What have you always to do with your life?

My son is a master potter. He begins with an ugly lump of clay, puts the lump on his wheel, and then with deft hands spins the clay.
From there, he fashions a small beautiful vase, an elegant teapot, or a Goliath-sized bottle–sometimes more than six feet tall. And it all looks so very easy.
But I know better. Many years ago when I was young and full of dreams, I took an evening class in clay. I made small vases, egg cups, candy dishes–mostly by the slab method.
For many years, I had a small vase to remember my class by. Fashioned on the wheel, the vase had thick walls and an uneven bottom where the glaze dripped in the kiln.
At about the same time, I tried watercolour painting and resumed my piano lessons from years ago. We bought a wonderful Yamaha piano and I shopped for fun music to play.
It was a holdover from college years when I had so many talented friends. I admired their many skills and wanted to emulate their talents.
Knitting, leather tooling, oil painting, sewing, singing, linoleum block printing. I even tried rock tumbling.
Yes, I tried them all. And I did all of them very poorly. My watercolour and oil paintings just never looked like I envisioned they would. I was a rank novice on piano, and I sang off key.
One friend, who received a leather billfold for Christmas, laughed at all of those little holes I tooled in the billfold she would never use. My husband never wore his sweaters and my children wore theirs only to be polite.
Still I carried on–hoping against hope that my efforts in art and music eventually would pay off.
I was nearly this side of 60 before I saw the light and suddenly realized that I didn’t have to do anyone else’s dream.
I threw out those ugly little clay vases. I gave every size of knitting needles and wool enough for five or six sweaters to a friend who actually knits. And I loaned my piano to my daughter.
With all of that “talent” out of my life, I was completely free! And began to focus on what I was always good at and loved to do–writing.
Recognizing and developing our unique gifts is important. Very early we learn to do what others expect. Consequently, many of us may wake up at some point on life’s road and discover we are travelling the wrong direction.
“All of us owe it to ourselves to examine our own lives, the rules by which we live and the values inherent in our choices,” writes Marsha Sinetar in her best seller, “Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow.”
“We must decide for ourselves who we are, what our conduct should be, and how we wish to use our lives.”
When you leave behind your efforts to satisfy other people’s wishes for your life, when you leave behind your desire to emulate other people’s talents, you can begin to discover your own unique talents.
And a dynamic new life follows this choice.
So what about you? Have you ever been tempted to do things simply because other people do them.
This side of 60, you can be free if you choose. What unique talents have you always wanted to develop? Why not begin travelling down the right road today.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Posted in Uncategorized