A Nourishing Year: February’s review

Well, we’re half way through March and I’m only just writing about February. I’m claiming that I’ve spent the past fortnight reflecting on what happened, but really I’m just trying not to admit that time is slipping past me at an ever-alarming rate!

So, how was February? It was a month in which my monthly goals – for exercise, craft, allotment gardening and parenting –  were all met. I’ve sewed, chitted potatoes and dug the ground where they will be soon be planted. I’m making time for reading, and sharing my books. And I’m feeling really good about making monthly achievable goals that I can happily check off my list on a regular basis.

However, there is one huge exception to my success. One goal that I’ve not completed. And it’s one that I’ve been planning since last year. After a lot of soul-searching, I’ve admitted defeat on my Maker Day and cancelled the event.

If I’m honest, I’d been dithering about doing so for months. It’s hard enough juggling a full time job with two small children as it is, without adding lots of pressure to myself with a giant event to plan. And, I’ve realised that my strengths do not lie in event planning. They don’t lie in being the ‘leader’ of something, in front of an audience or cold calling people I don’t know. I’ve been filled with anxiety, worried about letting people down, worried about letting it get too far before I call a halt on it. But, I finally quit the other day. And the sense of relief is huge. For the first time in months, I’m sleeping properly…

So often, we’re told to overcome our weaknesses. To step out of our comfort zone and be brave, in order to succeed in life. But what if that’s wrong? What if success means working out what you’re great at, and focussing on those things instead? And finding other people to work with – collaborators with the strengths you don’t have, so you can complement each other? Perhaps stepping out of your comfort zone can just mean pushing yourself a bit to build the muscles where you’re already strong instead of leaping to overcome the things you find really, truly painful. I just did the Strengths Finder 2.0 test (in both my day job, and through doing the Happy Start Ups Home School) and it has given me a bit of insight about where my strengths lie. Here are a few quotes from the Strengths Finder book for some of my strengths:

  • Input – “You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information – words, facts, books and quotations – or you might collect tangible objects. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds many things interesting.”
  • Intellection – ” You like to think. You like mental activity. You like exercising the muscles of your brain, stretching them in multiple directions.”
  • Connectedness – “Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it.You are sure of it because in your soul you know that we are all connected.”
  • Learner – “You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other experiences but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning.”

Many of us will have done similar questionnaires through work and they’re used for a short time before being ignored as we go about our day to day lives. But I’ve been completely thrown by how accurate this one was. This feels definitely, authentically me. A learner, collector, collaborator, thinker. Not someone who enjoys being the centre of attention. Not someone who is entirely comfortable communicating, despite being a blogger for nearly five years! Not an event organiser. Even one with some wonderful collaborators, it just didn’t feel right for me.

And so I have waved goodbye to my old plans and set off on a new project. One that already feels more comfortable. Because it makes use of the things I’m good at. And I just know in my heart that my new project is The One. I’m already in love with it…

Here’s a sneak peek. And, no, it’s not food I’m making!

2015-03-06 14.10.57

6 Responses to A Nourishing Year: February’s review

  1. Anna says:

    I know that feeling of letting something go too! Something you put a lot of energy into. Always the freedom that comes afterwards makes you question why you hung on for so long!
    I completely agree there is too much emphasis on getting people to improve their weaknesses. In jobs I’ve had, the PDR system is always focussed on that too. If we all really worked at our strengths, what would we be capable of as a society? Instead we are encouraged to be mediocre! Bonkers. Have you seen the TED talks from Ken Robinson? It’s kind of a similar sentiment… I think you’d like him!
    Anna recently posted…Happy Rose Sunday!My Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hello! Thank you for your fantastic comment – I’ve not heard of Ken Robinson’s TED talk, but I’ll definitely be looking it up for a watch now. Thanks for the recommendation. And you’re right, the sense of freedom and relief is really strong, I’m happy that I’ve finally admitted defeat…

  2. Cerys says:

    High Five to you for recognising it wasn’t going to happen and letting it go. I think that’s a strength right there. And that’s the second time today I’ve seen someone recommending the TED talks…there must be something in them.
    Cerys recently posted…Five Times I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry whilst baking with my sonMy Profile

  3. The Strengths Finder test sounds interesting. I’ve ordered the book to find out more.

    Also, well done for having the guts to cancel the Maker Day rather than struggle on with something that wasn’t working out.

    I hope March went well for you and that you are enjoying April. Lovely photos on Instagram as always!
    Ruthy @ Minibreak Mummy recently posted…Sugar-free me!My Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      Strengths Finder was really insightful for me, I hope you find it useful. Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to your comment. My beloved laptop died! x

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