>Most people would view being multi-talented as a blessing. Having the interest and ability would be even better. I have both in a variety of areas. Luckily, one tends to feed another. I love reading, baking, cooking, writing and gardening. And I love to read about all those things as well. Yes, I like to read about reading. Don’t judge me.

Here is the problem. I am also good at all of those things. I read a wide variety of topics, authors and genres. A lot of my conversations start with, “I was just reading about …”. I am an excellent baker. I can bake anything: cookies, bars, pies, cakes, tarts, etc. If you can name it, dream about it, or salivate over it generally I have already or would be able to make it for you. Cooking is another thing that combines ability and interest. Yes, I read cookbooks just for the heck of it. Again, don’t judge me. I’ve cooked Indian, Moroccan, Japanese, Italian, Greek, Scottish and British. Give me a cookbook and some basic ingredients and generally I can create a satisfying meal. Gardening is my outdoor expression of art. It calms me, grounds me and fascinates me. I love growing food too. It is extremely gratifying to cook with ingredients from your own backyard. If I could just get around those chicken by-laws I’d be set. My gardens are woodsy, structured, zany and beautiful. Sort of describes me on a good hair day.

Now writing is cropping up. I’ve always been known for writing a good letter. They’ve been referred to as “Liz Letters” when the receiver has ticked me off. English has always been a good subject for me. I find words fascinating and with my little reading habit have developed a pretty good vocabulary. One drawback is that it makes me very judgmental of those with limited ability to express themselves or their ideas. I went and married a person with dyslexia and went on to have a son with dyslexia. How’s that for divine intervetion ? What they’ve taught me is to be more patient and allow people to communicate in their own way and time. This has been a very good thing as Martha would say. I once worked for a college where the Educational Director used the word “irregardless” on a regular basis regardless of the fact that it’s not a word. Now to give credit where credit is due, I used to use that word until my brother pointed out it wasn’t a word. It was immediately banished from my lexicon. I have to tell you that it took every fiber of my being not to correct that Director every time we spoke.

But I digress. My issues with poor grammar, spelling errors and under developed vocabularies are another story for another time. And lots of therapy. It tends to distract me from whatever direction I am heading in. As my husband will tell, this is not a challenging thing to do. Apparently having multiple interests can also translate into having a hard time focusing during a conversation. With so many things to discuss and discourse about, why stick to one topic when you can maniacally jump from one topic to another ? Why indeed.

In describing my abilities, I don’t mean to brag. Anyone who knows me well enough will immediately confirm that I am certifiably insecure about my ability to do anything. Surely anyone can bake, cook, read, garden and write just as well as I do or better ? I have been assured by people, outside of my very biased family, that my talents are somewhat unique. That my level of interest in the variety of subjects which influence my abilities is also somewhat unique. This puzzles me. How do people stay occupied if they are only interested in one thing ? Don’t they get bored ?

The point of this little story is in the title. Picking a direction. How does one who possesses more than one talent, ability or interest pick a direction in life ? How is it possible to become masterful in anything when you are pulled in so many directions ? It’s like being a magpie in a forest of shiny things. Each opportunity looks more interesting and new than the last. I guess I can be thankful that I will never be bored. Maybe I can take a step back and be grateful that I will always have the ability to feed my family, have many interesting topics to discuss, write terrific letters and add beauty to the planet. Maybe the only direction I need to go in is forward.

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