Mary Beth Writes

8/3/2023

Every year I’d pick an armload of lilacs from the thicket that grew in a field not far from our house. The place had once been a settler’s cabin but those people, whoever they were, had abandoned their homestead and only the lilacs remained.

I always brought the flowers to my mom. She put them in a antique vase that I think was from her grandmother. I must have been in high school by the time I thought to mention to my mom that she made the flowers look so pretty.

“It’s my one talent. I can arrange flowers.”

That threw me for a loop even then. My mom could do so many things so well. She typed 100WPM. She and my dad and later my brother ran a successful printing company. She invented and coordinated programs for kids, church, and service organizations. She played the piano; baked cinnamon rolls that people still remember. She was gifted, skilled, and talented, but like so many women of her generation and sometimes ours, she didn’t see or claim her talents.

I still get irked when adults put themselves down. Let’s be done with that, okay? Let’s claim and say what our talents are. Self-esteem is worth practicing.

So what are our talents? Instead of listing the talents we immediately think of – art, athletics, public speaking, let’s ignore that cliché old list and ask some helpful questions instead.

What’s an activity that, when you see others struggling with it, you step in to help?

What are ways you like to help others? What are those activities?

When you are tired or frustrated and need some time by yourself, what do you do? Or watch? Or listen to?

Those are your clues to your talents. Sure, by now some are also skills, but mostly we learn to do well what we enjoy doing at all. Give us time and our talents will pop like lilacs.

We spend too much time trying to be good enough at things that are not our thing. Organizations ask for volunteers and we show up to do what they want us to do. But is it our talent?

Acknowledge your talents and those of the people around you. Is it time to make ourselves scout sashes with talent badges? What we claim becomes who we are.

From the ever-perspicacious David Sedaris: “Hugh consoled me, saying, "Don't let it get to you. There are plenty of things you're good at." When asked for some examples, he listed vacuuming and naming stuffed animals. He says he can probably come up with a few more, but he'll need some time to think.”

 

 

 

 

 

Tags

Comments

Thank you, interesting...
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

I like this! Definitely a feel good article!
Mary Beth's picture

Hey thank you!

I think often people (especially women) tend to minimize or deny what they have to offer out of a sense of needing to be humble - not a "show off". If we look at ourselves with an open heart and self-compassion - as we would look at a loved friend - we might see ourselves in a kinder light, and be able to free ourselves to bring what we have to the world.
Mary Beth's picture

Perfectly said..

Everyone has special talent, but not everyone enjoys "blowing one's own horn." There is in many people the need just to do and not to worry about reward or commentary.

Add new comment

CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

About My Memorial Day Story

5/25/2024

Today my story ‘Memorial Day’ is posted at Substack. Read it here. 

Courage, Big & Little

5/22/2024

Courage.

I’m writing fiction this week. I started a story in December that, along the way, turned into a Memorial Day story. It will be my Substack story this Saturday.

This morning I looked for an old newspaper column to rerun and found this one about a time when one of our kids needed to have four teeth pulled.

Cholesterol Numbers & Squirrels

 5/15/2024

Years ago I was out to dinner with friends. We were all just entering our 40’s and thus were all beginning to get the fun medical tests about this and that and cholesterol. I said, to a friend next to me, that I’d started eating oatmeal everyday for breakfast and my cholesterol had dropped …..

The room went silent.

Everyone heard “cholesterol dropped” and stopped speaking. Everyone wanted to hear how much it had dropped – which was about 8 points. In our twenties the conversation stopper was gossip about sex. Now the secret sauce was HDL and LDL

Hum & Read

5/3/2024

First of all, the Cute and Curious. Apparently we humans can’t worry while we hum - because humming requires too much bandwidth. When we hum, we don’t have enough power left in our head engines to think about other stuff. I don’t know if I believe this is always true but I’m sharing it in case it is.

I read a lot this week. It’s what I do when there is way to much to think about and I don’t know where to start. Read or eat. I haven’t gained any weight so you know it was a heavy reading week.

The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Mahsood 

Three Things

4/20/2024

Three Things except it’s really more than that.

1. Earlier this year I read these two books by Palestinian writers and I recommend both. If you’ve read good books by Palestinian writers, maybe tell us about them in the comments?

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words A-Z AARPtaxes AAUW abortion Acadia accident Accountable Advent afterlife aging Alaska animals anniversary antibiotics antlers apples appointments Arrows art Ashland August Augustine aunts baby Badlands balance Baldwin Barbara Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM Blue BookReport books Boxing Day boy scout Bread breakfast BreakfastClub BrokenDays BuyAngry Cabeza de Vaca Cahokia calendars Canada canoe cat romance cats cello Chicago China cholesterol Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus climate change clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense community confluence consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote crime CrimeShows danger DarkRiver death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering deer democracy dentist depression Destination Today Detroit Didion disasterprep distraction dogs dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Echoes Eclipse election EmilyDickinson eschatology Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable FairTrade family farmer Fata Morgana ferns firealarm Fitness Five Flatbread Flexible flu Food Pantry Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal FrugalHacks Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga fungi fusion Galena Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode GeorgeFloyd gerrymandering ghosts gifts girls GNTL gorgons goulash GovernorThompsonStatePark Graduation grandkids granola Grief groceries Guadalupe Guatemala gum guns Hair happiness HaveYouEver? hawks healthcare Healthinsurance hearings heart heaven HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope HowCrowGotOutofJail humor hurricane Ice Cream idiosyncrasy igloos impeachment Innkeeper Instincts integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin Jan 6 Janus jewelry JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich Jump justice Karen kites ladder Lady Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len lies Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Loki loneliness LouisArmstrong Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Marsden Hartley masks Mayan MayaWorks meme Memories men Middlemarch MilesWallyDiego MindfulChickens MineralPoint Mistakes MLK moon Mother MothersDay mounds mouser movies museums must-haves Mustapha NAMI Nancy Drew Newfoundland New Mexico New York City Nomadland nope observation OBUUC Ocotillo OnaJudge ordinary OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter Parade mayhem PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon photos Pi Pies pineapples pizza poetry Preaching privacy procrastination Protest QE2 Quern quest Questions Rabbit holes racism reading recipe recipes recommendations religion Remember RepresentationMatters Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rhubarb Ricky rime RitesofPassage romance Rosemary Ruether Roses Roti Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraKurtz SaraRodriguez satellites sci-fi ScottSimon sculpture scuppernong Seasons Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory shoulder sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito solstice South Dakota SpaceShuttle spirituality spring square feet St. Louis staining stars stele Stereotypes stories StoryStarts stream monitoring stress SUBSTACK Survival swim Talent taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge TheMaid ThePerpetualYou therapy ThreeBillBoards Three Thing Three Things ThreeThings TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone Ukraine Ulysses Grant Umbrella UnrelatedObservations Up North urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam vision VivianWokeUpDrowning Vocabulary vole volunteer WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving Webs wedding whines WhyAttendChurch Wiley Willa WillaCather Wisteria Won! Wonder words Xeriscape Yellowstone Zebra
Ad Promotion