow a pattern. I'd rather not sew than do that. It's a shame, because I really LIKE to sew!

3. Cooking. I do not use recipes. Not saying I don't like reading them, collecting them, pulling them out with intentions of using them, but I inevitably do NOT follow them to the letter. I cook yummy things, but I can hardly EVER replicate what I've ad-libbed. This creates much stress when it's time to have company and I truly don't know WHAT'S FOR DINNER--because I may know what it SHOULD be. . . .haha. I have a (tentative)plan. . . I just don't know for sure how it WILL be.
Maybe this one is related to #2--something to do with direction-following?
4. Map reading. My hubby wants me to be "navigator" when we are in the car. He likes to drive. I hate following directions. All those little details get me confused, and half of the time the map is not turned right or the road we need DOES NOT EXIST. . .GPS? Not for this man. I am telling him he NEEDS it more than ME.

5. Crafts. I have tons and tons of "interests". I have the supplies to go along with them. Do I make things? Do I create beautiful stuff that is fun to photo and post about?(see, there's that grammar thing again!) Do I DO crafts, and do them well? Sometimes. Rarely. Usually I just move the stuff from one place to another and then run out of time.

6. Driving. Granny likely does better. REALLY.

7. Scheduling. Boggles my mind how some people can take a family of ten and schedule every waking minute for each family member, and I can't get ME on a schedule, let alone figure out how to write out a tentative plan for my KIDS on a daily basis. . . my eyes glaze over when I think things like, "While C is doing math, J could be working on . . .while Brenn and I are. . . .and the Redhead is. . . .ACK!"

8. Writing. I dislike writing. That has come out again since my oldest child is taking an online writing course--UGH. I hope she doesn't see this. I have always hated having to write.

9. Cleaning. What needs to be done when? Seriously, about all I manage is to keep the bathrooms somewhat liveable, the laundry somewhat un-piled, and the kitchen usefully clean--dust? windows? soap scum in the showers? Who has TIME for that?

10. Teaching. There. I said it. I am a LOUSY home educator. Not to say my kids are not learning, but most days they learn because they are insatiably hungry to occupy their minds, NOT because I am good at putting together inspiring lessons and involving them in the process. No. They have interests, and they have STUFF TO DO. They happen to learn a little and we read a bit of history, science, or do a little grammar or math practice at times during the process. I am not a good teacher!
11. Gardening. I give up. Really. C is good with plants. I am not. Whether this is a time or a weather issue, or just that I hate outside and bugs, I do not know. Seriously though, I give up. I am not good at it!

12. Decorating. Something I love to dabble with. (end-of-sentence preposition again) I once thought I was good at it. Then we designed and built our own home. I currently feel it is an eclectic mix of shabby farmhouse vintage dorm travel beach kitsch. . . .and in a constant state of flux. Goodwill. That's the look I'm apparently going for!(Prepositions! ack!)
13. Furniture arranging. Enough said. Ask my hubby. I LOVE to move stuff. Probably only because I never get it where it WORKS.(and the dustbunnies DO get the best of me at times)
Maybe this one should be furniture STAYING. :)

14. Patience.

15. Group involvement. I always have too many ideas of how things could be BETTER.

16 Leadership. Having people depend on me to be up front telling people what to do STRESSES ME OUT.

17. Friendships. I have one really good friend--thank God that He gifted her to me. I am no good at pursuing shallow small-talk-oriented relationships. At all. Unfortunately this makes it very difficult to get to deeper levels of friendship, as well. I also find my interests are not NORMAL.

18. Parenting/discipline. The big four-letter-word: CONSISTENCY(sorry for using SUCH LANGUAGE here!).

18. Math. 'nuff said.

20. Bill-paying. Checkbook-balancing. Correspondence. Menu-planning. . . .

Knowing when enough is enough(I think I'll stop at 20).
You know what listing all these things makes me think of? When I am weak, He is strong. He who began a good work WILL BE FAITHFUL to carry it to completion. We have this treasure stored up in clay pots--and we can be useful in His hands anyway, somehow. It's a marvelous mystery.

Furthermore, He knew the number of my days, the hairs on my head, the steps of my path, BEFORE ANY ONE OF THEM CAME TO BE.
So I am thankful, and while I've not arrived to a perfect place with that, I am improving. I guess all of these things are about the journey, anyway. It doesn't do to get too settled into this world, as it is just a place of sojourn. I'm not home yet, but I know The Way.

How about you. What are you NOT good at? What are the bumps and the joys along your journey?



Lynn said...

April, I never knew we were so much exactly alike. (And how's that for a grammar problem?) LOL. I could have written much of this. I guess we all just have to keep plugging along, imperfect creatures, looking for our own best foot forward.


Allison said...

I disagree with everything you said. Except for following ANY sort of directions. You have inspired me to do the same confessional list via blog land. I love you dearly, prepositions and all. Next, do 20 things you ROCK at. Decorating is on the top 2. Love you much

Gabrielle said...

I struggle with some of the same things, especially prepositions!

Some of your "weaknesses" are strengths in my mind. I'd love be able to work without a schedule, but without a schedule, very little gets done--I fall into lazy mode. And furniture rearranging? Just be glad you're flexible. Damian insisted on rearranging the living room a year ago. I practically curled into the fetal position. But he did it, and it looks great. I don't handle change well. I love that your house has always looked pleasant. You're so great at decorating, and part of that is because you're willing to take a gamble and rearrange. I'm not.

And now you make me want to do the same, with the idea of being honest and real.

April said...

Hi Lynn--yes, I think that Anne-with-an-E would say you and I are likely "kindred spirits." Thanks for the encouraging words--we are just trying to do the best in this fallen place!
Gabbi, you are too kind. I like to think that my home is welcoming, but I doubt my abilities, and it seems that FINISHING any project is so much harder now than it was when the kids were small(odd, yes?).
Alli, you are SWEET. Don't argue with me. Catie is my attourney. :)