I learned all kinds of fun things this weekend—about ancient skills and about myself. The Silver River Museum  hosted its first Knap-In and Stone Age Arts Festival and as part of the staff, I got to help.

By the way, we didn’t bring blankets and snooze on the museum lawn. Flint knapping is the ancient art of making arrowheads and spear points. I had a chance to browse the vendors’ booths and learn from the demonstrators and reenactors.

Mysteri Barnhill demonstrates rag rug crocheting

 I even got a peek inside a teepee…

Demonstrators Charles Palle and Robert Wilson

Along with the other visitors, I learned tons about flint knapping, hide tanning, pottery making and beading. I opted out on the Atlatl (old-fashioned spear) and tomahawk throwing, though many discovered it wasn’t quite as easy as it looked.

Flint Knappers at work

But as “clipboard queen,” I spent most of the weekend checking in participants and welcoming folks, the equivalent of a superstore greeter in khaki. Despite my utter exhaustion Sunday night, I was totally energized.

In the midst of all the activity, I stopped, looked around and thought, “I love this.” I love welcoming people and getting them connected and settled in and comfy.

It was a revelation. From childhood, I’ve been taught to focus on improving my weaknesses. Since boasting, pride and self-importance are sins to be avoided, I’ve never given the idea of personal strengths more than a passing glance.

But that’s been changing lately, in a good way. I highly recommend a book by Marcus Buckingham called, Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently.

It has radically changed my outlook. I’m still acutely aware of my shortcomings, but I’m consciously trying to discover, build on and use my unique strengths. It’s a shift in thinking that is hugely freeing.

Haven’t you spent years lamenting all the things you’re NOT good at?

Maybe it’s time for a change. Let’s focus more energy and time on our strengths–the things we love and enjoy. (The weaknesses are still there; we’re just shifting our attention. We’ll talk about that next week.)

So take a minute to look around. What activities give you energy? Which ones make you smile? Make you eager to do them again?

Write them down. And if you want, share them here. I’d love to hear what gets you fired up and brings a huge smile to your face.

Connie