June 22nd, 2006



Joshilyn Jackson had an interesting post and subsequent comments discussion not too long ago about people who were good at one thing versus people who were good at several. It was fascinating to hear how people described themselves as one or the other, and why. She based the post on a television commercial featuring a crab (good at one thing: pinching) and a Honda Element (good at everything). As I have not seen the ad, I can't comment on its veracity, but I, too, think that people generally tend to fall into the one vs. the many when it comes to tasking.

I don't know whether it is better to be really good at only one thing or pretty good (or even just middling) at several, being one of the ones who is pretty good at several (and even great at 1 or 2 of them). My husband is also really good at several things, but he's only good at them ONE AT A TIME, whereas I am better at multi-tasking. And strangely enough, the several things that my husband and I are good at are totally different! I don't think we overlap at all, actually, except in the arena of zinger comebacks. We both excel there. But otherwise, I think we make a pretty good team, and our talents and deficiencies are complemented and covered for by each other.

When I was young, I never knew how to answer the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I had so many different things that I liked to do: reading, writing, painting, drawing, singing, organizing; that I couldn't imagine being able to choose just one. I sort of envied my friends who had already decided, who knew instinctively the course their lives would take, at least when it came to what they would DO during it. But eventually I realized that I liked having my options open, that it gave me a freedom to continually redefine myself and play with my own boundaries and my own ideas of what I could accomplish. I am still not sure what I want to be when I grow up, and that's quite okay with me. The poem below was written by someone whom you might not associate with the title "poet" but it resonated with me not only because I was surprised at how good it was, but because like the woman who wrote it, I can try my hand at many different things and, perhaps, be good at them all.

I Have Something For You
by Carrie Fisher

I have something for you.
I don't know what it is, but it knows itself and it knows you.
It waits for you. It is yours, I think.
I noticed it soon after I noticed you.
It fought its way across my life and lay in waiting for some
way you are, some thing you say, a heat you have.
This thing knows you, it names you, it longs to be near you.
Oh, I tried to give it a piece of my mind,
but it ate that piece and smiled.
It has me and it wants you.
I drive it around, try to lull it to sleep, but it refuses
to listen to the strange music of reason.
Instead, it sings your praises, looks for you in other people's faces.
Recalls you, involves me.
It's all very distressing.

I have something for you.
A big corny thing with me inside it,
stunned, waiting for the shoe to drop.
A thing for you that has taken me
hostage and asked for you in ransom.
It made me write this note.


More excellent Poetry Thursday goodies!

HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDY Wishes to my favorite Hula Bunny!
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