Is Something Wrong With Me? Or Am I A Multipotentialite?

I’ve spent my entire life searching for my purpose, the ONE thing I am meant to do with the time I’ve been given. Instead, I’ve been drawn to a wide variety of unrelated things. I dive into learning about one, and when I get to a certain point, something else grabs my attention and I’m ready to move on and learn about it. I often return to my earlier interests, but not always. I feel like I am a “Jill of all trades” and master of none.

I thought something was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I figure it out my one thing and then stick with it? Could I not make a decision? Was I lazy? Did I have ADD? I didn’t know anyone else like me, and I envied those who had always had a clear sense of who they were and what they were meant to do.

Then I saw this post on the Art of Nonconformity blog featuring Emilie Wapnick’s TED talk about multipotentialites. I was thrilled – and quite relieved – to discover that there is nothing wrong with me, and that I am not alone. Just knowing this has changed my view of myself, and helped me focus on how to create a life that is right for me. I want to embrace my natural tendency, change who I am, or force myself to work in ways that ignore my true self.

Does this sound like you? Check out the Terminology page at Puttylike.com to learn more.

I tend toward the simultaneous end of the multipotentialite spectrum, so I often work on several diverse things at once. Other multipotentialites shift in a more consecutive order, going from one things to another.

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Since I never stuck with anything long enough to become an “expert”, I couldn’t develop a career from any of them. Part of me always felt that if I could just make money at it, I would keep interested, but I’m not sure that is true. Now that I am dedicated to being self-employeed, I am trying to find ways to turn my multiple and varied interests into income producing sources, especially passive income, so I can go on to something else without losing what I’ve put into it.

My first area of focus is how I plan my time. How do I keep track of multiple areas that I want to work on? How do I organize all these pieces that are my life? How do I set goals and make plans beyond today? How do I keep track of all the pieces I need to get done for each area so I don’t forget them, and so I can see I am making progress? How do I not drive myself crazy? My next post will take a look at what I’ve used in the past, which parts work and which parts don’t.

Are you a multipotentialite? Do you have a planning system that works for you? I’d love for you to share in the comments so we can all benefit.

A Good Start To The Day

I walked on the beach this morning. It was mostly cloudy, which was a nice change from the hot sun. At my half-way point, I turned and headed back north. The sun also started appearing from behind some clouds, and I noticed this:

A rainbow! (Sorry, it doesn’t show up very well in the photo. You really did need to be there.) What an amazing start to the day. This is why I love to be outside – you never know what is going to appear.

The rainbow has a long history of symbolism between earth and the heavens. When I see a rainbow, I feel hopeful, as if I am given a message that I am on the right track. Keep moving forward because things are going to work out!

This week has been somewhat frustrating. I’m trying to develop a planning system that works for me and all the various things I am trying to do. Such is the life of a multipotentialite! And this week was a challenge. But I kept questioning WHAT wasn’t working and HOW I could change it to work better.

And then I saw this! Yes, it has been a good day.

Hope it was the same for you!

Shedding

There are days I wish I could shed just like the cicada that left behind this skin. Well, perhaps not actually step out of my skin, but rather shed things which hold me back: my own limiting thoughts on who I am (or “should” be), how I am “supposed to” be successful at life, how “stupid” I was when I made a “bad” decision (even when “bad” led me somewhere wonderful), and whether I will ever be good enough. Thoughts that make me feel “less than” everyone else: less intelligent, less attractive, less desirable, less able.

I just want to step out of them and walk forward, leaving them behind. I cannot change the past, so I want to shed it. Move beyond them once and for all, and stop getting drawn back into old thought patterns that do me no good.

But life isn’t like that. I think the trick is to keep looking forward, to keep aiming in that direction, even when the voices in our heads are a constant babble of all the reasons why we shouldn’t. I am discovering that when I question those voices, it helps to quiet them a bit. The more often I do it, the quicker I am at catching them when they start again, and asking myself “is that really true?”

