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Karen Z

Deep breath - ok here goes

1. I am kind (to a fault)
2. I can talk to almost anyone and make them feel welcome in a strange or new place for them.
3. I have a lot of patience.


Packing for a cross-country move, I was hell-bent on getting rid of as much stuff as possible. I, too, went to a performing arts high school (I'm 39 now) and played the flute. Not only did I find my flute (don't tell my Mom - gah, the shape it was in and that thing was not cheap), but I found pages upon pages of notes from my Music Theory classes. I was absolutely gobsmacked that I ever even knew what these symbols meant - it was like looking at a foreign language.

I've stayed in a creative field, but not music, love to read, do the crossword most days without cheating - all this to say, 39 year olds are just dumber than we were in high school and college. I wish teens were able to both live in the moment and step back and realize what a special time intellectually they are having.

Anyway - three areas of strength: Knitting and sewing (I assumed everyone could knit baby sweaters and sew dresses, but I've learned that this is a real skill of mine), extreme empathy towards animals (sometimes cripplingly so), brainstorming and idea generation (the flip being that I suck at execution).


Listening, hospitality, creativity


This is a very good exercise, and one I think more people should do regularly. So I will say I excel in:

1. writing (I mean, it is my career)
2. compassion for others (to a fault, especially with family members)
3. singing


I believe my three areas of strength include my ability to see the best in people and give them the benefit of doubt.
I have been given talent for sewing and needlework and take great joy in planning a great many projects and even finish some! 😉
I am a good organizer. I can visualize the end project and can see the steps needed to get there be planning a wedding, running a baseball league for kids or organizing a busy office.

Heather Bensel

1. capable to a fault
2. generous
3. creative

In a much as cooking is just following directions..I tend to think that too...except then I talk to people who don't like to cook. It's more than simply being able to follow direction.


Hey, I think being a good cook is a great thing! It's following directions the same way as playing music is following the notes on the page, y'know? Yes, practice does a LOT for both, but you have to have the drive to do the practice, and I think there's talent and inclination and general experience in there too. If something looks off for me when I'm doing something I'm good at, I can often figure out how to make it feel right. If I'm cooking and I've followed the instructions EXACTLY and it looks wrong, I usually don't know how to make it right.

(I.e. I'm a crap cook but I don't actually try to get better!)

I think this is a lovely exercise and amazingly confronting, yes.

The areas where I feel pretty strong:

- writing fiction (often fanfiction)
- general nerdery (I can go toe to toe with anyone about Star Trek or tokusatsu or the Marvel Comics Universe)
- empathy

Thanks for doing this, Carmen. :)

Headless Mom

I read this and felt sad. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:13-14). Please don't forget it.



I'm considerate. I'm organized. I'm able to find humor in just about anything. And I'm AMAZED how hard that was! I know that I'm my own worst critic (my husband who rarely gets annoyed at me got very annoyed by this just this week) and I'm working on it. This was very timely for me and I'm sure for many others, too. Thanks for making me think . . . again.

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as Social Media Programs Manager for SheKnows, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a dual minor in BS studies and avoiding laundry.