Jack of All Trades

Perhaps it is because I am a teacher, but autumn is my New Year’s. It is often when I make goals and is a time of reflection for me. Between the season and my conversations with older people lately (see my To Hold and To Cherish post for more on that), I have been looking at my life. I have already made the goals to appreciate time with my family more and to cherish these baby years. Next I have been contemplating the creative aspects of my life. What gives me happiness? How has my “Year of Writing” been going?

Part of my inspiration in taking this year to just write and to start this blog, was to work on focus. I know it’s not been a full year yet but I’ve come to a realization. I love writing and will continue to write. As I have posted recently (November is PiBoIdMo Month post), I am pleased with how my writing is going. I have felt inspired on that level lately. However, I want more. I miss painting with an ache. I’m not talking about simple painting projects. I miss getting my hands dirty and playing with paint. Maybe focus isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for me. Maybe, just maybe, being a jack of all trades is okay.

September Serendipity painting

September Serendipity painting

So I decided to follow my heart and I signed up for Juliette Crane’s on-line course called Serendipity. I have followed her blog for a while and really like her process. I need to loosen up in my process and remember how to play. Each month Juliette releases a series of videos to guide us through creating a piece. Her process is all about playing with paint and experimenting with materials. My September painting was so much fun to create. The wings didn’t come out how I wanted (I attempted them at least 8 different ways) and her face was a bit of a copout as I didn’t challenge myself to try for a freer style and instead went with a more cartoon style. But I played. I experimented. I had moments where I lost time.*

And what about focus, you may ask? It is true it is a worthy goal. However, my conversations with my older neighbours have reminded me, I may have a lot of time. If I live until I’m 80, I’ll have lots of quieter years in the future to work on focus. It doesn’t have to be now. I can embrace where my life is now, do what makes me happy now, and save focus for a time that allows for more focus – should I choose.

For now, I have decided to proudly claim my jack of all trades personality. I will still make me time, I will still write and blog, but now I will also paint again. I have decided to let go of the idea that a jack of all trades is something to be ashamed of. I will embrace the now – my babies, my husband, my writing, AND my painting. I will embrace doing what I enjoy, even if it is scattered.

And if I don’t live till I’m 80? I will never regret enjoying time with my kids and husband and enjoying dabbling in both writing and arts. I will never regret enjoying the now.


*Note on “lost time” mentioned above: When your creative mind takes over, you have no concept of the passage of time. It is one of my favourite states to be in because it means you are totally engrossed in what you are doing. You have lost yourself in the moment and in the act of creating. When people talk of “living in the now”, this is what I imagine they are talking about. You are living and breathing only what you are doing at that moment.

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10 Responses to Jack of All Trades

  1. hvanmil says:

    I love the paragraph “I have decided to claim my jack of all trades” personality. That is so me! And I too have felt pressure to “specialize” if you will. Thanks for freeing me from that thought!!

    • It’s hard to get away from that pressure to specialise isn’t it? So I don’t excel at anything? Even if I did specialise I still might not! At least this way, I get to have fun doing everything I like doing. And just wait till the lotto gods respond to my request, I’m going to have a craft room that would make Martha Stewart cry with jealousy!

  2. fashiondaylee says:

    Wow! We sound alike, and I totally get your craving for focus. I just haven’t made it there yet. Maybe someday. I have gotten away from painting too, and I need to get back to it. I love losing track of time over things like that.

  3. Salma says:

    That’s so wonderful that you know what’s important and you’re doing it! That’s great Renata.

  4. TamaraG says:

    I love your paiting its beauitful.

  5. Lovely! I was going to wait until Jan to make a goals list but you have inspired me to start a little earlier. Thank you!

  6. Pingback: Me time and Wine Pie | keeping the me in mommy

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