A Jacqueline of all Trades
Diversity. I like that word. It rolls easily off my tongue and sounds rather exotic and important.
I am diverse ... a Jacqueline of all trades. I have been from an early age. As a child I would immerse myself completely in whatever activity took my fancy at that time, spending every spare moment engrossed in it. I loved to read and would re-read everything in my collection, which included favourites from my mother and grandmother’s childhoods – Little Women, Pollyanna, Seven Little Australians, my Enid Blyton’s, mystery stories and science fiction. As I grew older I would devour my mother’s magazines and a visit from Aunty Kath, who lived in Wangaratta, meant a supply of English Women’s Weeklies with serials and happy-ending short stories. I visited our local library often and, during my book periods, Dad would often refer to me as “the Worm” but, as quickly as my book periods began and without any significant signal, I would turn my childish passions to another interest.
My Nan taught me to knit, sew and crochet before I started school and I embraced each of these in turn, usually in combination with a fascination for one of my dolls who was then the recipient of a new wardrobe before I turned my interest to whatever next took my fancy.
I went through periods where I followed every football score and could recite statistics for many of the players. I became passionate about stamp collecting – scouring everyone’s mail for new treasures to be added to my album. I still can’t see an envelope without checking the stamp.
Each of these phases would last for anywhere between one and four weeks, then the whole cycle would begin again although not necessarily in the same order.
The pattern has continued into my adult life although the necessities of earning a living, raising my four kids and maintaining a household mean that the periods are not as defined. I still enjoy reading as well as writing, which has seen me complete many short stories, poems and begin a novel. (I’m waiting for the next wave of inspiration to hit me.) I sewed most of my children’s clothes when they were young and for more than twenty years sold crafts at local markets. I love my garden and my animal menagerie, which has included dogs, cats, cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys, guinea pigs, chickens and ducks over the years.
Of course, it also follows that a Jacqueline of all trades is inevitably a master, or mistress, of none. I admire those with single-minded determination to reach a goal but, alas, that is not me.
There are advantages … I am seldom bored. When I tire of sewing a patchwork quilt, I simply put it in the cupboard (or stash it in a corner!) until the next wave grips me. The animals require ongoing responsibility although these days I have a much smaller menagerie.
The disadvantages include mess, clutter, chronic hoarding and a multitude of unfinished projects. My kind friends are unperturbed – “You’re creative,” they say.
In my thesaurus, diversity sits alongside deviant, motley and irregular. Sadly, sometimes we see diversity in our community akin to this. Perhaps we are a little afraid of the unknown and unfamiliar and could gain a lot through embracing new things and cultures. Also in that list of words – contrast, distinctive and, my favourite, mosaic. My life, and our world, are like intricate mosaics. What a beautiful picture!
By the way, I think I saw mosaic classes advertised in my local paper. Hmmm, perhaps I could add that string to my bow …
Flower Mosaic I
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"You remind me of me. I never get bored as there always seems to be a million new things I want to try and never enough time. Well written piece of work.
"It's easy to applaud something we can relate to, but when our common thoughts are linked to new ideas or approaches it lifts us onto another level. This piece also shows that physical clutter can be overcome by uplifting thoughts, and those who don't understand that are truly missing out!"
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