Tag Archive | artist

Potential… Lost… Found and Tapped

***Woo busy few weeks… Grandma Visit, Easter… I promise to get back into the swing***

Potential. What does it mean to “have potential”? To “tap into potential”? To “waste potential”?

Through out my life I have often wondered what my own potential truly was. Have I actually found a path that uses my potential the best way? Is the potential gone after I chose my path?

Potential as a word has a few definitions:

  1. having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.
  2. latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.
  3. the quantity determining the energy of mass in a gravitational field or of charge in an electric field.

Well… we can ignore the last one (I am not a whiz with physics). For my use here I am focusing on the first two. In high school there is a lot of discussion about your potential – your capacity to become something in the future. What direction is your life going to take as you reach adulthood? Now, I was told I could become pretty much anything I wanted… which was sweet. Though, thankfully, my Dad did suggest not a doctor (I am queasy about blood), maybe not something that requires strong knowledge in the sciences (yah… not something I excelled at) and possibly NOT maths (yah I have a hate hate relationship with higher level math… if it doesn’t hurt me, I won’t curse it out… much).

So… I went from high school to college and a direction in the fine arts. I found I had a lot of “potential” with courses that required a bending of thought and discussion… philosophy and religion. I found a direction – I PLANNED to become a minister in the Lutheran church (specifically the ELCIC – Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada). Potential tapped… right?

Ok, some come along with me here – I think EVERYONE reading this blog has realized something – Lisa is NOT a minister… or a philosopher… or a religious scholar… or (and this is grasping) a university professor in any of these disciplines. Nope, 100% wife and mother. So answer me this…

Did I waste my potential?

Who I was in high school with her interests and dreams and graduating marks, who I was in college with my wide eyed enthusiasm and excelling marks… did these “Lisas” get wasted? Or has it gone into hibernation waiting to be tapped?

Where 20 yr old Lisa was sure she would be a minister… 37 yr old Lisa is sure she is a good mother, a strong teacher, a rather fantastic crocheter (if I do say so myself). She has tapped into a NEW potential, something that was not held up as a solid opportunity way back in high school (because really, motherhood at 17/18 years old… nope not for me). I don’t believe I wasted it, I tapped into my potential for those 3+ years. I learned, I grew, I argued, I laughed and cried. BUT, in the end, I found NEW potential.

I found those latent (existing but not yet developed or manifest; hidden; concealed) qualities that were not tapped by my college education with our decision to start a family. Do I regret it? Nope! Amazingly enough, I filled my yearning for working in the church with committee work and promptly learned – I suck at politics. And, as much as I love the church, in any organization there are politics.

On top of that… and this should be no surprise for people who know me, I am shy!

No, I don’t think I wasted my potential. Would someone from the outside looking in come to a different conclusion… possibly. But here is a new question for you – does that matter? Often you will hear people talking about someone’s wasted potential. How they SHOULD have done this or that instead of the career they chose based on their own knowledge of that person at particular times of the person’s life.

She should have gone with that career in writing, after all in college she wrote such amazing papers. He should have gone into medicine, look at his amazing marks in science. They would have made an amazing singing group – after all they did all that singing in small bars during college.

The saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side”, comes to mind. Looking at his or her life as a youth, as a college student it may look as if they SHOULD have gone this way or that, but can we ever truly be in another person’s head? This is something that Ken has to deal with often. Depression, plus high intelligence and add in a strong personality and you have someone with lots of potential.

That potential is there with options. Some are absolutely obvious, some deep inside and kept secret. Using Ken as an example (cuz… Depression = Ken = my examples) he was an athlete up through to college and rather successful (this was known), he was and is very good with computers, but deep inside that muddled head of his is an artist, a bit of a scientist, maybe even a comedian.

So… let’s review what he did with his potential. Sports ended before we got married (choice and illness). Computers continued through to today. Art is something that he toys with and need to come back to again (again choice) and scientist has gone by the way-side.

So has he lost potential? Wasted it? Well, we came to realize now that sports/athletics were actually negatively impacting Ken’s mental health. Competition on that level and the stress to his body was not helping his inner dialogue. Of course, on the outside he broke records, played hard and won. BUT while everyone watched that potential being tapped a whole new potential was brewing underneath – the potential to lead to self harm, depression and possibly death.

Direction changed to computers, which has morphed now into the much healthier (due to having to be accountable daily to many and face to face communication) project manager. Project manager may not seem like the height of tapping potential but I am sitting here watching him grow and excel.

So, while some may say he had so much potential, I see it as he has so much adapting potential. KEN has adapted to a whole new lifestyle post depression, he has adapted to our family as it has grown, found a career that makes him the best he can be and stretches his limits. No, he is not an athlete, or a scientist or currently an artist BUT he is Ken. Amazing, ambitious, unique Ken.

So we have each tapped some potential and are always looking to find more. That is the other thing. So I am a mother, but I found a new potential in crochet, and I am not half bad at the recorder, maybe the piano will be some untapped potential I never even knew I had! That cannot be wasted if I never knew it existed, right?

Together Ken and I have the potential to be amazing, I kinda think we already are… just a bit! After all, humans are creatures of change even as we fight to stay the same. So, doesn’t it mean that our potential is ever changing, ever growing and morphing into something new? Now, I doubt I will ever have the potential to be a fighter pilot (ACK heights) or a sumo wrestler, but who knows, maybe… years down the line… you will come to read about Lisa the biblical scholar and Ken the divine artist?

