Relearning Talent.

Some people instinctively know how to cook. Some can sing like no other. Some people can ride a horse perfectly after never having met one before.

Not me.

Okay, I’m a pretty fab home cook and I can ride but I had to watch and study and learn. I had to imitate others to be able to do these things myself. Therefore I am not naturally talented. I have to keep learning, trying, experimenting and refining to be good at something. Hey, don’t we all? I think it was my Dad that said,

“You might be the world’ s best violinist or archer but if you never pick up a violin or a bow how will you know?”

I’m not sure where he heard that but he’s right.

Everyone in the world has a talent but if you never get the chance to try that one thing, you’ll never know if you could have been the best. Lack of patience can hold you back. Lack of imagination can hold you back. Parents, family, peers, colleagues, friends, fear of the unknown, money, culture and indifference can hold you back.

I love painting. I feel I’m not naturally talented but I can imitate very successfully. With patience, practise and perseverance I think you can be good at anything. So I’m a pretty good painter. Just because I really really want to be. If you look at my Dad’ s saying the other way round, there’s no point being the best painter in the world if you don’t actually paint.

The thing is, like I said before, if I don’t keep doing what  I love doing (painting) then I lose the muscle memory, the colour palettes, the shaping, all the little tricks that made that one single painting good all those weeks ago. I have to practise and build it all back up again. I cannot simply create masterpieces. I am not a fluke; a rare talent that just is.

I’m not alone. Most of the world is like me. We all have to practise and keep going. For most real people it’s discipline that makes us great, not always talent.

I will keep going with the painting. Eventually I will get something fabulous on paper that makes other people say “Wow, aren’t you talented.” and I will say “Yes, why yes I am.”


My new addiction…

I have a few little obsessions. Generally they change with the times. Although I don’t think I’ll be rid of this one any time soon.

I adore mood boards and sketchbooks. If I could, I would hang a cork board and pin things on my wall until it’s inches deep with cut outs and clippings. Unfortunately this would be expensive; books and magazines don’t come cheap.

So what have I found?


Yup. If you’ve known about Pinterest for years then I apologise, this post will bore you to tears. If not, YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT PINTEREST IF YOU ARE ANYTHING LIKE ME.

So, I collect and collate. I horde and I keep. Pinterest is basically an online mood board or pin board for anything and everything you like, want to share, want to read, rate or follow; recipes, animal photography, pet pictures, craft projects, diy tips, interior design ideas, posters, sayings, tattoo ideas, wedding inspiration, kid stuff, education, health and well being, beauty, products, jewellery and fashion. Everything. On one board alone I probably have over 400 items or ‘pins’. These pins are links back to their original source which is fab news if you find some good stories while browsing that you want to keep or read later.

The thing is, for me, it’s like reading a magazine that changes to suit what you want to look at. It’s the magazine chameleon. I get home. I pick up Kindle. I browse Pinterest. So much so now OH has noticed. We watch tv and I browse Pinterest. “How can you even be watching this and messing with that?” He has now noticed I laugh at my Kindle screen more than I laugh at him. For him, this is the intruder in our relationship.

I even feel a bit guilty if he looks over and catches me on it.

So, this obviously means I am addicted. I have to stop. Go cold turkey. Pull the plug.

But I’ve just seen the most amazing print your own scarf tutorial…


What next…?

Christmas has come and gone. New Year has flashed out of sight. It feels like all the many months in between stretch before us in never ending monotony and dreariness.

January is pretty much the month of letdowns. Deflation. Anticlimax. We get our credit card bills and hope they got the name, address AND reference number wrong at the top of the page with big numbers on… The sad and partially eaten-by-the-cat Christmas tree comes down. The house looks empty. We go back to work. It feels like we never left. Life has not miraculously changed. We give ourselves Resolutions for the New Year. Things we know we should do but also know there’s not a snowball’s chance in Hawaii that it’d ever get done.

It’s funny, that. I sat in assembly next to my year four class and the headmistress asked what all of our resolutions were. The teachers all said the same thing- “healthy eating/living/gym/personal trainer/swimming pass”. Very nice teachers. Well done. Even if you never try to change or if you sack your personal trainer due to “other commitments”. Uh huh. Yeah. Sure.

You know what my kids said? “I’m going to read to my little sister when I can remember.” “I’m going to be kinder to my Mum. She does so much for us.” “I’m going to try to tell my family I love them. Even when they annoy me”.

Brutally honest some of them were. But the thing that made me proud was the way they wanted to change for the benefit of people they loved. Not all of them. Don’t get me wrong, kids can be selfish too. Even if they never do these things. The way they considered someone else for that moment, thought about how lucky they were to have them, just made me smile.

We could all do to listen to childish innocence once in a while. Think, even for just that moment, about someone other than yourself. The teachers responses didn’t surprise me. That whole ‘look out for number one’ mentality seems to permeate the boundaries of home. I don’t like that and it makes me sad to think my family have to cope with my selfishness.

So my resolution is going to be the same everyday, for every new year we enter. I am going to be more aware. Awareness for me means not taking OH for granted. He does the cleaning, the washing, tidying, cooking, basically everything, and he does it so quietly that I have been completely selfish and unaware of how little  I bring to the workings of our home and relationship. I am going to be more aware. I am going to text my brother more, just to let him know I’m thinking of him. Awareness. I am going to call my Dad as much as I call my Mam. Awareness. I’m going to consider WHY a child says/does things before I dole out the aftermath of judgement. I’m going to be attentive to Jethro, my little guardian angel, because he gives me so much joy, I feel I need to give more back.

That’s really the key here. Giving.

Awareness for me is knowing what I’ve got, being grateful for it and giving it back.