Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wine and Self-Realization

Tonight I had a moment of self-realization I would like to share with you. And a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon which I believe I will keep to myself. It may or may not have had anything to do with the self-realization. But that's beside the point. Here's what I realized.

I am good at what I do. But I do too many things to do a good job of any of them.

Let me elaborate. I am a good teacher. I relate well to other people. I am chameleon-like in my ability to adapt my teaching style to the needs of the individual students. Really. You should see me. Even my tone of voice and accent switch instantly as one child files out and the next files in. It's kind of scary. I can think up new ways to describe things on the spot. I have even been known to invent exercises to teach a particular posture or technique on the spur of the moment. I make up a song to fit the cadence of the child's name in no time flat. I am good.

But. I lack the time to further my education in teaching and in music-- particularly theory, which is my weakest link. I don't have time to take on more students, advertise for more students and expand my studio.

I am a good wedding designer (go away, Susi, I'm having a moment here, just let me have it). I have a good eye for color, balance, design. I have tons of ideas. I'm not the hottest on technical expertise, but I can usually jimmy-rig my way out of a jam and get the job done. (duct-tape is my friend...) I am good at taking broad, general ideas and vague notions and sifting them down into workable specifics and organized details. I love working with people and flowers and I loooove weddings.

But. Again, I don't have the time for further education. I don't have the time to advertise for more clients, work on our website or refine our business details so we can actually make money doing what we do.

I'm a good homeschool mom. I enjoy doing it. I love to learn, explore and create. I have tons of ideas for cool ways to teach Sofi stuff. I love my kids-- I love to spend time with them. I super-love watching them learn things. I enjoy researching topics and finding cool facts, pictures, video, and etc (the interwebs are my best friends!).

But. I don't have time to spend hours planning cool projects and taking field trips. My daughter is six and has never done the super-awesome thing where you pour vinegar into the volcano model and watch it errupt. We've studied volcanos, but we skipped that part because it was too messy and time-consuming. I have a toddler in the house, for pete's sake. I'm lucky if I get the laundry done before we run out of clean clothes each week. (which reminds me.... 'scuse me for a sec)

(Okay, cleans are in the dryer. Where was I? Ah yes.)

I'm a pretty good housekeeper, seamstress, home decorator, cook and writer, but none of these things ever get my attention and time in the quantity and quality needed to really produce something great, because I'm always spending all my time trying to keep everything from falling completely apart. I dab at this and poke at that-- the proverbial duck paddling like the devil underneath, just to keep afloat.

So what is the answer? I don't know. I don't even know what the question is. I'm not upset/depressed by this revelation, just pondering it. Wondering if this is the normal way of things for a mother of young children, or if the Lord is asking me to change things. Perhaps He wants me to drop out a few things and focus on attaining exellence in the others. I kind of hope not. I'm rather attached to all these things I do. Perhaps He is satisfied with his jane-of-all-trades-mistress-of-none and I needn't worry, but rather keep on paddling. I don't know. Not yet. Hopefully I'll find out soon.


Edith said...

Hi there.
I don't really have much wisdom to shed on your ponderings but I reckon the fact you are thinking stuff through is a good thing. I always feel that when you chew the fat "out loud" (as it were) it sort of channels things in your mind. You might not change anything but at least you have tried to rationalise and make sense of it all. Sorry - hope this isn't too random. On another tangent, prayer really does work even when you wonder if it's going anywhere (as I know you are aware). I'll be thinking of you. Oh, have a glass of the Cab Sauv for me too!

Herb of Grace said...

I will actually be glad to have a glass of this particular Cab Sauv for anyone who asks!

Thanks, Edith. "chewing the fat out loud" is exactly what a blog is so great for! Right? And prayer is good too :)

Susannah Forshey said...

So, my take on it is a bit different. I think that any person ---*any* person---can develop this viewpoint when he begins evaluating himself based on skill or personal accomplishment in various forms. Physical ability, craft, social skill, talent, financial success, health, even fertility....not to mention seeing all manner of the same in your children! The perspective is vital here: "If you seek your life you will lose it, but if for My sake you lose your life, then you shall find it." I believe God is measuring our lives in thousands of unseen ways that will greatly surprise us one day when we "know fully even as we also are known"

Being part of the Body of Christ may look unglamorous from the viewpoint of, say, the eyelash (Hey, I just sit here all day, and blink and there are dozens like me, some longer and glossier, who are doing so much more.....), but each part is essential in the way God built the body.

I believe if you are letting Him fill all your desires, and seeking His perspective, your "unfinished accomplishments" will take shape before your eyes as a beautiful part of Christ's body.

Edith said...

I don't think I am disagreeing with Susannah (I suppose I was reluctant to put down too much about my perspective from a faith point of view because I still feel a bit of a stranger and new to all this. I feel a bit shy!). However maybe we're all correct. It's good to share frustrations/fears/just have a moan because we think we've lost our focus because getting it out in the open can make it seem less oppressive than when it's all in our head. Once it's "out there" then (hopefully) we have good Christian friends who can disciple us properly and remind us of all those precious promises in Scripture which help give us our focus dimension and reassurance. Matthew 5: 3 is our rallying call today girls! And while I'm at it, why not Matthew 5: 13-16 as well?!