Do you ever feel a bit ‘shrill’? Like you are saying everything with capital letters and exclamation points? Okay, it’s just me then. That is how I feel at the moment, and whenever I need to chill out a bit. Last week, amidst credit card debacle and setting up my new groovy, amazing computer, someone asked me for 30 pieces of my jewellery for their Christmas Boutique. I said ‘yes’. Now, why did I do that? It’s complicated. I knew the pain of credit card replacement would be like a bandaid ripped off quickly, and soon be over. I was pretty sure the computer transition would be mostly short-lived as well. And I have five perfectly good weeks before our next trip, so why not drag the jewellery makings out of storage and have one more go. I’ve been on a break for over a year, and wasn’t sure I’d ever go back, but after 20 years of on and off making jewellery, it seemed likely that I would go back. It’s a darn shame not to because I’d finally reached a point of having a ‘style’ and finally had all the beads and findings a person could need, so why not take advantage of that enviable situation? I’ll tell you why not… because maybe it was the journey to get here that was what I needed/wanted. Maybe. I can’t be sure yet. So I’m making jewellery again, for five weeks. It takes about 5hrs for each necklace. Each one is slightly different, but the style is the same, so they require individual attention. If they didn’t I wouldn’t be doing it at all. I can’t bear repetitive activity. It is mind numbing.
So. Now I’m taking a new photo every day for the 365photochallenge, I’m making jewellery, and also writing a blog, as well as my normal home duties. And today I have to take time out to see the doctor at the eye clinic about the glaucoma I’ve had for a couple of years. One of the luxuries of later life and not having to go to work each day is that I try to minimise my scheduled activities. That is, I try to allow myself plenty of ‘play time’. I’m still learning what that looks like–what constitutes play and what feels more like work; what time each thing needs, too.
In a couple of posts from other bloggers I have recently seen references to their ‘superpower’. The thing that they do better than anything else. One of them said her superpower was knowing when to step back and recharge/relax. Oh that that was my superpower! But it got me to thinking. What is my superpower? It could be very useful to know, especially if it is something I’m unaware of and could use to better advantage.
The other evening I looked at my husband and asked “What do you think my superpower is”? He mockingly looked at me (he’s used to my weird questions) with his unblinking eyes wide open, as if after 32 years I was about to reveal that I had x-ray vision. So I had to explain that I was asking him what he thinks is the thing I do best. It turns out, what I think I do best is not exactly the same as his response, but it’s not that far off, either. I was expecting some surprising revelation, but our evaluations were actually pretty close.
So, his answer was that he felt the consistent style for everything I do in life was my superpower. He went on to explain he felt I applied a similar approach to my creative endeavours, home duties, friendships, etc. Well, that’s a pretty nice thing, unless of course you are terrible at all those things, which I might be, but at least he doesn’t seem to think so! It implies integrity, I think. Not so much the ‘high moral’ ground kind, but the kind of structural integrity a good building needs to have.
Still, there is the question of what do I think is my superpower? Where is my superwoman vision beneath the geeky glasses? For a long time I have harboured the thought that ‘lateral thinking’ is a secret, superpower of mine. I remember being in Art School when the term was first bandied about. Supposedly it was first used in its modern way by Edward de Bono in 1967. It refers to creative thinking, or thoughts, that do not take traditional logic, step by step. It is a sideways (lateral) train of thought, rather than a linear one following a more predictable path.
It seems to me this way of looking at the world is in alignment with the consistency of style my husband was talking about. It’s about being deeply in touch with one’s inner self and having the confidence to follow one’s intuition, to trust the outcome. Inside my head, lateral thinking also has a lot to do with how easily a person can let go of what one has been taught, or suggested should work, in favour of trying one’s own solution. There’s a fine line between doing as you are told and veering slightly one way or the other to see if another way is better for you. Even moving to Australia was probably one of those things for me. I’d lived in several places in the USA and none of them quite resonated with my inner self the way I felt it needed to.
What will you do with your one wild and precious life? –Mary Oliver
“I will not bang my head against the proverbial brick wall.”–ardysez
So, if you are waiting for me to reveal to you that my superpower is brain surgery or playing polo, you will be disappointed. I’m just good at figuring things out in a sort of non-linear way. And as life skills go, I’ll gladly accept this one. And I’ll work at the relaxing thing.
Feeling quieter, a little less shrill now. Thank you.
What is your superpower? I’d love you to share in the comments below.