Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Useful skills

I have a number of strange skills.  If you need to mark off a large square on the ground, I'm your girl.  Want to know how to identify rocks? I can do that.  Need to archivally pack a gown up for storage?  Yeah, I can do that, too.  Really these are the tip of the bizarre skill set I call my own.  They have become frequently useless to me in the working world, since museum jobs are few and far between these days, at least for anyone without a Ph.D.

I am also fondly referred to as The Fountain of Useless Knowledge by my family.  I store odd facts in my head, and those facts are often more useful to other people than to me.  Last Thursday, I had a useful moment.  I was volunteering in the elementary school library, when the librarian asked for help repair books.  This was right up my ally and totally within my skill set.  Our librarian was thrilled.

I get wrapped up in feeling useless a lot these days. The PTA president thing is difficult in an age of non-transparent governmental groups, and the list of rules to watch out for grows daily.  People's personalities are in conflict over seemingly tiny issues, and the list of things the school and the association have are endless. I'm making mistakes from lack of knowledge and a newness to the job, and it leaves me feeling tired and raw.  The time in the library was a nice reminder that sometimes, I do have the right stuff, and that my rarefied skills are useful and necessary.

So, as gets pointed out to me on odd occasion, my useless information and strange skills are useful to the right people.  I just need to be willing to let people get to know me and to volunteer that I have skills I can put to use, if only I know there is a need.  This is part of why building community is a continuous and necessary process- we all have things we need, but can't do for ourselves, and there are people in the world who could help.  The trick is to get the two to meet, and that takes a certain level of putting ourselves out into the world and accepting that we both need help with things and can offer help to others.


  1. Amen Sister! I can relate to your pain! Other then Face Off (which I will NEVER be on TV) there are few places I can use my skills of creating a gnarly scar on someones face, turning people into zombies, or taking a perfectly normal grown man and turning them into a hideous demonic beast! And these are my favorite skills!

  2. Thanks, Sandi! Hope you're having fun with your makeovers.


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