When my husband and I got together some ten years ago, one of our very first acts as a couple was to institute 'craft Sundays', when we would try out a new craft every week. I'm fairly certain for a young couple thrilling with their togetherness, we actually took our co-habitation to another level of geek. Not only would we grocery shop together and socialize together, but we hobby together. Together, we sampled polymer clay beads, paper mache, paper making, hemp necklaces, batik, origami and a whole lot more. Some of these crafts stayed with us for awhile, allowing us to develop a familiarity and a base competence, and others were tried and despised almost instantly.
Quickly, it became apparent that The Man's crafty skill set was in a different realm than mine. The same craft, wood carving for example, would have one of us grooving in this beautiful, peaceful bubble of creativity and the other would be going boinkers with frustration and boredom.
I loved to experiment with the polymer clay, rolling the beads in different substances to create textures, and I loved batik, an old friend from some of my youngest days, where I would slop wax on and dye almost any fabric I could get my hands on. If it was messy and colourful, I was in. The Man, on the other hand, had a real aptitude for itty bitty details that requires fine motor skills. The actual beading part, that was him. Jewelery making, knot tying, paper folding was the areas he naturally gravitated to. And bless him for that, because he always gets to untangle the necklaces and untie the hopelessly knotted dolly hair. These skills all involve little fiddly finger movements that make me want to scream.
Now, despite my earlier comment about our geekiness, I feel that building our lives together with creativity as a foundational stone has served us well over the years. I've branched and explored and done my own thing with the sewing, and The Man has ventured out into the sweet land of music. And between the two of us, we have a fairly wide range of skills to handle almost any crafting situation. Okay, maybe not completely valuable in an emergency situation, but it's handy when entertaining children.
Over time our natural skill sets, me with my master plan in large and him with his fussy little fine details, has not changed at all. I wish I could say that we've grown and evolved, but it seems like there is something fundamental to this. In fact, for myself anyway, I've grown even less tolerant of the fussy work and, when working with a fine detailed project, even more prone to throwing a mini-spaz and thrusting the offending project in my husband's direction. Often I'm rattled enough to even feel angry at The Man for even letting me get involved in this detailed work when he knows I'm not good at it. How dare he!
I have a deep appreciation of what The Man can do. Mostly because I can't. I just can not.
The other day, The Man disappeared for a few minutes into our front porch area and came out a bit later with this:
He did not appear to be sweating, nor missing an earlobe when he ripped it off in in a beserker rage initiated by messing with trying to bend wire with prettiness like I would of. He actually finds it relaxing.
I guess the point this long spiel is that learning new things is good. Very good! Get out, try as many things as you can, keep and open mind, you never know where you'll end up. But also know when to call for mercy and stop. Stop pushing, stop teeth grinding, stop killing yourself with something that you hate.
Thank you to my husband, for helping me learn this. Every damn day.