Mediocre


When a person is mediocre at something, they are not great at it. 

There is a difference between being mediocre at something, and being a mediocre person. 
It’s not good to be mediocre person, for they are marginal people, barely engaged in life. 
But it is ok to be mediocre at some things we do. 
In some cases, it is necessary. 

See the photo? I am holding a banjo, standing next to a quilt I made. I like banjo music. but I can only strum it. 
I don’t pick a banjo like Earl Scruggs. That kind of picking requires a hand with good fingers.
 
See my right hand in the photo? In 1980, while working in a factory, I put two fingers through the blade of a table saw because I wasn’t using the proper safety devices. One side-effect of that bad decision is that I can't learn 3-finger picking on the banjo like I want to. 
Nor can I 'frail' a banjo, which is an older style of banjo-playing. 
Remember Nevin Dweller at the poor house? He frailed the banjo.

I would try to pick for a while, then get frustrated and set the banjo aside for a while. Then, a while later, I would try it again, and fail again. Finally, I decided that it was okay just to strum the banjo, which I do. 
I’m also a terrible singer, so it kind of evens out. 
Now I enjoy my time with the banjo. (but no one else does).

I also like making quilts, though I haven’t made many of them. This quilt is a space-age marriage quilt I designed. 
Blue for the man, pink for the woman. Their molecules seem to be drifting towards each other in the middle. 
The style is Flemish Bond, a brick pattern. I hired-out the longarm work. 
Would it win a ribbon at the County Fair? That would surprise me. But I make quilts better than I play a banjo. 

I am a mediocre proofreader. (actually, I am a terrible proofreader) 
Every couple of weeks I reread every article on this website to check for mistakes. And I always find some.
This is what I do to combat my mediocre proofreading skills.
Sigh.  
My wife suggests I might be dyslexic, but I think, I just know what I want it to say, so that's what I read.
(But, I also type with just 3 fingers on my right hand, so perhaps that is a factor in the original mistakes. 
I would like to believe that.)

That’s the way life works sometimes. 
I’m not a skater, of either kind. 
As a kid, I wanted to be a pilot, but my eyesight is too poor. 
I always thought math was cool, but I struggle with algebraic equations. 

We can be good at many things, but with only so much time available, and high skill-levels requires study and practice. 

Each of us then has to decide: 
What we need to be good at, in our work-lives. 
What we need to be good at, to be a good family member, especially as parents. 
What we need to be good at, to be a good citizen. 
And what we WANT to be good at, to do things we enjoy. 

As a wage-earner, I have several skills sets. Some skills I use often and am very good at. 
Other skill-sets, I don’t use very often at all, but am good enough to do the job sufficiently. 
And occassionally, yes, I simply fail and have to re-do it.

As a daddy, I learned to change diapers, go to the park, do school field trips, and to do other things I didn’t normally do, 
like ride a dirt bike, just to give my kids exposure to things I wasn’t interested in, so they could see how many options exist in life. 

I also took college courses and graduated with a 3.8 GPA. 
Life offers many opportunities for success and failure.

As an older citizen, I am writing this website to offer information, encouragement and warnings to middle-graders, to help them have better lives. Could someone else do it better? Probably, but I’m sure I’ve said some things here, in a way that no one else has ever offered. 

So, we should seek excellence to the degree it is needful and possible, and accept a little mediocrity from ourselves as life demands. This is a part of having correct priorities.  
Some call it 'life-balance'.

Eric Rose
middlegrademysteries.com
photo: L. Peterson 
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