Last month I was sewing a princess dress for Halloween for my 3-year-old daughter and while sewing I thought, "I am only kind of good at a lot of things." But it wasn't in a self-pity kind of way. It was merely an observation that has lead to other thoughts and, now, to this post. My thoughts are kind of all over the place and that is how I am writing this post...if you feel nauseated from the sudden movement at any time, step away from the computer and try again later. I promise there's a point (or several :) ) in here.
My mom tried to teach me to sew several times while I was growing up. I distinctly remember one conversation with her:
Mom (trying to convince me why I should learn to sew): What about when you have kids? You might want to sew things for your kids.
Me: Nope, I'll just buy everything.
Mom: But what if you don't have a lot of money and you need clothes for your kids?
Me: That's why they have thrift stores. Mom, I am NEVER going to want to learn how to sew. Never.
Ugh. If only I could slap some sense into my teenage self. I asked my hubs to buy me a sewing machine for Christmas a few years back. Turns out I have this creative gene I never knew about until I had my own home and children. I feel a deep NEED to create these days. And so my sewing lessons from my patient mom (who probably smirks/smiles when I call her with a sewing-related question) have to be over the phone or via Skype now that we live so far from each other. But sew I do, darn it! I've made curtains, comforters for my kid's beds, Halloween costumes, several baby blankets, hair clip holders...and I'm wingin' it every time. Don't give me a pattern because I don't know what the heck those technical sewing terms are.
Back to my little girl's Halloween costume this year. I was trying to do gathered, puffy sleeves for her dress AND a gathered skirt. I'd never gathered before. I was slightly scared...er...terrified. But I found a good online tutorial and went to work. It was while I had everything pinned (we're talking 100 or more pins, people; they were everywhere!) and began to sew with no idea how it would look when I turned it right-side-out that I had the thought I mentioned above: "I am only kind of good at a lot of things."
I run all sorts of races, but I'll never win a single one. I put my whole heart into this motherhood business, but I still lose my temper or am lazy sometimes. I could be a better wife. I like to sew, but heck if I've ever learned to follow a pattern. I love to sing...in large groups or choirs. I like to speak in public, but I sure can't do it without crazy nerves every time.
These thoughts weren't bringing me down. I was thinking about all of the things I love to do and feeling darn proud that even though I am not a rock star at any of it, I still love doing each thing and it's not going to stop me from trying to do my best and also trying new things.
My OBGYN recently told me about a 15-year-old girl who is rocking the cross country world in our region right now. She may very well take State even though this is her first year running. See, she's a twin and she and her twin sister were really into basketball. Her twin is a rock star basketball player who is already being recruited and this girl just never was as good, so to try and step out of her sister's shadow, she thought she'd try running. Now she's getting just as much, or even more, attention in the running world than her sister is in the basketball world. What if she'd never tried? Sister obviously has some natural gift that will only get better as she works at it.
I guess what I am trying to say is that just because we are not amazing at something doesn't mean we shouldn't give it a shot. I don't even read music, but you better believe I'm going to learn to play the piano someday. I might even take some voice lessons. I don't have any illusions that I'll be a concert pianist or soloist, but the point is that I don't care. I'll be thrilled to play the piano while my kids sing in church someday. I'll probably cry. I do that a lot after I accomplish something I never imagined myself doing - putting sleeves on my son's soldier costume last year (sleeves are very counter-intuitive for me), running a stinking marathon, putting gathered, puffy sleeves on the bodice of a 3-year-old's dress (yep, for real tears...I couldn't help it), finishing a triathlon when I can hardly swim, landing the best husband and baby daddy, watching my kids play together and seeing what great little people they are.
My life and my heart feel full even though I will likely never do anything to draw the attention of the world. I may not be a rock star, but I try to rock the talents I have, develop new talents, and do my best. And that's totally enough.