“100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do” – It was a double-dog dare!
I came across a title at the library that I couldn’t resist picking up, not uncommon. The Expert’s Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do by Samantha Ettus. Bring it. This clearly was a challenge of my skills. More than a challenge, it was a double-dog dare. It was personal. How many could I check off?
The book came home in the library bag and I snuggled up on the couch with it, and a cup of tea – made by me, check off number 16 in the Home Life chapter. Colorado’s own Mo Siegel, founder of Celestial Seasonings, and I have the same philosophy of tea brewing. (Yes, I was drinking Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger.)
Samantha Ettus is a personal branding expert. She launched the first-ever agency for personality-driven brands, writes a personal branding blog for ForbesWoman, and is a best selling author, according to her website.
Ms. Ettus’ series of Expert Guides to everything from the baby years, to doing things faster, and life at home are compilations of essays by “experts” on the subject, or at least people with experience from which to speak. I think calling yourself an “expert” in all things babies or children is just asking them to throw you a curve ball, which they can and will with precision accuracy. “Person with experience in the trenches” or “Treading water through the toddler years” seems more appropriate.
Flipping through the pages, I started to sort the skills into three categories: things I can certainly do, things I can do but not very well and therefore need a refresher, and finally things that I’ve not had need and am not sure I will ever have need but they are interesting to know about.
My competitive nature made me tally up how many of the 100 things I can, and have, done. Total score: 90%. Yes!
3 Things I Can Certainly Do
Setting a formal table is in my book of experience and I could do it again, I tell you, if there was a flat surface in my dining room and a set of dishes that match or could at least pull off a themed look. My formal table could be an ode to art by my family with a collection of MakIt plates through the years, wine glasses painted by my husband, and tie-dye napkins by me. The only group who would recognize the formality of it all would be my fellow moms-in-arms, who also house a collection of MakIt plates.
I have changed a tire. Once. It took an hour, or was it two, and I read the manual. At age 16, reading by the light of the car port having never changed a tire before was independence, personal empowerment, and belief in my abilities at its finest. The AAA card in my wallet marveled at my skill.
Letitia Baldrige, social secretary to the White House and chief of staff for Mrs. John F. Kennedy, says teaching your kids how to shake hands will contribute to the socialization of America. My kids probably need more lessons in manners before they run off and socialize the country, but we’ve managed a start with training on the hand shake.
2 Things I can do (just not very well).
Sure I can tell a joke but I often laugh too hard before I get to the punch line so I resort to miming the rest. It’s just not the same delivery. The audience is entertained with my wild gesticulations and laughter via hyperventilation but the joke is lost.
James D. Maas, PhD says I should be getting more regular and uninterrupted sleep. Does he have children or pets? I would love to slumber away 8 hours a night but the snoring, barking, and occasional vomit – children, pets, or adults, take your pick – tend make the whole idea so outlandish it’s comical. Isn’t that why the retired community sleeps more? Making up for lost time during child rearing years. No caffeine after 2pm, no wine 3 hours before bed. Clearly the idea of coping-mechanism has not entered his doctorate world.
3 Things I’ve Never Had to Do (a.k.a I’ve chosen not to do but it’s interesting to know something about it).
Ryan Newman, NASCAR driver, says it’s easy. So why don’t more people do it? I’ve never done it. The cost of an oil change is going up all the time. Getting an oil change four times a year vs. doing it yourself is equal to a really nice dinner out in the suburbs. I just might give it a go and enjoy the fruits of my labor and saved cash. If I’m covered in oil the next time you see me then you’ll know how it went.
Born and raised in California with the threat of earthquakes and a mother with a well-stocked canned soup and veggie cupboard, I’m even surprised that I don’t have a disaster plan. Tornadoes being the most common possible disaster perhaps I’m picturing all those cans hurling through the air at terminal velocity and therefore want to save my neighbor for being pelted with chicken noodle soup in the midst of a crisis. There are certainly other potential dangers lurking, as Marsha J. Evans, CEO of the Red Cross, describes. So as a responsible adult with off-spring, I should probably do an inventory of flashlights, batteries, meeting places, and perhaps consider putting together a 3-day duffel bag of essentials, just in case.
Thank goodness Tucker Carlson is in the book to show me how to tie a bow tie, but alas, I have no silk tie to start practicing. Written instructions for tie tying are as cumbersome as the project. If I do have need, I think YouTube would be my go-to source, that is if I couldn’t find a clip-on.
Who knew the mundane could be so interesting? Reading a Newspaper (check off number 8 in Morning Life) validated my method of non-sequential reading – it’s always A&E first. Growing up with Bob Vila, author and star of This Old House and Bob Vila’s Home Again, paid off in painting a room correctly (number 13 in the Home Life chapter). While I enjoyed reading how to apply lipstick (number 12 – check), I still think it’s a “sometimes” accessory for me and will stick with the shine of lip balm. (For a treat ,maybe I’ll get a tinted balm!)
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