Bri Colorful

Specializnation

Posted on: September 25, 2010

I have somewhere a list I made sometime shortly after graduating high school. I find it slightly psychologically revealing and a little overwhelming. It is a list off all the things I knew I had to learn and do before I could marry. I was happily married before I even started on any of them.

The list included a modgepodge of goals: learn to sew, write a book, learn to budget, learn to draw, learn to cook, travel the world, get a major and minor college degree, learn to garden and preserve food, learn how to fix cars, eat super healthy food and exercise, learn to quilt, get 8 hours of sleep every night consistently, and it just keeps going. I thought I had to be an expert at so many different things before I would be ready to leave my parents and live like an adult.  I wanted to be a Jill-of-all-trades.

The way life turned out was very different. I have a basic knowledge of some of those things (or vague inclinations to do them at some point in my life) and a very specific knowledge of a few things. I specialize in getting very little sleep and remaining cheerful (well, most of the time), making quick, relatively healthy meals, conservatively trolling my rolling-backpack along as I fastwalk from class to class, and mainly my job and schoolwork.

My inclination is to be “well-rounded” but time permits me only to focus on a few talents. In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith argued that “the greatest improvement in the productive powers of labor. . .  seem to have been the effects of the division of labor.” That’s just what we have today, isn’t it? We’re choose majors to gain knowledge specific to the field we want to enter. We’re a nation of specialists.

“But is there still room for roundedness?” she asks hopefully . . .

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7 Responses to "Specializnation"

I sure want to be perfect in lots and lots of things, too. Jill of all trades. I like it. 🙂 It’s actually something I have to fight all the time. Moderation in all things, right? If you ever find the trick to balancing life perfectly, let me know. Oh, I’m thinking lots on this subject now, but as usual, I can’t organize my thoughts to put any of them down. (Another imperfection!!!) 🙂 But as usual, thanks for stimulating fun thoughts.

I’d love to read a post on your own blog about your thoughts on this! 🙂 I love the way you write!

Room for roundedness? Absolutely!!! That’s what I love about my life and all the time I have to learn new things. I’m not good at drawing, but it’s fun to take it up again. I’ll never be fluent in many, but I love to learn languages. I like that one of my brothers once described me as trying new things just for the experience of them. Exactly! How dull would be life if I didn’t try so much there is to offer. As to specializing in a few, I have my self-imposed doubts, so someone else would have to tell me about that. However, I’m perfectly fine gaining all my various experiences and rounding myself out.

I sure hope so. Something I am grateful for is how much we grow when we marry. Not just individually, but as a couple. It can be intense and painful, yet the end product is so much better.

Hey, I, too, am a master of having little sleep while maintaining a cheerful attitude. Perhaps that’s why we got along so swimmingly! : )

😀 Marriage sure is a learning curve. I love when you post about it!

I agree that you don’t have to know a lot to get happily married. I think, however, that there are some things that should be done or learned before marriage. There are many people out there that have baggage that they should get rid of before taking the plunge. But, as far as all of those skills go, I say learn what you can and figure out the rest.

A wife and mother has to be a specialist in so many things that it kind of negates the word itself. The ultimate “specialist” is Heavenly Father – he knows us so intimately, individually. He knows what we can learn best before marriage, and what we – as individuals – will learn best IN marriage. I think that is why some are prompted to marry young, and others when they are more mature (those who are trying to use their agency wisely and have the privilege of the guidance of the Spirit). There is a list as long as eternity of skills and traits to be mastered; some we’ll begin to hone in this life, and some in the next. I find that thought of eternity and the never-ending opportunity for progression very comforting – and exciting. It is only there that we will achieve ultimate “roudedness”.

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