My Mom always says, “Half of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb at.”
And the older I get, the smarter Mom gets, of course. Maybe it’s just that as we mature, we realize that our parents actually do know what they’re talking about. They do have all that experience they lay claim to and they actually have learned from it. Perhaps it is that as we mature, we realize that we don’t actually know as much as our younger selves believed. Maybe it’s a combination. If what Mom said is true, maybe as we grow, we are smart enough to realize that we simply don’t know it all. Nor should we.
In homage to Mom’s wisdom, I submit my list of ten things I’m “dumb at” and do not know how to do.
1. Change a tire. And I really think I should. What I do know how to do is call AAA and get them to do it for me. At least there’s that. But it seems much more self-sufficient and potentially safer to be able to solve the problem and move on than to have to sit waiting for emergency road service.
2. Play the piano. Once upon a time, I took piano lessons, but I hated to practice. I remember vividly the day I stopped taking lessons… It was raining, but it was one of those lovely and delicious rainy spring days that made everything seem fresh, green, and new. The teacher’s front yard gardens on that day were as lush as I had ever seen. As I reached for the doorknob of his house, I knew I could not go in. I was unprepared and simply could not face the man and tell him so. I ran back to the car where Mom was waiting, tears mixing with the raindrops on my face. She went inside to talk to him while I waited, surrounded by the intense cleanness of the yard. I still don’t know exactly what they talked about, but when Mom came back outside, I was no longer a piano student. I really don’t hold on to regrets in life – every choice, every action in life, makes us the person we are at this moment. Change one thing and life is a whole different story. Seems good in theory, but likely not in practice. Anyway, if I have one thing that might qualify as a legitimate regret, it’s that I did not continue to play the piano.
3. Build a computer. I’m married to a man who can, though, so I think I may be covered by proxy on this one.
4. Speak a foreign language. Other than inquiring as to the location of the toilets in French or tossing around the nine Spanish words I’ve picked up from Dora the Explorer, I speak only my native tongue. I am seriously considering changing this, though, and grab a copy of a program that will teach me conversational Latin. I think we should bring it back.
5. Make oregano-teriyaki chicken. This is the Fab Hub’s signature meal. I do not know how to make it. Don’t want to, either. Moving on.
6. Fold a fitted sheet properly. Let’s be honest about this one, though – no one really knows how to do this properly.
7. Quiet my mind. I have something happening in my brain pretty much all the time. I find it nearly impossible to quiet my mind and think of nothing. I am serious; I really do not know how to clear my mind and just relax. It’s on my list, though, of things to learn.
8. Stop second-guessing myself. I second-guess myself all the time. Often, it translates to a seeming inability to make a decision. It’s not that I can’t make a decision; it’s that sometimes often I wonder if my instinct was right. Lately, this happens most often in cooking. Case in point: The other night we made fish tacos (amazing, by the way, and I will have to post the recipe). The recipe called for one and a half pounds of fish to produce two to three servings. I was certain that adding another half pound would be perfect to accommodate another two people. When I looked at two pounds of cod on my counter, though, it seemed excessive. My gut told me to freeze some of it for another day and stick to a smaller amount of fish. At the last minute, though, I panicked that it would be too little to satisfy everyone and made the whole two pounds. Two pounds of cod for fish tacos is a LOT of fish, by the way. Still trying to figure out what to do with the leftovers.
9. Go to bed at a reasonable time. I am a terrible insomniac. Some of it is a plain and simple physiological fact. Some of it is self-induced. Whatever the variety, I have a distinct inability to prepare myself for bed in such a manner or at such a time as to achieve a full night of quality sleep. The upshot of this is that I can tell you pretty much anything you want to know about late-night infomercials or sitcom reruns. I have also said a gargantuan number of Hail Mary’s and have counted enough sheep to open a sweater factory.
10. Resist a list or a quiz. If there is a quiz to be taken or a list to be made, I am generally equal to the task. I either find it highly entertaining or have mastered the fine art of avoiding some other task like learning how to change a tire or speak French
Previously published on Themeaningofme.com.
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