Saturday, December 4, 2010

At least my figure isn't the only thing that's well rounded....

Well, that isn't entirely true. I'm not as plump as I probably imagine, though after carrying two children there is a definite personal "Battle of the Bulge" going on (the "bulge" stubbornly settling round my middle.) Enough of self depreciating comments; that's not at all what I started to write about anyway.

No, the subject of this post is how I am so happy in my variety of interests and abilities. I have many personal insecurities, some self induced and others put upon me by someone else at one time or another in my past, but somehow I have managed to stay, for a large portion of the time, contented and happy in myself, my pursuits, my friends and my lot in life. Things aren't by any means perfect, but I have so much that I am interested in and so many obvious blessings, how can I help but be content? My last post, concerning my friend Marilyn and all of our artistic exploits, came very near showing in a complete list those things which make me feel so accomplished and happy, at least as far as ability and skills go.

My father was always nagged by my mother to escape the downfalls of being "a jack of all trades and master of none". I suppose in her naive and sheltered experiences, she thought this as good advice, to keep him focused on his primary priority and concern: his family and meeting their needs. (Which he did and died doing.) But the more I learn of the world- and I grant that it is no close relation to the world either of my parents were brought up in- the more I see that to have only one chosen career or skill set in life is to assiduously cheat yourself out of countless blessings and opportunities that you may otherwise have had.

I'm not at all suggesting that a person can't know from an early age what calling and direction their lives should take and follow it whole heartedly, I only question the wisdom in willfully putting on blinders (metaphorically) and creating a tunnel vision which shuts one out from so many good and pleasing things that life can have to offer. I have seen this exemplified in several career choices. Ballet, for one. Every dedicated dancer I have known has given up much of life for the sake of practices, rehearsals and recitals. And while I am enchanted and enthralled at the beauty and seeming ease with which they present their piece, I know that it comes at a price. The same can be said of professional ice skaters. I always loved to watch the ice skating competitions during the winter olympics. But to be the top in technical marks, it's time on the ice over any friends, dating or social life of any kind, any hobbies and anything else imaginable which might take away from obtaining that perfect jump execution and landing for top marks.

I admire dedication and discipline. I often wish I had more of those character traits in me. And then I realize how dull and spiritless I would have become. Variety truly does add spice and interest to life. I've done ballet (I was 12). I've been on the ice (and managed to stay upright, if not do any triple lutzes). But I've also participated in reenacting US history, knowing how to swing dance, I can cook and bake tolerably well, I play 2 instruments and sing, there is that list of visual art skills from the last post, I am well read and educated on a variety of topics, and have the desire to add more skills, more interests. Learning to speak French. Writing a novel and having it published. Work in or run a tea shop. The possibilities are endless!

I hope, at the end of it all, I will have made my father proud of me. He always said he wanted first for me to be well and happy. Though I have had my share of heartaches (well, perhaps more than my fair share, lately), I hope that anyone who gets to know me will see a woman who loves life and all of the wonderful things in it, and is happy. I am pleased beyond telling to know how to do so many interesting and diverse things, and be able to talk to nearly anyone, no matter their age or situation, about virtually anything. I don't know everything, of course, and I don't wish to. I only want to experience as many good things in my life as I can. After all, it only happens once. It would be a pity to miss it.

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