“If you are what you should be, you will set the world ablaze.”~ St. Catherine of Siena
For as long as I can remember, I have hoped to find/have a hidden talent. I grew up surrounded by incredibly talented people, so it was impossible not to notice that I was not one of them. I secretly believed Nancy and Jack when they said my real name was Hipsabob Zany, and that I was adopted, because it didn’t really seem like I could be a child of the same parents as the singers, musicians, mathematicians, politicians, artists, chefs, thinkers, writers, athletes, and crossword puzzlers who I lived with on Erie Avenue. Not that every one of my eight sisters and brothers exhibited all of those talents (although Jack and Eileen, next in line before and after me, come close), but each has at least one of them. However it happened, I am really glad to be a proud member of the Hart family. Add to that, I married well, and if genetics have anything to do with it, I apparently have the recessive gene for awesomeness, since our kids definitely have it going on.
Anyway, turning 50 after a bout with breast cancer makes you realize that there is a limited amount of time to figure out “if you are what you should be.” So, I am doing what I encourage the girls to do when we go shopping, trying on a whole bunch of things, because you never know. You could be surprised by what you like. I had a couple days this week when it seemed like nothing fit. Ugh. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
Monday night, I headed over to my gardening class, and once again, the quality of the questions my classmates asked left me in the dust. It is almost like the class is taught in a different language. I did enjoy the walk to and from the YW, though.
On Tuesday morning, I headed to my icon class, and after two and a half hours, I thought, what in heaven’s name was I thinking taking another icon class! If every brush stroke is a prayer, I hope mine was not profane. I tried on iconography in the fall, and it still doesn’t fit, although I went back to the evening class and Mary and Elizabeth are looking a lot better. There are a lot of things I like about the class, e.g. spending time with my friend Jennifer, getting to know some really interesting people, and the music Celeste was playing was so cool, I ordered from my iphone right in class. And once again, the walk to and from class was lovely.
That afternoon was my Prescription for Living After Breast Cancer class, and we did ZUMBA! Oh. My. Goodness. I was terrible. No hidden talent there. I was strangely disappointed. And feeling more than a tad discouraged. Sigh.
(Although I will tell you a secret…I loved the snake arms of belly dancing. I might try that on another time.)
Here is a list of some of the other things I have tried in the not-so-distant past:
1. Tai chi – which was really out of character, and I was a nervous wreck going to the class at the fitness center after our introductory mother-daughter class, aka private lessons for Laura and me. This actually has turned out to be a good fit. I should write about it sometime. I love tai chi!
2. Knitting – ooooo, not so much. I made a scarf that my mother, God love her, was willing to wear. But I took the class with my friend Chris, which was fun, and we met a nice group of women, including a writer of vampire novels!
3. Native American flute – ok, in the interest of accuracy, pvc pipe flute. Still trying it on.
4. Blogging – maybe not a talent, but I think it’s a keeper.
5. Roman citizenship – I’m getting ready to come out of the dressing room, fully clothed as a citizen of Rome. I’m not sure when, but it will surely be before I wear a bathing suit in public.
6. Youth ministry coordinator – could use some alterations, but the Holy Week events went well. I do really enjoy the kids. And I have been very lucky to have great help.
7. Communications director – I think I am growing into this role. I am very glad I sent the fundraising shoes back. They had turned into cement shoes that threatened to sink me.
8. Yoga – ok, one class and a warrior refresher with Chris, but I am not putting it on the returns rack. The warrior stretching feels really good for my scars.
9. Walking places – also not a talent, but I really am loving it. I’ll write about that sometime soon, too.
It would not be truthful if I were to say that I can’t do anything well.
Laura said I am an awesome mom, and she may be right. I think Steve and I create an environment for our kids to thrive. (I was thinking about that when I wrote my last post. When our kids succeed, they often seem to forget that we were always there in the background suggesting, encouraging, cheering, cajoling, nagging, whatever it takes. Just like how we forget God’s help.) Sarah sent this quote by Kay Boyle: “I had the most satisfactory of childhoods because my mother…turned out to be exactly my age.” It reminds me of how I have always liked each one of my kids at exactly the age that they are today, whatever the day. I really enjoyed walking home with Jack from soup kitchen last night. He is so funny!
When my sister Theresa was helping to clean out my parents’ garage, she found something I wrote that said that I loved long conversations about things that are very important or about nothing at all. Ha! I still do! I think I want to be a rhetorician, which Sarah told me is a person who moves the soul with words. Like Plato. I suspect it doesn’t pay well.
I googled “hidden talents” yesterday, and one page suggested making a list of all the things you have ever loved doing or ever thought you might like to do, and try one each day. That’s sort of what I have been doing. Just trying stuff on. I also found a Hidden Talents quiz. So, as I head out to “set the world ablaze,” I’ll show you the results. What do you think?
Your Hidden Talent is Your Quick Wit
You are a great communicator. You have a real way with words.
You’re never at a loss to explain what you mean or how you feel.
People find it easy to empathize with you, no matter what your situation.
When you’re up, you make everyone happy. But when you’re down, everyone suffers.