Friday, December 17, 2010

What's In Your Toolkit?

One of the things those of us in Human Resources used to say to employees and managers was, once you learn a new skill or develop an aptitude or live through and grow from a particular difficult experience; these things are now tools in your toolkit and, no matter what, regardless of where you are or what position you find yourself in, you will from here on out carry them with you. Obviously, in that environment, we were referring to knowledge, skills, aptitudes, talents, experiences, abilities, etc., etc. which were mostly work-related.

And, so, we all have tools in our toolkit that pertain to our own professions (or prior professions). We also have tools that are either just an innate part of who we’ve always been, or, tricks we’ve picked up along the way in this game of life. Frankly, I find these a heck of a lot more interesting and fun to discover about people. For instance, you’re at a cocktail party and a person you vaguely know whom you always felt to be somewhat of a stick in the mud and rather boring shocks you by their admission that they play guitar in a grungy rock in roll band. Or, another person who never says “boo” at work cannot be stumped by any quote from a movie; always knowing what movie it was from, which character said it (and to whom) and who the actor was playing the role.

Then, there are folks that you know fairly well who amaze you in your discovery that, outside of your sphere of involvement with them (whether it be work, church, book club or even a good friend or family member) there is something totally unexpected that they either do (sky dive, cater gourmet meals) or can do (play the ukulele, tie a cherry stem in a knot with their tongue).

I woke up this morning, my birthday (the number of years is slightly over the speed limit in a 45 MPH zone), thinking about the tools I have in MY toolkit. Because anyone reading this probably won’t give a rat’s about my professional tools, I’ll leave those out of the list.

· I read Tarot cards/spreads and cast Astrological charts. This is a fun party trick, but, I think a few folks have found these readings/charts helpful during difficult times of their lives.

· I went through a Teaching English as a Second Language certificate program at Duke. I absolutely love coming up with creative lesson plans and teaching individuals who need to be able to function effectively in our country. It’s time consuming, though, so it’s not something I’ve chosen to do as a second career.

· I believe that I can write and that people are usually interested in what I write about. Guess what? If you do a Google search “Microsoft Hearts”, Mrs. B’s Brilliant Blog’s entry about whether or not the game cheats (written by yours truly while in a snit over continually loosing) comes up as #3. Out of 5.6 MILLION results. If you search “Microsoft Hearts Cheat”, the same entry returns at #1 out of just less than a million. Although this is a complete and total fluke, I’m somewhat proud of it!

· I am extremely interested in and consider myself a relative “expert” in these areas:

o The Tudors

o The Wizard of Oz

o The Titanic

This doesn’t necessarily mean much except I can engage in interesting conversation at cocktail parties regailing folks with tid-bits in these areas that they probably didn’t know before!

· I can raise my right eye-brow. I can’t tell you how many times this has come in handy when I’ve wanted to say something not very nice to someone, but couldn’t. This raised eyebrow arch look says it all.

Ok, well, maybe not the most auspicious talents, but, hey, I’m only 47 years old. Who knows what I’ll achieve in the next 50 years! Maybe I’ll finally be able to nail that cherry stem thing.

Mrs. B



Mr. B said...


I can cook, bake and do woodworking! Does that count?


Mrs. B said...

Those are all most excellent tools, sweetie!