Jane or Jill of many Crafts

January 16th 2013
A Jack of all Trades is a person who can do passable work at various tasks : a handy versatile person. It sounds great but generally these people are seen as wishy-washy, unfocused and unexperts in all they can do because they don’t have a title that states their area of expertise in a concrete way.

I think it’s a great asset to dabble in a little bit of this and a little bit of that, right? In school, we expect students to achieve satisfactory, if not exceptional success, in all subject areas don’t we? When our own children bring home a C or worse we say “we don’t accept C’s in this house, only A’s and B’s.”  So what is the message exactly?



a little watercolor painting

I, being a middle child, have always believed that the more you know or learn, the better it is. I don’t know if this is innate or a coping mechanism of middle children or  if it’s something I learned from my father. [He knows how to do everything except open heart surgery (he gets queasy) and fly a plane (he can figure that out, it’s mechanical.]



Fresh Ideas!

I think everyone should know how to read music, just in case you ever have to. Reading nautical flags might come in handy at some point. Sign language is convenient you can speak with the hard of hearing or in case you ever lose your voice or want to sing silently. Sewing is totally underrated because people have to wear clothes. Next, I want to learn how to manufacture fabric starting from the cotton fields! And everyone has to know how to swim!



Innovative Crafts

So the question I ask is, what happens when you have the ability to do something but you do not find fulfillment in it?  What do we do when our “formally trained” skills pay the bills but steal our joy?  Where do we go to fuel our dreams and desires or attain satisfaction, when the duties and obligations born from our schooling deplete us of energy to take pleasure in the finer things?

Multi-media Art

How do we prove ourselves in the area of our talent when we weren’t encouraged to pursue it in a formal way?  Can we find an opportunity to show “we have what it takes” if we don’t have a paper that says so?  Is the only skill that matters the one supported by the old English writing on a diploma?

 

Photography
 

In many scenarios, yes. We must show a diploma, have a resume or certificate that verifies our skills, talents, abilities and such.  The upside is, even while in the rut, the journey of life reveals to us what we are called to do; our purpose should bring us joy not misery.

Quilting

At the very least, there will be a fork in the road where we must choose and can choose the road we have traveled less. We might have come across it several times during our lives yet, we have always chosen the practical, secure, predictable and most traveled way.  This road however, sometimes leads us towards the slow demise of our hopes and dreams. It lead us away from what we like, what brings us happiness and the thing that innately we have been gifted with.  Really, read 1 Timothy 4:14. I am not talking about circumstancial happiness, or endless bliss; just the “in your heart” gratification that comes when we do something well and easily, and no one has to even see what we did.

Making my own pattern

So as I ponder this whole notion, I wonder about the abilities that you and I possess.  Be they great or small, if we truly are uplifted by the simple act of exercising them, we should not be afraid to do so.  Therefore, now at the mid-life point, (if I live to be 90) I put my foot down and am taking the road less traveled that leads me to artful bliss!  I am forging my own way, documenting that which does not appear on any fancy piece of paper! Doing what comes easily, brings me joy, reduces stress, uplifts my heart and feeds my soul in a more intentional way.  And thanks for being witnesses to it on this here blog.

Now, if I could only find the map for the rest of the journey…..

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