Strings to my bow

When I was little, I loved a series of books about a boy called Jack who owned a dog called Zero.  Jack and Zero were the only members of their family who didn’t have multiple talents, or as Jack’s mother called them ‘strings to your bow’.  The rest of Jack’s family was frankly insufferable, with their constant boasting and showing off, but the phrase ‘strings to your bow’ has stayed with me.

I used to have a regular job.  The kind where you are mostly in the office between the hours of nine and five and get paid once a month for turning up and doing what you are told.  I was quite good at it, I enjoyed it on the whole, and it kept me out of trouble.

Then I had children and ‘stopped working’.  Please accompany this sentence with a  hollow laugh.

Now my children are all at school for a number of hours a day, and I want there to be more to my life than mopping floors and sorting washing.  I’d like some sort of gainful employment, but I’d also like to do the school run and mop up sick when they’re ill.  OK so like is a strong word for the latter, but you know what I mean.

So I’ve started writing for other people.  I’ve been doing it for a while, a little bit here and there.  Now I’m not sunning myself on a far-flung beach, I’m trying to do a bit more.  But I’ve been thinking.  The writing thing is likely to be rather feast and famine, so I need other things to keep me busy in the quiet times.  I need more strings to my bow.  So I thought about things I’m good at that could possibly be turned into a career of sorts.  I’ve started by signing up for a jewellery course.  I used to be quite good at silversmithing, but haven’t done it for ten years, the course will hopefully de-rust me and lead to something.

So that’s two strings, jewellery and writing, three if you count my mastery of Twitter.  But in this modern world I think it would be useful to have a couple more.  I’m pretty whizzy at sudoku and pub quizzes.  Any suggestions for where they could take me?

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6 comments
  1. I’d love to do what you’re doing, I do a bit of writing, but it’s not particularly interesting stuff. I’m exactly the same in regards to wanting to stretch myself a little. Eldest is at school, second is on the way to school in September and I’ve got itchy feet or whatever the term is. It’s always good to keep yourself engaged with hobbies and activities isn’t it. If I didn’t have writing and blogging (my hobby) I’d have gone completely mad by now. Life is more than being stuck in a living room isn’t it. (she says after having been stuck in a living room for 3 days now with hurling kids). Really enjoying your blogs :O) @Chaoskay

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      Thankyou, it’s all sort of come about by accident, but that’s often the best way isn’t it?

  2. I fear I am a one stringed violin sometimes! I can not wait to see the jewelry.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      I disagree, you’re brilliant at sewing and all kinds of other things.

  3. The Bagthorpes! I never read them as a child, but had them recommended for Big a couple of years ago – they didn’t do it for her, but I loved them. I know how you feel. I’m trying to carve out some kind of career/ employment around home education with added toddler and baby, and it isn’t easy at all. But I feel terribly wrong if I’m not earning money somehow, so I’ll go on trying.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      It’s an issue lots of people I know struggle with, definitely think portfolio career the way forward for me.

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