The last time I asked around to see if anybody had a hobby or a talent that they would want to share with the Sparks (5-6 year old branch of GG), I got the following answer from two different people: "Oh, but I don't have any special talent".
I was highly dubious.
A few weeks later, I was filled with skepticism again when my friend B wrote on her Facebook wall about her parents being so handy/crafty... whereas she herself has not talent at all.
I did not buy this for a second (and nor did the other friends who read her).
I truly believe that each and everyone of us has at least a few talents. Including children. As role models, we're not doing them any service by depreciating ourselves (and failing to notice what they are good at, whatever it is).
As it turned out, one of the ladies I had tried to get as a guest speaker is an origami expert.
As for my friend B, as anyone who knows her would tell you, she has an indubitable talent for making people feel good, at ease, and happy.
So why were they denigrating themselves?
I think this follows the same logic as failing to receive compliments. Did you ever notice how quickly we minimize a compliment? We are told our clothes look good, and instead of proudly answering thank you, we insist they were on sale. Why can't we just gladly accept the compliment?
We need to shake this bad habit. What better way than to proudly list our unique talents? To make it easier, I thought we could start with talents that don't make us feel like we're bragging. I tried the exercise with a couple of friends.
They came up with interesting answers.
M said she's awesome at procrastinating.
L, not quite ready to declare she excelled at drawing in general, said "I'm good at drawing Medusa".
R said she has an unusual gift for banging into walls, tripping on stuff, and generally getting herself hurt.
S said she never fails at ruining recipes. (Hmm... that reminds me of someone...)
I got inspired too, and this is what I asserted. Here's a few things I am absolutely phenomenal at:
- Being cold. I don't think anybody masters the art of being cold quite as well as I do. It will be 21 degrees in the house and I will be walking around with a scarf on. I can be seen shivering at some point, day in, day out, and my teeth are no strangers to chattering, either.
- Eating chocolate and ice cream. I rock at that. There seems to be no limit to how much chocolate and ice cream (or, even better: chocolate ice cream) I can ingest. With ice cream, it's usually the shivering and teeth chattering that stops me.
- Falling asleep. I can fall asleep within 2 minutes of my head hitting the pillow. In fact, I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime. I fall asleep in the car (when someone else is driving! Don't go panicking here!) I fall asleep in public transportation (eg. a 15 minute bus ride). I fall asleep in class. In libraries. In bookstores. At yoga. This falling asleep talent runs in the family; we always have someone snoring on the couch after big family meals. (And no, our gatherings are not THAT boring!) During my pregnancies, this talent was taken to new heights with me becoming more or less narcoleptic, and having to splash my face with cold water every 20 minutes in order to avoid dozing off on my desk. This tendency to fall asleep is made particularly interesting by the fact that I generally feel full of energy. I guess my on and off button is just very sensitive: give me a little bit of half-light, a slightly overheated room, or the constant repetitive rocking movement of transportation, and poof, I'm gone.
What are YOUR fabulous talents?
(Forgive me if I temporarily disappear while you compile your list... I suddenly feel a little bit drowsy...)