Friday, July 13, 2012

It's Friday: You're Good At Things!!

During workshop last residency, one of my workshop leaders handed out an article about this book. Yesterday, while going through my critiques during my revising I found the article and read it again. And laughed.

I shared it with my friend, who right there on the spot went to Amazon on her ipad and bought it.

Then I thought, "I want this book. Why haven't I bought it? And so right there, I went to Amazon and bought it, too.

Then we had such a great time talking about it, I put it on my facebook page, and three more people almost immediately said they bought it. In the span of three hours, the Amazon ranking of this book went from 500,000 to 28,000.

Social media win!!

So what is this book? It's exactly what Andy Selsberg's title says it is: a checklist of things you are good at.

This is the description:

You may be suffering from unrecognized awesomeness!

* You have the uncanny ability to always notice when someone has gotten a new haircut.
* You can make the last half-ounce of toothpaste last for a month.
* You're a genius at getting stores to let you in even though it's closing time.
* You're a wizard at resisting the urge to eat all the cheese right after grating it.
This book is a celebration of all your secret skills and unheralded abilities. It calls attention to the way you're able to give your kids names that will never appear on key chains at gift shops, and cheers your talent for wrapping presents using very little tape. In your own way, you're a master, and the world should know it. Because let's face it: YOU ARE GOOD AT THINGS!

I love this idea. The idea of looking at what we are good at in life. Not the big things. Not like singing Opera or taking gallery-worthy photos or raising great kids. Simple things. Uncelebrated things. Like walking through a bra section of a store non-chalantly while your ten-year-old son says, "What is THAT thing??"

So this is what I think we should do today, my dear blogging friends. We should think about what we are good at. I'll start.
  • I'm good at staying between the lines when I drive.
  • I'm fantastic at getting my kids a Kleenex before the snot reaches their upper lip.
  • I'm good at not swearing.
  • I'm great at whipping up dinner at 7:00 when at 6:50 I had no idea what we were going to eat.
  • I'm good at leaving laundry in the dryer for a week at a time, and then getting the wrinkles out by tossing in a wet towel and drying another 10 minutes when I need something to wear.
  • I'm good at wasting an hour on facebook.
  • I'm good at writing a first line of a story, then erasing it, then writing another, and erasing that one. I can do this for days.
  • I'm good at ignoring voice mail.
  • I'm good at keeping the fridge fairly mold-free.
  • I'm good at listening to music.
  • I'm great at listening to a kid's CD over and over and over, for months on end, without strangling anyone.
  • I'm good at tucking my kids in.
And You? You dear readers are good at:
  • loading your own dishwasher the right way.
  • honking when drivers in front of you are not driving correctly.
  • noticing the weather.
  • being sarcastic.
  • being friendly to cashiers.
  • filling in the quiet spaces with the voices in your head.
  • drinking out of a glass without spilling much on yourself.
  • finding good books, reading them, and passing them on.
  • wearing headphones.
So that is my list. I'd love if you added your own in the comments. What are YOU good at?
And if you are so inclined to continue the social win experiment, buy this book. Or post it on facebook and twitter. Give it to a friend who needs to be told they are good at things. I don't know the author or have any stake in this, but it's fun. :)

Have a happy weekend!! Go be fabulous!


  1. I am great at helping my dear friend come up with lists for her blog post. I am also good at admitting that those voices are all mine!

  2. Jen - you are good at making me laugh, and watching Dance Moms with, and being snarky. You are good at helping me put life in perspective. You are good at listening. You are good at being a mom in the most difficult of circumstances. xo

    1. awww. I just got on here to add to the list and saw your response. Thanks!

  3. Hmm. I like it.
    I am good at arriving at the airport in plenty of time for my flight.
    I am a wizard at decode-a-quote and cryptoquip and can handle a crossword puzzle fairly.
    I am expert at making puns that cause my sons to roll their eyes and then secretly laugh when they think I'm not looking any longer.
    I am good at licking the beaters after someone makes frosting.
    I am good at thinking before speaking. So good, in fact, that I rarely speak at all.
    I am good at losing myself in daydreams, and at smiling.

    This is fun. I might do my own post on other things I'm good at. Thanks!

  4. Peter - that is an AWESOME list!! I love it!

    You are good at writing. You are good at loving your wife. You are good at touring D.C. :)

  5. LOL. I actually am good at following my wife. She's the one who's good at touring DC.

  6. What a great book! It sounds like a super reminder of what you can do...

    I am good at throwing parties.
    I am good at making strong coffee.
    I am good at drinking water.

    This is a great post, Heidi! I think I'm going to link to it and do a post next week.

    1. Thanks, Sharon! Those are great things! I wish I was good at throwing parties! :)

      You are also good at replying to blog comments. And taking pictures. You are good at making your blog readers all feel like they are your good friends.

  7. I am good at finding places for things in the refrigerator.

    1. Good one! I am good at rearranging an already packed fridge and finding room for just one more thing. Like a watermelon. :)

  8. I saw this on your facebook and have been thinking about ever since. Okay here's what I've come up with:

    I'm good at being an aggressive driver
    I'm good at nagging my kids to empty the dishwasher
    I'm good at making my bed every morning
    I'm good at trying to make everyone happy (notice the trying)

  9. I like that list, Patti! A good mix of positive and spin. :) You are also good at supporting your kids, cheering them on at sporting events and being in general an incredible mom. Also, you are good at pursuing your dreams. That's a pretty big one. :)

  10. Ha! I'll have to look for that book!
    I'm good at clicking "buy with one click" on !

    1. Ha ha!! I'm good at that too!!

      You are great at taking pictures! And at putting life in perspective. And you are good at encouraging others. I've missed keeping up with you, Lynn!

  11. I'm good at bursting into laughter so loud it alarms people.

    I'm good at daydreaming.

    I'm skilled at petting critters.

    I'm adept at changing the subject.

    I'm very good at staring at a spot on the wall while thinking about words.

    I'm championship level good at Tetris.

    I'm pretty darn great at hanging shirts on the wash line so they come off unwrinkled!!

    (this is fun - thanks for posting!)

    1. You are good at chasing dreams. You are good at making people laugh. You are an expert at sarcasm. You are the best Grammy and Oscar recap-writer I've ever seen. :)

  12. I’m really good at staying up way too late every night goofing around on the computer!

    I’m good at having two-way conversations with my dog.

    Oh yeah. This is waaaay too fun, Heidi. I'm totally going to have to copy-cat you on this post topic for my blog!

    Wow, I'm even good at stealing my friend's blog post ideas!

    1. This is a great idea... the guy who came up with it was brilliant. It's changed the way I look at every day!

      You are good at finding beautiful photos. You are good at finding insightful quotes to go with them. You are good at reading blog posts of friends who don't post often enough to be reliable. :)