Sunday, March 28, 2010

I am good at other things.

I am not good at many things. These include, but are not limited to:

Making my bed every day
Folding laundry on the day it's washed
Wearing skinny jeans
Decorating the walls of my home
3-dimensional media--most specifically, cake decorating
Keeping up with all the paper
Keeping the kitchen clean for longer than 30 seconds
Resisting cookies
Making sure the house is clean before I go to bed/leave the house/anytime (except when I know someone is coming over)
Returning library books on time
Parallel parking
Singing soprano
Sewing something without ripping out 42 seams in the process
Teaching a child how to ride a bike (Oh, I'll be terrible when it comes time for someone to drive a car!)
Playing basketball
Food presentation
Flower arranging
Knowing how to coordinate shoes/hose/shorter skirts in wintertime, now that it is no longer 1992, and white hose are a faux pas

I have been blessed to associate with some remarkable women. Most of them can do everything on this list and more (Connie really can breakdance), and sometimes it is difficult not to compare my weaknesses to their strengths. We women tend to do that, berating and degrading ourselves in the process. I was raised in a very can-do home and religion where self-reliance is hugely important. For a long time, I thought that meant that I had to know how to do everything myself. My friend, Heather, who was the best neighbor in the whole world, taught me something very profound. As I was lamenting the fact that I couldn't do something well, she shrugged her shoulders and said, "I am good at other things." It changed my life. For the first time, I realized that I didn't need to kick myself for all the things that frustrated me. I have permission to not worry about the things I don't do well--especially those which aren't crucial to my life. I am good at other things. My talents and gifts are uniquely mine, and with those gifts, I can influence my little corner of the world for good. When I can't do something well, I can call a friend. I can trust that Raquel can make a loaf of bread that will actually rise. Sherri can help me plan a fun trip (but I'll read the map). Melanie, Brooke, Syndi and Jana can all decorate my house (please?). School and church teachers can reach my children in ways I cannot. There is no need for me to compare. Learn? Yes. Feel inadequate? No. We all need each other.

So call me if you ever need help doing something at which I excel. My friend once told me that I would be his "phone-a-friend" lifeline on "Millionaire". Don't feel badly about yourself because I am a fountain of useless knowledge. You're good at other things, too.


  1. so true. i loved the wisdom and the laughs in this post.

  2. You are so right. We all have our own talents and you have some great ones. One that I see is that you are a GREAT MOM. We love you so much for all that you have brought to our family.

  3. Amen Sister.
    I think we should all list our own talents... we may see some overlap, but you may need something I can provide, and I you! Isn't it wonderful to live in a world with such talented women! YAY

  4. Cheryl, Thank you for writing this. I really did need to read it. I was feeling a little trapped and isolated because I only saw what I couldn't do. Thanks for the friendly reminder and good humor. I love reading your blog. :)

  5. Hey, at least you can recognize that white hose are a faux pas. There are many people out there who cannot claim that knowledge!

  6. Cheryl in your little blog post here you have answered a question that has been forming in my head for years. I am constantly berating myself for the fact that my house is not a shrine to my duster, so much housework and other things have gone skyward this year that it rattles me a little but you know what, you are completely right!! I am much better at other things!!! LOL, you go right ahead and fix my life one blog post at a time Cheryl! It is much appreciated!!

  7. Cheryl--this is just what I needed to read today. I spend so much time criticizing myself and thinking of how I can fix those faults. Can't wait to read what else you'll write!!

  8. True post, dead on. (does that sentence have a dead word? probably more than one) I definitely know the areas where I don't exhibit any talent . . . like Claire, my house would be um . . . cluttered, is a kind word. :) And it does bother me sometimes my SIL can decorate with a rusty tin can and some weeds and make it look fabulous while I can struggle for days with a home decor project and it looks . . . stupid. But you are right, there are other things that count as a talent even if they're not as visible as a clean house or one that is well decorated.

  9. I have one thing to say to you:

    'Bout freaking time you started a blog!!!!!!!

  10. Thank you for linking to this blog from PTI. I want to first let you know that you really do have a gift for writing and I think your English teachers would be quite proud. Next, thanks for sharing your view on being asked about having 6 kids... I would probably be one of those looking at you in wide eyed wonder as I was an only child and having had 2 children, felt that 2 was an almost overwhelming number! It is a household I can't imagine and I enjoy reading your perspective. Thanks for sharing and giving us a peek into your thoughts.

  11. I needed to read this today Cheryl. Thank you.
    If you watch my kids, I'll clean and decorate your home (and I might even decorate a cake for you). Deal?