Things I can do

Not quite 30 candles
Photo credit: hankword

I recently started reading a book entitled “Turning 30: How to get the life you really want“.

The “You know you’re turning 30 when…” list could almost have been plucked directly from my brain (I say almost because not everything applies… I can’t say I’ve ever felt particularly jealous of anyone’s hanging baskets!), but one thing in particular struck a chord with me:

You come face to face with the realisation that you are but passing through this life…
And if you don’t settle down and have kids soon it might be too late…
And you really ought to be doing something with your life…
And you’re destroying brain cells every time a quick drink turns into a big night out…
And look at that – a full set of non-stick saucepans and you get a milk pan thrown in…

Well, maybe not the last one (I get more excited about plates than saucepans), but you get the idea.

The aim of the book is to get you through what the authors call “The turning 30 blues” by helping you figure out who you are and what you actually want from life. To that end, they include lots of exercises that are supposed to make you think and help you decide what you need to do next.

i can on 19 February 2010 - day 50
Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews

One such exercise is entitled “Uncovering your strengths”. The task is to write a list of things you believe you are good at (they want you to list these under the three headings “Physical/Manual”, “Intellectual” and “Social/Relationships”, but that seems a bit complicated to me!)

Rather than just putting it on paper, I decided to turn my list into a blog post. So, as I approach the big 3-0, here are the things I can do:

  • Cook and bake
  • Make a tasty meal out of very few ingredients without consulting a recipe
  • Translate reasonably well
  • Read fast
  • Remember the lyrics to hundreds of songs
  • Cross stitch
  • Speak German
  • Spell (in English)
  • Sew on a button
  • Remember people’s birthdays
  • Dye my own hair

That’s all I can think of. The next step is to ask other people what they think your strengths are – I’m going to ask Jan when he gets in from work. Then I think I want to find some new things to try (this one is my idea – not the book’s). My list seems rather short to me and I’m sure there must be something else out there I could be good at – I just need to find it!

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10 thoughts on “Things I can do

    1. To be honest, I haven’t got that far with it yet. As I said, I did like their “You know you’re turning 30 when…” list. But even if it only helps a little bit, it will have been worth it for me – I bought it from Amazon for something like 20 cents, so even with the delivery fee it cost next to nothing!

      1. Hmmm, I may look into it! I like the list and the things I’m good at ideas too – I need these sorts of things to perk me up every so often!

    1. Well I like to think I have a sense of humour anyway 😉

      The actual task was to make a list of “things you enjoy doing and believe you are good at”. I stretched it a little bit – sewing on a button isn’t something I enjoy TOO much 😉 – but qualities like you mentioned seemed a stretch too far.

      I think this exercise was aimed more at figuring out what you want to do careerwise (assuming you’re not happy in your current one), so knowing you can bake really well or fix toasters is more useful that knowing you are funny or modest. Ooh, and typing that has just reminded me… I can also wire a plug!

  1. I think we can all take a hint from that book and focus more on our various strengths – yes, even those of us just a bit (ha!) past 30! Most people are way too negative about themselves and cut themselves down far too much, and that’s no way to live your life. 30 is a great time to learn to be kind to yourself!

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