Artist of a Thousand Tasks

One woman's crazy quest to take on everything and become the ultimate jack-of-all-trades.

She wears many hats

When I was in fifth grade, the local newspaper ran a story about me. The title was “She Wears Many Hats,” and in it was the tale of a young girl who managed to juggle school, sports, musical theater, choir, and a host of other activities. I suppose the mark of a good reporter is the ability to sum up a subject succinctly, and in this case the title of the article would come to represent the theme of my life. My name is Lauren. I am a jack-of-all-trades, and this is the place where I test that claim.

The story so far: I am a 28-year-old married mother of two beautiful kiddos. I grew up in a household with parents keen on broadening my horizons at every opportunity. I tried a lot of kids activities: soccer, softball, musical theater, several varieties of dance, swim, choir, girl scouts, and rock climbing to name a few. One thing that became readily apparent is that I learned quickly. No matter what I did I seemed to do it well. I was never the best, but hey- master-of-none is part of the schtick and I have come to accept it.

Anyway, in adulthood I continued acquiring diverse skills and now my list of skills/professions/accomplishments includes black belt in two different martial arts styles, photographer, cake decorator, business owner, presenter at a research conference, special effects make-up artist, actress, stunt person, debate-r (nouning verbs for business and pleasure), amateur philosopher, and in December I can hopefully add college graduate to that list. My current list of hobbies includes writing, cooking, knitting, swordsmanship, scrapbooking, dungeons and dragons, and belly dancing.

Sorry for the laundry list, but I should establish some credibility here. I do a lot of stuff. Really.

Anyway, recently one of my friends suggested I write a blog and I thought, I’ve never done that before! What on earth would a person like me write about? I am not one of those awesome Martha Stewart moms, and as I have said-I am not an expert in anything. Then it hit me- I am pretty darn good at learning new things. I love the rush of a novel experience and the satisfaction of saying “I can do that.” That could, you know, “be a thing,” as the locals say.

Now you may say, this seems like a pretty self-centered quest. Why bother posting this stuff? Do you just like to see your own words on the screen? Well. Yeah. But there are other reasons too. There are two types of readers that I think will find a home here: First, the person who has a list of things they have always wanted to try but haven’t. Perhaps they do not know how to start, they are worried about failure, whatever the reason may be. My hope is that some of you may want to take on some of these projects yourself. I will hopefully be providing plenty of resources to help us along.

Second, the person that is already an expert. Often getting good at things requires good mentors, and there are thousands of you out on the internet. If I take on something you are skilled at, I want to hear from you! Am I doing it all wrong? Going in the right direction? I want to know.

Here are the rules:
1. I will take on anywhere between three and five projects at a time.
2. I am almost as happy to improve on existing skills as I am to gain new ones. However, at least one project I am doing will be something I have never tried before.
3. Each project must have a clear “end goal.” This can mean attaining a certain level, certification, placing in a competition, selling a finished item, etc. When no clear end goal exists I will make one up along with a colorful consequence if I fail to meet it.
4. Completion of a project must include demonstration some predetermined level of proficiency or skill. Earning a participation medal doesn’t count.
5. I will stick with a project until it is complete or until it proves uncompletable, which is a new word I made up just for this moment.
6. Projects must be something I can reasonably be expected to complete based on my current schedule, lifestyle, budget, etc. Part of setting goals is assessing the likelihood of success. I believe in setting myself up for success. I want a real challenge, but let’s be realistic, racing in the Iditarod is probably not going to happen while I have a two-month-old to care for.
7. Projects should vary in length. I don’t mind a project that takes a year, but in the interest of keeping things fresh some projects should be do-able in the span of weeks or months.
8. The list of projects I am working on at any one time should be diverse. I do not want to do three types of crafting at once, for example.

Rules are subject to amendment later, but that looks pretty good for now. Now, the quest begins!


3 comments on “She wears many hats

  1. Sarah
    February 28, 2013

    This is going to be great! Good luck! I look forward to your sewing posts in particular, I am about to get my first ever sewing machine.

  2. Weiss
    February 28, 2013

    You’re a nutbag lady!! The only way this is going to be interesting is if you fail. And seeing as I have never seen you fail (or more to the point, admit defeat) This is going to be like watching a NASCAR race where the drivers are always on the brink of crashing, but never do. Good luck with it anyways.

    Your forever skeptical and cynical friend,


    • thousandtasksartist
      February 28, 2013

      This is where I insert a cheesy quote about how the only way to truly fail is not to try with a picture of a cute puppy climbing the first steps to a Buddhist temple perched on the edge of a volcano. I expect to fail spectacularly and frequently. But admit defeat? You’re right, not really my thing.

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This entry was posted on February 28, 2013 by in General and tagged , , , , , .


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