Jack of all trades……………………………

………………..Master of none.

That is pretty much what I am.

Sometimes I wonder if I should actually concentrate on one thing and become good at it instead.

As a child I would follow my parents around interested in all that they did.

On my father's lapThe first thing I learnt from my father was to love poetry. Later I learnt to take photographs and also to develop black and white film and then enlarge and print from the negatives. I also learnt to use a screwdriver,  hammer and saw, (not too good with the saw so I passed on the lesson on how to use a chisel!) wire a plug, put up a shelf and similar tasks.

My mother and meFrom my mother I learnt to cook and sew and knit and crochet. She also let me use her oil paints. She didn’t teach me how to use a sweeping brush though and was rather cross that I didn’t know instinctively. I had to teach myself when I was first married.

Over the years I picked up a bit of plumbing and how to repair an electric cooker as well as other DIY tasks.

Now all these things have been very useful, especially when your husband leaves you with three children aged 4 to 8 and a large Victorian house to look after. So I have been grateful for my jackdaw mind and desire to know a bit of everything.

BUT

I look at other people’s blogs and see how good they are at things and feel that I should have concentrated on being better at something.

The big question is what do I choose?

Then I look at my Blog.

I started out seeing it as a place to share my crochet and knitting projects, especially any patterns I might come up with. This has certainly happened and I am getting about 150 page views a day at present and a large proportion of them are for my patterns. Especially my cross bookmarks at present.

Cross bookmarks

But I have moved on to include some of my favourite recipes with a link in the top menu and not only included posts that are based simply on the photographs I took on some particular outing but recently have included some that take a more serious look at photography.

And now I am even beginning to include some of my poems!

Why can’t I focus on one thing? My mind seems to be always going in so many directions at once.

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This post has been on my mind for some time now and I hope you don’t mind me sharing my difficulties with you.

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When I started writing this post I think at this point that it would have gone in an entirely different direction but it has come to me the last couple of days that I am seeing things all wrong!

I am a fan of Formula 1 and I admire the drivers who have a special talent and give their lives to achieving excellence in this one area but that is not me!

I don’t have ‘a special talent’ and I enjoy dabbling in many things.

When I was a child my parents, expecially my father, brought me up to be a perfectionist and to think that if one’s achievements didn’t rank along with the best that they were worth nothing. Up to now I have accepted this but I can see, that right or wrong, I need to change.

Maybe being ‘a jack of all trades’ is not bad if it is what you choose. I am so afraid of not measuring up to other people’s standards. I live alone but it is all the time as if people are looking over my shoulder and criticising everything I do. I can see that I need to stop living like this.

So I hope you that follow my blog don’t mind if it is an ecelctic mix of all sorts of things and if my preference is for easy fun things rather than a pursuit of excellence.

 

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Jack of all trades……………………………

  1. Jane. I think you are being unfairly hard on yourself. How many people do you know who could have managed on their own with 3 small children and house to maintain? I could most certainly not have. I only had one child and it was a strain (plus I never had to cook or shop for groceries!!!) And not just manage it, but survive well enough to tell the tale…
    Instead of seeing yourself as a dilettante, why not flip the reality over and see yourself as an extremely creative person for whom one single thing is not enough to sufficiently engage the left side of your brain? It’s a GOOD THING, not a curse.
    I love your blog. I like not always knowing what’s going to appear on my screen – photography, crochet, crucifixes, bunting for daughter’s friends’ birthdays, steam engines, day adventures to different places, bits of baking… I don’t bake or take photos or have a particular interest in old ships, but it doesn’t mean I find it boring to read about your travels and activities.
    The criticism thing is a biggie for most people. For me, in younger years, it was very bound up with my self-image. I’m not entirely sure how it happened – probably a long process involving some therapy, some perspective gained, some acceptance of reality, some confidence slowly gained, whatever – but the older I’ve got, the more I like myself and beat up on myself less. I don’t mean I think I am an amazing person – I mean that I’ve come to accept my flaws and my strengths, and MOST IMPORTANTLY to stop comparing myself with other people. Everyone has their own journey and their own timing.
    Oh dear, it would seem that one of my flaws is to waffle on and on….so I’ll stop now. Don’t look at what you haven’t accomplished – look at what you HAVE accomplished!
    Now go find that geometry set…..

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    1. Thank you for that! 🙂 I am trying to change my view on myself and my life. You give me a lot of things to reflect on. Actually the one thing that seemed to impress my mother (in her old age) was how I coped on my own.

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  2. Being a Jack of all Trades is amazing. I knit, crochet, spin, fleece prep, dye and sew, but wouldn’t say I am amazingly proficient in them. I just enjoy the process. I also work well with animals and can DIY a house. I love it 🙂 My blog is the same, simply an online diary of the crafty things I get up to 🙂

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  3. But your crochet is amazing. I am in awe of your talent! Enjoy your multi skills. My mother was a perfectionist, but I went the opposite way and have to watch my” good enough” attitude. As long as you are pleased and enjoying what you do, then Rats to the inner voice. Go girl!

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  4. Goodness! You are so hard on yourself! Variety is the spice of life!
    Imagine if you had to drop one of your pursuits. Imagine life without crochet or knitting or cooking. How would that make you feel? Not good, I would expect.
    You love to dabble, so do I.
    To just concentrate on one thing, to me, would seem just like work.
    And you got the Voter’s choice award in September. What does that tell you? People like your work.
    Your blog is fun. I enjoy reading it. x

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  5. Gosh, I guess I’ve inherited the same problem. My blog was originally meant to be primarily for singing but I can’t seem to exclude the dancing, acting, photography, poetry, backstage crewing, travel, computing and mathematics that insist on creeping in.
    I managed to give the badges their own blog at least but you’ll notice I have badges for everything.
    I’ll never be half as good at any of them as I’d like to be but I do have so much fun with it all. Not a bad thing to have inherited. xxx

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  6. Hi, I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all to dabble in different activities. If you stick to one thing you miss out on everything else! I sew a lot and am trying to perfect it as a skill, but never ever crochet or knit or paint or decoupage or skydive… And that is worse than doing it all!! Thanks for making me realise I should try some new things every now and again… You must never get bored!

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  7. I hope you don’t mind me commenting on such an old post? Only, this could have been written about me (even down to my own father’s perfectionist needs for his kids). I refer to my own inability to just do or enjoy one thing as ‘fragmented’ and I also feel like people are judging me for it, have done all my life (I’m in my mid-60s now). Now some time has passed since you wrote this, do you feel any more comfortable being the way you are or has not much changed?

    I certainly don’t mind varied content in a blog. Eventually mine will probably go the same way. I also crochet but, unlike you, I finish very few items. I do hope to show some on my blog some time in the future though. (I also embroider – freestyle mostly, like my crochet styles.)

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    1. I think I am more relaxed about not being perfect now I understand things better. Also seeing my son being so much of a perfectionist makes me think it is partly genetic and helps me learn to laugh at myself. Just had a look at your blog – lovely photographs!

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      1. That sounds good. I hope, with time, that I might settle more comfortably into my own skin apropos the different talents, too. I’m more relaxed about other things, though I think that’s a natural aging thing.
        Glad you like my photos, thanks.

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