Recognising what we are like (or even like) reduces frustration

Summer holidays to me means that it is time to stop and have a sort out. It does not matter if it is papers in a filing cabinet or folders on a hard drive, summer is the time to get things sorted out. A time to catch up doing all those things you don’t normally have time to do and while there are fewer distractions like Heavenly Crafts and college classes.

This summer I bit off more than I could chew. I knew there were a few papers to sort out in the bedroom but not how many. I measured the combined lengths of the boxes I filed them away into and it was just over 18 feet (or about 5.5 metres). That is a lot of papers to sort through. I needed to do them to find some things as well as make it so that there was a better background behind me in case I did a video livestream.

The reality was that I wanted to have a sort out in my bit of cyberspace. The intention seemed simple i.e. find a way of improving the security of all my old websites. I tried this way of doing it then that way then the other way. When I got stuck I stopped doing that and tried doing something else i.e. sorting out the papers Typical Susan try doing things one way get stuck and try something else or try doing what you first started doing in a different way. I got part of what was started done but generated a tangle of incomplete tasks ready for the next attempt to sort things out. Except that this time there are some good reasons to get them finished as soon as possible.

Somewhere in the midst of all the upset caused by my attempts to sort out the papers and the websites there was a special event for Heavenly Crafts to organise. As if that was not enough there was a trip to the doctor’s that turned into 4 trips to the hospital. Heavenly Crafts was doing its bit towards celebrating the 150th anniversary of buying the land on which the church that we meet in is built on. The original intention was to get everything else done before the anniversary week. As you can tell this did not happen. The celebration came and went and yes there are still papers to sort out and a home in cyberspace to tidy up. That is the easy bit when it comes to recognising our individual strengths and weaknesses.

Lack of recognition leads to slow progress

One reality is I am a starter, not a finisher. I have loads of unfinished projects lying around. Boxes and drawers full of them. The dressmaking projects that I got stuck with decades ago. The websites that were created at the beginning of a project that was never completed. The truth is I need to be part of a team where there are finishers as well as starters. I need to work together with those people who struggle to get things started but have no problem getting things finished.

This is why the recognition dimension is so important. We need to know ourselves and our limitations so that we can do the right things with the right people and actually achieve something. The problem is we wander around half blind when it comes to recognising our strengths and weaknesses.

What do we really like or want?

It sounds daft but sometimes we don’t even know what we like.  This summer I wrote a Facebook post about the way God helped me with an interior decorating project in the late 80s. There were lamps and lights and curtains and carpet even a 3 piece suite that all matched. It was not even as if finding them all involved a huge search. They all came together almost without trying. It was amazing.

Someone read that story and reminded me that I had said I had the redemptive gift of teacher. They then said people with that gifting or personality type had a special affinity with flowers and leaves. The lamps, lights, carpet and furniture all had matching flowers on them. Not just a geometric design or other recognisable images just flowers and a few leaves. Didn’t I realise that all these flowers were associated with my gifting.

As if that was not enough I actually wrote a list of all the flowers that I had around the house. I had nearly 20 arrangements of artificial flowers. I looked and I realised that over half of them were white or cream and nearly a quarter were lavender or in grey vases.  Without realising it I had kept on choosing the same colours i.e. white/cream and lavender/grey.

It quite simply had not dawned on me that this was what I preferred until I wrote out that list. I had liked them but not recognised that I liked them. It was as if I thought that I should like bright pink or yellow flowers when in reality I preferred pale subdued colours. It was as if I had learnt to say what I really liked was not a good choice.

The more I looked around the more I recognised what I really liked.  I have a few plain white ornaments with simple lines which are very different from the colourful fussy ones that my sister has at her house. The main design on my wallpaper, even my curtains involved leaves. The evidence was there it was just that I had never put it into words.

Guess what though it has speeded up some of my choices. Instead of looking at all the different colours and slowly ruling out some of them one by one I can focus on the small group of white or grey and make my choice from them. Instead of saying is it flowers or a geometric pattern, it is automatically flowers.

Lnowing what you like and what you are capable of can relieve a lot of frustration. What ways has working out what you like or are capable of helped you move forwards so avoid frustration?

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