PAPERBLOOMSSG: HANDMADE FLOWERS

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I’ve been making flowers officially since the start of the year, and it’s been hundreds of flowers and thousands of petals since.

So glad to have found a craft that I’m comfortable with and eager to improve all the time. My other crafting endeavours haven’t been quite successful – lettering, cross stitch, embroidery, crochet… but this one – paper flowers – has been the most fulfilling.

While nobody really wakes up to the thought of buying paper flowers yet, I hope to make a step in changing that, and contribute to more paper flowers in hands and homes in the region 🙂

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#confessionsofanintrovert

I saw this on a friend’s feed and it’s just too true! So many social situations I’ve had trouble navigating since I was a child and still struggle with now.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/genamourbarrett/tweets-extroverts-wouldnt-understand

Just one of the really, really ‘so true’ situations that I still struggle with… at 30:

 

Hobbies

I chanced upon this article on the New York Times on mediocrity vs excellence, in relation to hobbies – and I love it.

In Praise of Mediocrity

Lost here is the gentle pursuit of a modest competence, the doing of something just because you enjoy it, not because you are good at it. Hobbies, let me remind you, are supposed to be something different from work. But alien values like “the pursuit of excellence” have crept into and corrupted what was once the realm of leisure, leaving little room for the true amateur.

Strengths Finder

I never thought that the StrengthsFinder test that I took as part of my committee development by a wonderful boss would have such an impact in helping me discover my key traits, in a reality where my weaknesses are so starkly apparent to me.

I took this one a number of years ago but I find that most of them remain true and help me understand why I think and behave in a certain way (especially with regard to my intolerance towards certain things, which I usually dismiss as weaknesses, stubbornness and lack of resilience)

 

1. Empathy

I constantly look out for this trait in people and get especially frustrated when I don’t see it. Turns out, it is my key trait and no wonder I find myself understanding people a little too much – that disciplining or disagreeing with them becomes a problem for me.

“Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective.” – May I be kinder to people who aren’t intuitively empathetic. Just like how it’s not intuitive to me to be firm and strong.

I’ve always admired people who can empathise yet disagree reasonably at the same time. So many seek to be understood – and not everyone needs to be affirmed that they’re right.

 

2. Maximiser

I love how this strength makes me feel good about myself and see the strengths in others. It would have been a wonderful trait for me to take advantage of had I stayed on in teaching. I really do believe that each person has his own strength and we don’t have to be good at everything. Strengths and talents are what’s going to make us stand out in the future – not sameness.

It’s wonderfully put here:

“You tend to avoid those who want to fix you and make you well rounded. You don’t want to spend your life bemoaning what you lack. Rather, you want to capitalize on the gifts with which you are blessed. It’s more fun. It’s more productive. And, counterintuitively, it is more demanding.”

I’ve spent so much of my days running from those who expect of me, things that I don’t expect of myself since there’s no inkling to those strengths. I blamed and shamed myself for not wanting more – but what a nice thought to discover, that it’s in fact because I know what strengths I have and those just aren’t part of my repertoire.

 

3. Futuristic

“Wouldn’t it be great if . . .” – this line is repeated in my head ALL THE TIME!

“When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future and they energize you.” – Too many times I’ve seen myself do this – fantacising, I call it.

Dreaming about an ideal lifestyle, an ideal curriculum, the perfect homeschool timetable for my children who don’t yet exist, the ideal values to instill in my family. It’s amazing to see the hope I have for these and I must be careful to not let them turn into frustrations and nothing else.

4. Connectedness

“And we are all connected to each other / In a circle, in a hoop that never ends” – this isn’t from the test, but from Colours of the Wind. Doesn’t it make sense in light of life? I read recently about the idea of believing that life is about ‘you and me’ rather than ‘you or me’. Of believing that there’s sufficient ______. Instead of that ______ isn’t enough. To lay aside competition and thrive through collaboration where we can pull our resources together to live the dreams that we want.

This, is from the strengths write up:

“Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession
of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger.”

And I’ve always thought that it would be hubris to think that we are not – that the earth, sky and sea which can engulf us, just existed out of nowhere. From the impact (albeit negative) that we as a human race, have made on the world, it’s obvious to see that we are connected beings – meant to connect and effect change.

5. Belief

My core values are really personal to me and I don’t usually articulate them. I guess I’ve been using them to quietly judge others – which is so bad – because I can’t even live up to them. That’s why grace is so important – it accepts me and loves the very areas where I can’t even deal with.

I love how this trait is described:

“Your Belief makes you easy to trust. It also demands that you find work that meshes with your values. Your work must be meaningful; it must matter to you. And guided by your Belief theme it will matter only if it gives you a chance to live out your values.”

This makes so much sense as to why I’m struggling so much in the career aspect. I didn’t hate the job – I hated the lack of time and meaning to do the things that I deemed important. To others, that was the very thing that gave them meaning, and it sure is important, educating the youths of today and pointing them in the right direction. As noble as it was, it became work to me – just task after task, event after event, script after script, and I slowly but surely lost meaning in what I was doing. That’s why, after 2 years being so convicted and inspired, the subsequent 4 years, though peppered with meaningful moments, leaked meaning out of me, and, I couldn’t live with it anymore.

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This strengths test is by far the one that I like the most. It legitimately focuses on one’s strengths and identifies it for future use and understanding of past behaviours. The tests that I am uncomfortable with are those that identify certain types or traits and I don’t quite know what to do with them. This particular one makes me feel at peace with my strengths.