While we may not be able to shed our skin, we can do some things to symbolically shed some of our past. I encourage you to take a moment and focus on an event from your past that keeps coming up in your mind, or a message you keep telling yourself even when you know it isn’t true. Write it down or speak it out loud. If you write it, then draw a big X through it and write over it ‘NOT ANY MORE!!!!’ (or whatever symbols and words feel right). Then tear up the paper and throw it away, or burn it (in a safe manner.) If you speak it out loud, state it and then loudly add “NOT ANY MORE!!!” You can do this by yourself or in front of someone you trust. Pick what feels right for you and (to borrow a phrase from Nike) JUST DO IT!

Be warned: one time will probably not totally remove the thoughts or memory, but you will have planted some new seeds in your mind. Seeds that will sprout and grow into new thoughts. Thoughts that reflect who you are now. It is all part of the journey of life that we may need to return to the same, or similar, themes again and again. It is all just a part of shedding.

Fun and Random Facts About Me

I am always looking at a personal website for information about the person: who they are and how they got to that point. So here’s some random facts from my life that help tell my story.

– I was born and raised in a small town in south Arkansas.

– I am shy, introverted, and a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). That means I am often quiet, and need more time alone that others. I am not, nor ever will be, the life of the party, but I am the one who will listen to you when you need to talk.

– Until I left home to go to college, I had never moved other than into my own bedroom at age 8. As an adult, I’ve moved 16 times. Sometimes it was to a different place in the same town; other times to a new town/state. I also spent a year abroad. (see further down)

– I have a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (1985) and a Master’s Degree in Art History from Southern Methodist University (1995).

– In my mid-20s, I lived in England for a year, which allowed me to research my MA Thesis, and to know what it feels like to be a foreigner.

– I have one child, who is transgendered.

– I re-designed clothes and jewelry and sold them on Etsy. Very much a part-time hobby, and I didn’t sell enough to take it further.

– I helped with costuming for a local theater in Memphis and on an independent film.

– I started my own business in 2009 providing virtual assistance to small business owners. I still have a couple of clients I work with.

– I dug myself out of $13,000 of credit card debt. It took just over 5 years. Some days I thought it would never end, but it did.

– I am a PADI Open Water certified SCUBA diver.

– For my 50th birthday, I moved to Florida in my Honda Accord. That was possible because I gave away anything that I didn’t think I would need and that didn’t fit in my car.

– A few months later, I bought a sailboat and lived aboard for 6 months. Then I met my boyfriend (he was a boat detailer in my marina) and soon after, became a dirt dweller again.

– I have developed a love of gardening, both flowers and things I can eat. Both of my grandmother’s loved growing things, and I seem to have finally found this out about myself later in life. Weeding and puttering around in the garden and yard are a great way for me to stop thinking so much and just let ideas flow.

– After being nearsighted my entire life, I had cataract surgery in 2016. For my replacement lenses, I chose to correct for distance, so now I am farsighted. Still trying to get used to it!

Bicycle Rides

Bicycle at the gate
Ready for a morning bicycle ride!

I bought a bicycle a couple of years ago, but after a handful of rides on the beach, it was put away. Last fall, desperate to lose weight and get off my blood pressure medicine, I began cycling through the neighborhood once or twice each week.

Over time I worked out a route going up and back down the generally flat streets, weaving a pattern through the neighborhood that kept me off the busy roads and gave me a good 30 minute ride.

I also discovered that if I rode on Monday mornings, I would have a chance to check out potential treasures left on the curb. Monday is one of our trash pick-up days, and after having a weekend to clean, declutter, and repair things, many people had things out. So with a rack and milk crate added to the back of my bicycle, I was on the hunt for things we could use or resell.

You learn some interesting things checking out the trash. And I’m not even talking about opening the bins to see what is inside; these are things sticking out or just set on the ground. One Monday I saw 4 old toilets out on the curb. They were all on different streets, but it seemed several people found they needed to replace their toilet that weekend.

