Okay, I admit, I cringed a little when I saw this topic for a couple reasons. One is that I’m passably decent at a lot of things, but I’m not sure that I’d consider these things mad skills. Two, and this is something Jess and I were talking about, is that we were both brought up with the idea that if you were ever proud of yourself or something you did, that was a bad, bad thing. That meant you were bragging.
Now, my mom never had this mindset – she was always proud of us and encouraging us to revel in our accomplishments. My grandmothers…not so much. Don’t get me wrong, they were awesome people, and I miss them, but expressing pride wasn’t really a comfortable place for either of them. And they weren’t down with us doing it either. I think some of it was a generational thing, and some of it was a societal thing. I know plenty of women in my age bracket who have difficulty being proud of themselves and an equal amount of difficulty accepting complements. Probably because saying thank you feels a lot like bragging. Instead, we point out what’s wrong with our hair, our weight, the project we just finished, etc. We downplay it instead of just enjoying the fact that someone said something kind to us.
Honestly, the only time I’m ever comfortable saying thank you is when people tell me I have great kids. And I suspect that’s because I feel like their awesomeness is more about them than me.
(You had no idea you were in for a therapy session today, did you?)
But…I think it’s kind of crippling and unfortunately not to be able to accept a compliment. Or being genuinely proud of yourself. You know…as long as you’re not a dick about it. So…I’m going to attempt to list some things that I think I’m pretty good at.
1. Working with kids – even other people’s kids. Even teenagers. I did daycare in my home for 18 years, and I loved it. No…not every moment. Definitely not dealing with The Young Prince (or his mother) but I genuinely love and enjoy kids, and they seem to like me. There’s only one kid I know of who thinks I’m a bad idea. And even she’s warming up to me.
2. Sewing and figuring out yardage. It should be noted that I can’t do math to save my life. Seriously. I kept insisting to my mom the other day that .29 +.30 = .49 – I’m embarrassed to tell you how long it took me to see the error in that logic. However, I can look at a garment and figure out how much fabric I need to reproduce it. And often, I can copy an existing piece of clothing (or a picture) without a pattern. Sometimes, it’s just easier to do with a pattern, but if I don’t have one, I’ll wing it. Mostly because I’m lazy and hate cutting out tissue paper pattern pieces. Sadly, fabric math does not extend beyond clothing. I will screw up quilt and curtain math every time. Oh, here’s an example of a dress made from a picture.
3.) Cross stitching. I’m pretty good at taking reference pictures and making up patterns. Not like making up a physical pattern. I don’t have time for that shit. Just sort of stitching the idea from my head and/or the picture. Here are a couple examples of things I didn’t have a pattern for.
The toe looks a little wonky on that last one – I needed to press it better…
4.) I give good phone. No. No that kind of phone. I’m just really good at making phone calls and getting all kinds of information. I make cold calls for research all the time, and I almost always get great results. I also get pretty good results with regular information gathering phone calls, too.
So…that’s the round up of things that I feel confident saying I’m pretty good at. I’m excited to see what the other bloggers’ skills are! Click their names to find out.
0 thoughts on “I Have Mad Skills”
Woman you need to know you’re awesome and just say thank you. 🙂 It is female trait this counter a compliment with a negative. I could go on my whole rant about this but instead I’ll just say I’ve made a conscience effort to just say thank you.
I suck at math and I’ve never sewn anything – not even a button (well not properly). BUT as soon as I can get that sewing machine to my house and serviced it is on. Only I need to do curtains first and now I’m scared. 😉 Be glad you live far away from me or I’d be “Will you sew me (insert random thing).”
AWESOME cross stitch! That’s beyond me in so many ways! I’m very impressed with your bad assness.
I, too, do well with kids but had that one. I bribed her with Christmas toys and McDonald’s and became one of her favorite people 😀
Mad phone skills… making note for future use 😉
Great post Bronwyn.
I envy you your craftiness. Soooo much! AND you have mad skills as a writer – I know you won’t put that in a post, but it’s true. Your way with words…SORCERY!!
OMG!! You’re sewing skills are amazing! I’m with Jarman I totally envy you for your crafting ability. And I love the cross-stitch. I’d love to learn, but they don’t make the marked kits much anymore. As for your writing skills, they are awesome as well as your editorial skills. Lady, you are madly skilled.
Weirdly late comment but 1) That dress is stunning. I’m clawing at my screen in a desperate attempt to steal it but it doesn’t seem to be working.
2) When I was a kid, I used to prowl around the house reading literally anything with words on (with variable consequences). Once, I found a self-help book that I wasn’t really old enough to understand. Anyway, there was a section in there about compliments that compared them to gifts. If you give someone a gift and they reject it, the way we’re always rejecting compliments (“I’m not pretty, I’ve got [insert flaw]!” “Other people are much better at that than me!” “You’re just saying that!”), both you and the giver feel crappy. If you reject a compliment, you’re thinking about all your perceived faults and the complimenter feels bad for making you feel worse. It’s better to accept the gift graciously, even if it’s not one you’d have chosen yourself and you don’t think you can use it, or apply it to yourself. It’s the thought that counts!
I think at the time I first read it I thought that real presents were involved, so life has disappointed me in that respect, but it’s stayed with me as a piece of wisdom 🙂
You know…I’ve never thought of a compliment as a gift, but really, it is. Of course, I weirdly feel guilty when people give me physical gifts, too, so…I’m not sure what the hell that says about me. But…what I’m attempting to come ’round to is that thinking of compliments as gifts may make them easier to accept. Thanks for that insight! 🙂
And thank you! I hate when screen stealing doesn’t work. If it did, my house would be utterly full of yarn and books and clothes from Pinterest.
I definitely find that forcing myself to say “thank you” instead of arguing (unless the compliment is in some way inappropriate, obviously) makes me feel better. Even if I can’t take it to heart and agree with it, at least I don’t have the negative experience of explaining why they’re wrong and I suck.
Mine would be full of Etsy things. Recently I found a lady there who makes reproductions of Tudor gowns. What would I do with one? No idea. BUT I MUST HAVE THEM ALL.
Duuuuuuuuuuudddddeeeee. Etsy is my weakness, said the person who just opened a package of organic sugar scrubs and amazing essential oil perfume.
And I’ll tell you what you’d do. You’d wear them every chance you got. Need some milk and butter? Go to the store in your Tudor gown. Got a date? Hit the movies in your Tudor gown. At least, this seems like the logical course of action to me. 😀
I always feel a bit squidgy saying thank you – but I do try (now) not to argue or discount. I keep hoping it gets easier – lol.
You know what? You’re totally right. I would do all of those things. And it would be glorious.
I had a feeling you were my kind of people. 😀