Thursday, October 27, 2011

Finding Your Strengths

Since I've been retired, I have been reading AARP magazines from 2005 that have stacked up and I never had time to read.  They have some really interesting stuff, and I'm always finding things in them that I google.  I just read an article by Jane Pauley who suggested taking a survey to find your strengths.  Once of the things Jane Pauley suggested was writing down a list of all the things you're proud of.  This kind of goes hand-in-hand with writing down a bucket list, a list of all the things you want to do before you die.  When I was in high school, my friend Darlene and I had a list based on George Plimpton's book, The Paper Lion, and it was "100 things to do before you die."  So I've been having this list for a long time.  The closer I get to the other end of life (death), I'm realizing that I don't have all the time in the world.  This is not morbid, though I suspect some may see it as such, but it's just reality-based.

I still have lots of things left on my list, and lots of things I'd like to do but have had to scratch because of health limitations.  My number one thing is to see the Northern Lights.  But that is a posting for another time.

In thinking about the things I'm proud of myself for doing, it makes me reminisce about by life so far.  I'm proud of these things:
getting my Ph.D.;
travelling around the U.S. to finish my masters thesis on Christian communes, and living in communes for two summers;
backpacking through Europe;
being able to help my mother with peritoneal dialysis without passing out, and being a tiger for her when it came to dealing with medical personnel;
being a social worker for 35 years;
learning sign language;
studying French, Spanish, and Latin (notice I didn't say speaking those languages fluently!);
ziplining in Costa Rica;
swimming with the dolphins in Grassy Key, Florida;
feeding baby tigers in Wilmington, North, Carolina;
white water rafting for a week on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon;
snorkeling in Belize;
the ability to talk with anybody about anything anywhere;
hiking National Parks out west;
learning statistics;
learning how to make jewelry and stained glass pieces;
becoming computer literate;
taking pretty good pictures;
refinishing furniture;
being a cat whisperer;
learning to cook late in my 50's;
giving things away;
becoming assertive;
having come through four major surgeries, with my sense of humor still intact.

I will think about this list some more and add to it from time to time.   And I will start a new bucket list....

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