I can also tell who had a party over the weekend by the beer cans/wine/liquor bottles in the recycling. I can tell who has moved out – or who is about to.

And the amount of furniture put out is amazing. You could easily furninsh a house in a couple of months as long as you didn’t mind beat up, damaged pieces, or had the time and talent to revitalize them. Much of it is made of particle board and through use, abuse and sitting outside it is unusable.

I read a statement in a book recently that is making me take a different look at my morning rides. The idea is that people have the ability to become invisible because most people don’t see what is right around them because they don’t really look. They don’t try to notice what is nearby. Although the book is fiction, I think there is a lot of truth in the statement.

So how much do I notice on my rides? Aside from what trash is being put out, here’s been some observations:

  • A couple of houses that have window air conditioners running. Based on the sputtering, clanking sounds that I heard, I’m not sure how much longer either is going to be functioning.
  • Cats. There are cats in yards, cats crossing the street, cats laying on sidewalks and even in the street. Most hardly notice me. Generally the dogs I see are being walked on a leash, but this week I saw one sitting on the front porch. Well, I noticed it when it barked at me, but it didn’t even stand up. When I rode back down the other side of the street, it didn’t even bark.
  • And then there was the morning a couple of weeks ago when I rounded the corner to see one cat in the street, hunched down and staring at another cat. As I approached, the 2nd cat turned to move under a car parked at the curb, and I realized it wasn’t a cat at all. It was a possum. He sat still under the car as I rode by, which distracted the other cat and sent it back to the other side of the street.

Mostly my attention has been on two things: the cars moving through the streets, especially those backing out of driveways, and trying to eyeball interesting things in the trash. The first is for my safety; the second to provide some additional income.

But I want to become more aware of what is actually around me. Are there people sitting on porches watching me? Is there a different car in front of a house? Why do some streets seem to always have a lot of trash worth looking through while others never do? All questions to be considered on future rides.

Independence

On this 4th of July, I am thinking a lot about independence and what it means for my life.

Independence, to me, is being able to design a life that works for me, to set my own schedule, to decide how to best take care of myself.

When I moved to Florida nearly 4 years ago, I promised myself that I would not get a job. I did not want to have to work for someone else ever again. I had started my own business, and I was willing to cut back and do without to protect that freedom.

And I continue to expand my independence. I am learning to grow my own food. I’m expanding the streams of income. I’m putting a focus on health and wellness that go beyond traditional western allopathic medicine.

You may have noticed all of this given the variety of posts that appear on this blog. I struggled for years trying to figure out which path was the true “me”. I moved from one interest to another, then back again. I am finally learning that they are all ME. They are the parts that make up the complete me, and I need to celebrate the fact that there are many parts to me.

The challenge now is finding a way to balance all the parts while maintaining my independence. It is an on-going journey, and one I look forward to.

I’m not sure if how I define independence in my life is something the Founding Fathers would recognize. Perhaps their greatest gift was creating a country where we can each pursue our own independence.

There is no right or wrong way to find your freedom. You have to decide what you are after and the best way to achieve it. The only thing I can do is encourage you to go after your independence.

How To Recycle A Sweater Into A Purse

CoverCreating something new out of something old is a great way to get what you need and want while also reusing what you have on hand. If you have an old pullover sweater that has seen better days, you can keep it out of the landfill and make yourself a new purse!

This tutorial includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Color photograph illustrations
  • 9 pages
  • Downloadable and printable PDF format

Click here to read the details and purchase in my Etsy shop

How To: Coffee Dyed Fabric

I wanted new curtains for my windows, ones that matched the new covers I made for my throw pillows. As always, I wanted to recycle what I already had, if possible. Taking a look at my fabric stash, I pulled out a flat sheet that was getting too thin to use on the bed. It was white, with small pink flowers on it and in good shape with no rips or tears. Unfortunately, the white was too bright for the room. I needed something beige or tan.

Since the sheet was 100% cotton, I decided to dye it. I first consider tea dyeing, but after some online research decided coffee dyeing would produce a darker color, more what I was looking for.

