Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Things We're Not Good At, But Wish We Were

Mara here. I am skilled at a wide range of things, and I've dabbled in a lot of activities. On the blog, we've shared jobs we've previously had, and both my mom's and my lists had a lot of different types of work included.

But there are a few things I've tried that I'm simply not good at. I wish I were good at them. And I suppose if I really focused all my energy on studying these things, I could probably get proficient at them. But although I'm stubborn—I'm not that stubborn. I'm okay with being mediocre, even bad, at some things. That's kind of the cool thing about humans. We're good at different things. And we all want to do different things.

So here are few things I'm just simply not good at: 

Cooking. I am just not good at cooking. I can do it...sort of. But I get bored. And it's messy. And I don't like following all the rules. I am amazed at the idea that some people want to own a restaurant. I can't get my brain to understand how anyone thinks that would be an enjoyable way to spend my time. I do like printing out recipes. I like the idea of cooking yummy things. But after about 10 minutes of stirring things and making pots dirty, the idea of running to our local taco stand always seems like a much better idea.

Math. I don't have a math brain. I can read a book and write a report on it in one night. But math just doesn't make sense to me. Well, basic math makes sense to me. But once I get past Geometry (which I was very good at), everything else is tedious to me. Too many abstract letters and theories. My brother was extremely good at math, so it was a little disheartening for me to discover that math was not going to come easily to me. As math got more complicated, even  if I understood what I was supposed to be doing, my answers were always wrong. Fortunately my daughter is great at math. So I feel good that I didn't somehow genetically pass on my mathematical ineptitude.

Drawing. My skills at drawing are limited to very bad stick figures. I'm good at doodling. I love doodling. Just squiggling scribbles and drawing hearts and stars on stuff. But I really can't make things look like real things. And I know that art doesn't have to be realistic, but I always wanted to be able to draw things like horses and ballerinas. Unfortunately, I'm terrible at proportion. And I don't have a lot of control over my hands so lines are squiggly and circles are really just blobs. My mom is a great artist, so it's always been disappointing to me that I wasn't able to do it. It's definitely something I wish I were better at!


Toni here. What follows are three things I wish I were good at but am not.

Playing a musical instrument. It's not that I haven't tried. I took classical guitar and piano lessons when I was a kid and piano lessons again as an adult. I love music but have absolutely no feel for playing it. When I try, all I keep thinking is "Please let the next note I hit be the right one!" Memorizing a piece doesn't help. I still just think about hitting the right note. I can't relax and get into the groove. You do not want to hear me play an instrument. I guarantee!

Throwing a ball. My nine-year old granddaughter throws a ball better than I do. Need I say more? (Mara Note: I am also terrible at this...)

Playing tennis. I wouldn't be able to play now, but when I was stuck in bed in Paris for three weeks 16 years ago (which marked the beginning of my ongoing chronic illness), the French Open was the only thing on TV I could understand. As a result, in Paris and then back home in California, I became a (spectator) student of the game. I wish I'd had the experience of executing all the shots I've come to love, from lobs to overheads to drop shots. Unfortunately, the few times in my life I did try to play, I spent 90% of the time picking up the balls I either hit into the net or out of bounds. 

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