I took a test a few weeks ago. The kind I love — asking lots of questions about me.
The is called Strengthsfinder. And I’m completely fascinated by it.
I do realize we aren’t all the same. But when I saw the results of the test, my 5 (out of 34 possibilities) key strengths startled me, and yet I knew right away that it was spot on. Except for one.
My number one strength is called Strategic. And 3 of my 5 strengths fall into the Strategic Thinker category.
I was discussing this with a co-worker and telling her how funny I thought it was. I just am not that person. Little old me, part-time writer who majored in Literature — not business — a strategic mastermind? We laughed about it and made up other less flattering words for our strengths. But then she asked me if it was true of me anywhere else in my life. How about at home?
Here’s another way to put it:
A strategic thinker tends to love to read or discuss things, to learn. They observe the past to learn its lessons, or live in the future. They assess something and find what’s wrong with it and then can come up with 50 ways to fix it.
So how does a person like me: fairly reserved, not a jump-in-and-be-decisive-take-the-reigns kind of a gal and content-to-be-part-time-employee-so as to-balance-the-rest-of-her-life, get an outcome on a test like that?
Years and years of practice.
20 years, maybe more, of coming up with ways to fix my life.
This strength has been honed in me out of necessity and survival. Because my life fell apart every six months.
That’s how long it was between discovering relapses. If I didn’t suck it up and figure out a way to fix it, I’d have been more of a basket case than I was.
When Dave resorted to old patterns, so did I. Find out about a debt. Blow up. Threaten. Despair. Pray. Cry. . . Suck it up. And figure out a way to recover financially.
I took him off the bank account. I monitored every move. I flushed pills. I badgered him with questions. Checked in constantly. Looked for jobs for him, new places to live for us. Balanced and rebalanced the budget. Made him sign contracts. Fixing, fixing, fixing.
20 years of fixing Dave . . .
. . . and a lifetime of fixing myself. Going to Bible studies. Reading the right books. Studying for hours on end. Obsessing over the latest methods of housekeeping, child-rearing, wife-being. Working overtime to measure up.
I was so focused on the wrong thing. . .
. . . focused on a surface that was turning rapidly to dust.