What I really liked was I could reuse the coffee grounds that I normally threw away each day. Recycled sheet and recycled coffee grounds – win, win!

I found these instructions online – http://www.marthabeth.com/dye.html and used them to base my instructions on.

Supplies:

Used coffee grounds. The more fabric, the more grounds you will need. I collected mine daily in a plastic container that I stored in the refrigerator. If I had a bit of black coffee left, I poured that in as well. When it was full, it was time to dye the fabric.

Plastic container large enough to hold the fabric and the dye, allowing plenty of room to move around. DO NOT USE YOUR WASHING MACHINE since there are coffee grounds in the water; you don’t want them in your machine.

Vinegar

A place outside to do the dyeing and hang the fabric to dry.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS MESSY! You will need to do everything outside until the fabric is dry and you have gotten all the coffee grounds off.

How To:

1.Into the old storage container, add in the coffee grounds, leftover sludge, and cold water to fill the container about ½ full.

2.Mix it well and add the fabric, making sure there is enough liquid to cover the sheet. If not, add more cold water, but only enough to cover the fabric.

3.Mix it around and rub the grounds into the fabric to get a bit more color.

4.Let soak. After about 15 minutes, gently stir the fabric around. Check color to see if it is dark enough for you. If not, let soak another 15 minutes, then check again. Repeat every 15 minutes until the color is where you want it. I needed to let mine soak over an hour to get the color dark enough.

5.Add vinegar to the water. I didn’t really measure it, just poured some in – probably about 1/3 cup and let it soak about 15 more minutes.

6.Remove the sheet, wringing out as much liquid as possible.

7.DO NOT RINSE THE FABRIC! Otherwise, you will remove some of the color you dyed in.

8.Hang the sheet outside and out of the sun to dry. I draped the sheet over my patio table and chairs to dry. Since the fabric has not been rinsed there will be a lot of coffee grounds stuck to it. Many will fall off as the fabric dries which is why you need to dry it outside.

9.Shake the fabric to remove any remaining coffee grounds that remain on it.

10.Iron the fabric with a dry iron to help set the color.

11.If you now want to wash the fabric, test a small section to see if the color bleeds out. Even if it does not, I recommend washing it separately just to be sure.

There you have it – coffee dyed fabric!

If you try this, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

 

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How To: Crochet A Granny Square Christmas Stocking

Here’s an idea to use your leftover pieces of yarn, especially if they are in holiday colors. Crochet a granny square then sew together and add a way to hang. You have a small Christmas stocking to decorate your tree or home.

Granny squares are easy to make, making them the perfect project for someone who has learned the basic crochet stitches. They are a great project to carry around with you because they are small and easily transported.

Granny squares can be joined to make scarves, blankets, and wraps. An internet search for “crochet granny squares instructions” will turn up many results, often with pictures, so I’ll only cover the basics here.

SUPPLIES:

Yarn
Crochet hook
You can select any yarn and hook size you want. The larger the hook, the larger the final square will be. Play around with different yarns and hooks to find the look you like best.


INSTRUCTIONS:

To make the Granny Square, Chain 4. Join the last loop to the first chain with a slip stitch and pull through to make the foundation ring.
Round 1: *3 double crochet in ring, chain 2; repeat from * 3 times. 
Round 2: *3 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet in the 2 chain space, chain 1; repeat from * 3 times
Round 3: *3 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet in the 2 chain space, chain 1, 3 double crochet in next space, chain 1; repeat from * 4 times
Round 4: *3 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet in the 2 chain space, chain 1, 3 double crochet in the next space twice, chain 1; repeat from * 3 times.

(You can use the same yarn throughout, or you can change – with each round, only on one round, or for the single crochet edging. Play around with it and see which look you like. This is also a great way to use up leftover bits of yarn you have around. If you have enough for two rounds, use it, then switch over to another. Experiment, play, and see what you create!

The granny square is now finished! 