After all, depression or no, personal limitations or not, our potential is there! And we ALL have the potential for greatness on some scale or another. So be that great person – after all… I already know you ARE!!!!IMG_20160624_221658



Artful Dodger… a Book Review

Ok so this is a little out of my norm. The Artful Dodger by Nageeba Davis is a much more… real… and gritty murder mystery. I do have to warn you right now that there is a description of physical abuse that is current in the story and much more in detail recount of SEXUAL abuse of a minor in a character’s past. If these are triggers or turn offs for you please be aware of this content. 

The main character is an artist who specializes in sculpting – clay and bronze. She also is the unlucky recipient of a dead body in her septic tank. Enter detective yummy… Villari. An Italian who is as handsome as he is frustrated with the emotional and prickly Maggie Kean.

I love the series title – A Maggie Kean Misadventure. She really is amazing at not only setting the detective on edge but putting herself in potentially dangerous situations.

There is a solid romance in this story though they do not get far into it in this book. The friends and family that pop up of these two AND the deceased are entertaining and varied and the mystery itself unexpectedly difficult to jump to a solution. I do have to admit, the teaching occupation the main character holds DID feel like a bit of an afterthought and was something I pretty much forgot about for most of the story. 

I really enjoyed this story. Though more gritty than I am used to, I was not turned off by the abuse situations but interested in seeing how they played into the story and the mystery itself. Definitely a series I want to revisit later.51NTBoE2nHL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Are My Kids Weird??? Cuz You Know We Homeschool…

First off, thank you once again to Free Homeschool Deals for the link that is the launching point on this blog entry. I am so thankful I started following you on Facebook and email…

What response do we get when we mention we are THINKING of homeschooling or ARE homeschooling? Well I don’t know about the rest of you out there but the responses have been… mixed… There is the almost instant consistent concern about SOCIALIZATION (cuz we all know homeschool kids are loners who definitely will NEVER fit in in the grand scheme of things…)… some people instantly assume you must be insanely fundamental Christians (thank you 19 Kids and Counting or whatever that show is for perpetuating the dresses and the insular girls growing up to be mothers stereotype for many people, I am sure that is not what they mean to do… but I have had the: oh you homeschool, like that huge family on tv, are you going to have that many kids?? asked)… of course you are not going to teach them but simply let them loose like some sort of weird group of wild dogs to run free and when it is time for them to join the workforce… well they won’t even be potty trained!! (ok maybe an exaggeration but sometimes it FEELS like that is what people think!!)

I honestly wondered if I was alone in all of this, that is until I read a wonderful blog post by Forever, For Always, No Matter What:Catholic Adoption & Home Education Blog. I think I will share some of the key parts that not only made me giggle but had me going YES YES YES! (and not in some weird herbal shampoo commercial way!) You can find the entire article HERE. It is titled: I Can’t Homeschool Because… My Kids Will Be Weird!

Every group has their stereotypes, and one of the stereotypes of homeschooling is that kids will be strange or weird.

Here’s the truth, my kids are weird.  Your kid is too.  The fact is that all kids at some point in time are weird.  Also, maybe it’s just me, but I went to public school and believe me there were plenty of kids there who were labeled “weird”.  Homeschool, public school, private school all has their weirdos.

I’m actually perfectly content having weird kids.  My kids are developing their own interests whether it’s trains, baseball, animals or coin collecting.  They aren’t feeling pressured to like what everyone else likes or do what every other kid is doing.

I don’t want to break any homeschool stereotypes but, my kids don’t particularly like to read.  They would rather be outside playing basketball, riding bikes or swinging with the neighborhood kids than sitting inside reading a book.  They would rather play Mind Craft on the computer than write an essay.  Uh, oh, does that sound too normal?

You know what? That last paragraph… wow does that sound familiar! Just because kids are homeschooled does not mean they are ALL fiendishly insistent learners (though there are days they have more stamina than I and I have to just chase after and keep on with the facts and the learning fun!)… Homeschooled kids are first and foremost… well, KIDS! And what kid always wants to learn when there is that amazing tree out there to conquer or puddle to splash in???

Attend a homeschool convention these days and you will see all types of families.  Long gone are the days when all the moms are wearing their hair in buns and jean skirts.  There are actually some pretty fashionable ladies homeschooling their kids these days!

It always makes me laugh, this urge to paint us all with the same brush… if all homeschool parents are hippies and extremes does that mean all public school parents are suzy homemakers and working drones? If there can be parents of children in schools from all walks of life why would that not follow same in homeschooling circles?

Now the final paragraph cracks me up, not because it is funny but because I have found the same thing true!!!

Psst here’s another secret, my kids actually can carry on a conversation with a friend their age or with an adult.  Imagine that.  I guess homeschooling isn’t making them too weird after all!

Just last weekend I watched my 9 year old son sit down with an adult who he is getting to know now that we have moved here to Minnesota and hold a lengthy conversation with him that I was later told was enjoyable! AMAZING! This is the same child that later that day ran wild with his cousins and chatted up a storm with them!

So just how weird ARE my homeschooled children? We may not follow the school system and over the summer I DO teach them (half days, with flexibility… can’t miss out on those chances to hang with cousins and friends and and and), we are Christian though long skirts are not the norm (though if I could find some that did not make me look totally SHORT…), we are definitely developing our own interests with a paleontologist and a budding artist topping the list. So if this is weird… I think it is something I may have embraced without even realizing it! And that is perfectly ok with me.101_1626