Have you ever had a day when you felt like everyone else in the universe is better at stuff than you are? Sometimes I look around and wonder how everyone else ended up with so much more talent than I have.
I know I surely can’t be alone in this feeling. I recently saw a friend on Facebook shyly confess that she has never made a gingerbread house, nor has she provided that opportunity for her children.
This time of year, I think it’s easy to feel deficient in the Awesome Department when there are all sorts of creative parents posting about their Elf on the Shelf abilities, sharing their houses decorated for the holidays that look like they come straight out of a magazine, and taking (perfect) photos of their exquisite holiday recipes.
About that last link with the darling Christmas decor? Yeah. My house looks N.O.T.H.I.N.G. like that. I’m just trying to figure out if I can scrub the Kool Aid stains off my living room wall or if I need to paint over them. Yes, on the wall. Because we are talented like that.
Last weekend this feeling of inferiority hit me pretty strongly when I volunteered to help decorate for our church’s annual Christmas musical.
I was given very detailed instructions about how to lay out these wreaths on each table. I even had a paper to look at that listed what items should be included in the wreaths. 6 small pinecones, 3 large pinecones, 3 shiny gold balls, 3 matte gold balls, and 6 red bows.
Well, apparently not when you are as dense as I am. My first problem was when the explanation included, “… the middle pine cone…” I was all, “IT’S A CIRCLE! How can a circle have a middle???”
It took 3 different people explaining it to me and demonstrating specifically how the wreaths should look before I finally got it! (The circle was divided into 3 segments, each having a middle pinecone.) I was beginning to understand how my children who struggle with algebra feel when I can tell they are truly trying to understand the concept I am repeatedly explaining, but it is just not clicking.
It turns out it is very important to stagger matte balls and shiny balls, and small pinecones and large pinecones. You see, it isn’t pleasing to the eye to have them right next to each other. Anyone with artistic sense would know this! Which is why I didn’t know it.
Also, it looks better to arrange pinecones instead of just tossing them in the air and letting them fall where they may in the greenery. Lesson learned.
Then, on the way home from that exercise in humility, I got lost taking a shortcut to a friend’s house. A friend who lives less than a mile from the church. A friend whose house I have been to a dozen times.
And while I was lost, I got pulled over by the Po-Po for making erratic turns without using my turn signal. That’s right.
That right there is what you call insult to injury, friends.
After all of that fun, when I finally got home and was belting out my favorite power ballad from the new movie “Frozen,” my sweet, darling, innocent 13 year old said, “Why are you singing it like that? Are you signing bad on purpose to be funny?”
If you are keeping score at home, let’s review the things Connie is bad at:
- All things decorative.
- All things directional.
- Turn signal usage.
- All things musical.
Days like that can leave a girl feeling pretty much like a loser!
So, to make myself feel better, I decided to make a mental list of the things I am good at.
- Getting out of traffic tickets.
- Encouraging laughter in my home. (See above video.)
- Keeping up with old friends. (I recently Facebook chatted with my husband’s 8th grade date to his athletic banquet in 1978 and my friend from first grade, who was also my college roommate in 1984 and my maid of honor in my wedding.)
- Nursing a baby, making a peanut butter sandwich, and giving a spelling test all at the same time.
- Not losing sleep over Kool Aid stains on the wall.
These may not be things that would win “The Voice” or look pretty on a magazine cover, but it gives me no small comfort to know that I am good at them, dang it! And maybe, just maybe every once in a while I can encourage some of you that it’s okay to be the world’s okayest mom right along with me.
Let’s be imperfect messes together!