TO MAKE THE STOCKING

1. Fold the square in half.

2. With the same hook and same or different yarn, join the bottom and side together with a single crochet stitch. Put the hook through a chain on both layers; pull yarn through both layers and finish stitch. 

3. When you reach the top of the “stocking” continue with the single crochet stitches, but only go through one layer (so you will need to circle around the top of the stocking.

4. When you complete the round, join with a slip stitch to the first single crochet. 5. If you want a hanging loop, then chain stitch to twice the desired length of the loop you want; bring hook down and slip stitch next two first chain of the loop. Finish off. 

You can also thread a needle with yarn and sew the edges together. 

You now have a granny square stocking! Isn’t it cute! 

And now – what can you do with these?

They look really cute hanging from the Christmas tree:

They can also be used to hold the To/From cards on holiday packages:

As well as place card holders for your holiday dinner table. Add a few pieces of candy and let the guest takes these home.

If you need crochet hooks, you can purchase them on Amazon (affiliate link).

Interested in other tutorials? Check out my How To section for free tutorials, and my Etsy shop.

How To: Crochet A Wire Hanger

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a commission.

I am all about reusing things rather than throwing them out. Reusing means you aren’t buying something new, saving resources AND money – a win-win situation! With this in mind, I created this tutorial for crocheting yarn around wire hangers to make them non-slip.

I’ve had great luck with these for wide-neck tops as well as spaghetti straps and tank tops. It also greatly reduces the wire hanger pushing through knits that are hung. However, if you really need a padded hanger, these probably won’t work. 

These are the basic instructions – feel free to play around with the yarn, the size crochet hook, and the stitch you use. Change things around and see which results you like the best.

For this project you will need:

Wire hangers like you get from the dry cleaner. (We could have an entire discussion on the hazards of dry cleaning, but we’ll save that for another time.) If you don’t dry clean or have no wire hangers, ask around. Most people simply throw them away. You can also order some from Amazon

Leftover yarn. I use about 15 yards per hanger, but what you need will vary depending on the yarn, the size hook, and the stitch you use. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough – simply switch to a different yarn part way through. Don’t have leftover yarn – ask anyone who knits or crochets for some leftover bits (and offer to make a hanger or two for them in return). Check out thrift stores. Any type of yarn will work; thicker yarn will give you more padding. For this project, I used leftover acrylic yarn.

Crochet hook. Pick a size you are comfortable with and see how it goes. Switch around to get the look you like best. I used a size G/6 (4,5 mm) crochet hook because of the type of yarn, and I also wanted a fairly tight stitch. If you need crochet hooks, Amazon has a wide selection to choose from.

Instructions:

 

 

Attach yarn to hook with a slipknot.

 

 

Place hook, with yarn attached, in center of hanger with yarn going over the TOP of the wire. Reach UNDER the wire with the crochet hook and pull up. Two loops on crochet hook.

 

Next, reach hook over TOP of hanger wire and pick up yarn with hook and pull through FIRST loop on the hook; two loops will then be on the crochet hook:

 

 

Again, reach hook behind top wire of hanger and pull up yarn and pull it through both loops on the crochet hook:

 

One stitch made.

 

You continue making stitches by reaching to the FRONT of the wire to pull up first loop; then reach to the BACK to pull up yarn and go through first loop; reach to BACK again, pull up yarn and go through both oops on hanger. If you crochet, this is a single crochet stitch, but instead of pulling the yarn through the stitch on the previous row, you are doing it around the wire hanger.

Repeat around hanger to where two ends of wire are twisted together to begin the hanging hook.

You can end here by cutting the yarn and tying off. If you wish, you can continue in the same stitch around the hook (carefully work over area where wires are twisted). Work around hook almost to end. Cut yarn, leaving long tail, and pull through loop on hook. Take remaining yarn tail, wrap around end of wire hook and glue in place. I prefer to work around the hanging hook because I believe it gives a more finished look – although when I’m short on yarn and this is just for me, I won’t!

 

There you have it – a crocheted wire hanger!

Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

 

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