Categories
judging talents

Talents

Photographed on a beach in Cornwall by myself August 2022

There are some talents that are noticeable and some that aren’t. If you can sew, knit, etc then people notice what you do. We’re having two rooms in our house painted this week and next and our painter has talent.

Other people’s noticeable talents made me a bit insecure. I thought I had no talents, which is a blatant lie. I have many talents but they aren’t things that can be noticed. I wonder how many of us can be like that; that we only see ourselves as talented if it is something that can be noticed, gets published, wins prizes, and now in this digital age, has lots of followers and likes.

I love to write and it is one of my gifts. I’ve only had two books published – one that I self published and one that I paid towards being published. I have won a few competitions, interestingly with poetry rather than stories. But I am not going to be a renowned author because I don’t have the push and drive to get to that place, and I am not good at marketing myself. But I have many hidden talents.

I am great with teenagers, that species that many adults avoid. I love going into schools or running youth groups to chat, challenge and encourage young people. I have also been told I am a good listener, which means my walks round the park can often take much longer than the 45 mins they should . When I’m in the mood I am a good cook and do enjoy feeding people. I also love doing these blogs and have been told they encourage other people too. I love taking photos and writing poems about what they make me feel, which is where the Inspirations From Walking In Wales book came from

But it is hard sometimes not to compare ourselves to others, to see talents as a hierarchy rather than gifts we’ve been given. Again I think it comes down to wanting to put things in good and bad boxes rather than look at what gives us life. Once we get into comparing ourselves to others we are saying this is a good talent and this is a not-so-good talent. We have then judged ourselves and found ourselves wanting. Would God do that? Also once we have seen ourselves as not-good-enough we don’t allow ourselves to just be.

We need to know that what we have been given is good enough for who we are and what we are to achieve with this “one precious life” [Mary Oliver “The Summer’s Day”] and then go for it, be our true selves and enjoy it along the way.

Categories
change grief

Nation in Mourning?

Photo of tree in Pentre Mawr Park, Abergele photographed by Diane Woodrow
Berries on a tree in my local park photographed by myself

This photo shows Autumn is coming

I haven’t posted for a while, and it is interesting to realise that my last post was about People Pleasing. After I’d posted I then went on holiday to Cornwall for a week, then the week I came back I had signed up with the Professional Writing Academy to do a week of podcasts to do with the craft of writing, which made for a very full week around everything else I was doing. I still have to catch up with some of the podcasts I missed. And then the Queen died so the blog posts I had in my head haven’t yet been written.

It is hard to know what to write when according to all UK media the nation is in mourning. I am afraid I’m not. Well not in mourning for the Queen anyway. I do feel for her family and I think she did some awesome things. I am probably nervous that it is another change. The end of an era. I very much think it should be marked. But I am not sure if this is the right way when so many are fearful and wondering how they will keep their homes warm this winter.

I, personally, am sad that the Queen felt that she had to work right up until two days before she died. I am not sure if this is a good example to others. I think we are often pushed too hard into working a lot, into even when retired still doing many things. That this is where are identity comes from in what we do. There is even a group called. Rest Less which is about making sure you keep doing more as you age. I often wonder if it would be more beneficial for the country, for the world, if we learned to actually do less rather than do more, if we could accept ourselves as we are and not have to rushing about doing things.

Note I am not against doing things but I think too often many people are busy doing rather than being so that they don’t have to catch up with themselves.

The Queen has now been replaced by King Charles who is 73 years old. He should be settling into a nice retirement where his grandchildren come first, fun holidays come second and pleasing himself comes next. But he will be expected to work until he too dies. Is this really a good example?

There is much I could say about privilege, entitlement, the cost of the country, this economic time, but I won’t. As I have said on and off during my posts, I have had to deal with grief of various kinds and I am also grateful that I never had to do mine in public. There was not going to be a headline if I laughed when I was expected to be sad, or did things that others thought were not right during their own period of grief. So for that I will not say anything. And I also think the media should get on and do something else rather than following this grieving family.

I do think this country needs to mark the end of an era, needs to pray about what comes next, but also needs to let this family deal with losing their matriarch. But also remember she was 96. She was an old lady.

The loss of the Queen is a thing but it is not like losing a child or a friend who died do young. Or even of grieving the loss of a relationship, a dream, a home, a job, etc.

Perhaps we need to put the loss of a 96 year old head of state into its right place?