Knowing What You Don’t Know – Impressive Skills I Don’t Have!

A lot of these kinds of websites spout off about all the things we do well. Sharing tips, tricks and more. Modern Man is no different. We want to help.

However, I also feel it’s important to admit when we don’t do things well. Maybe by putting it out in the universe we can help ourselves, or get tips in from great resources, too.

This morning, on my way to work, I was stopped on a small country road as a big rig tractor trailer was attempting to back in to a small residential CURVED driveway. I was there for minutes. This guy driving had me in awe. Why? I can’t back up a small trailer on my lawnmower in an open field, and this guy was backing up a small city block on 18 wheels into a tree-lined driveway.

It started me thinking about all the things that I can’t do. Sure, there are things that most of us can’t do like fly a plane or deep sea exploration. But more ‘every day’ things that I’m not good at are plentiful. Maybe it will be cathartic to talk about it in public? Let’s give it a try.

Hi, I’m Keith and I can’t do a push up.

In school, I was chubby with no arm strength. In gym class I did the knee pushups – and even then it wasn’t pretty.

The other day my 5yo asked me to do push ups with him. I showed him the form, but I couldn’t do it. There’s a lot there – bad rotator cuff, out of practice, holiday weight and … I just can’t do it.

It’s ok. I’m ok with that.

Hi, I’m Keith and I can’t fix my car.

I can change a tire. I can check the tire pressure. I can add windshield wiper fluid or replace the wipers. That’s it.

I can’t change the oil, I have NO idea what I’m looking at when I open the hood and I have NO idea the different sounds between a squeaky brake pad or a fraying serpentine belt. Don’t get me started on catalytic converters!

I bring my cars to the local mechanic, and I’m ok with that.

Hi, I’m Keith and I can’t paint.

I make a mess. A mess! The paint gets on everything – me, the floor, the windows, the heating elements, the hardware, the cat….

I just don’t have the fine tuned motor skills (or honestly, the interest) to be meticulous with the brush. I can’t tell the difference between shades of the same color. I don’t know where I started or where I left off.

Mr. Miyagi would be so disappointed in me, but I’m OK with that.

Hi, I’m Keith and I can’t remember what I was asked to do 5 minutes ago.

“Hey hon, can you take the trash out?” “Sure!” Later that night…. “Damn! I didn’t take the trash out….”

I don’t know why, but my short term memory is crap. I can remember dialog from a play I was in 25 years ago, but I can’t remember to bring in a chicken from the garage freezer when I walk out to get some firewood.

I try to put reminders on my phone or write them on a white-board to-do list. But, if I don’t do those things, it’s in one ear and right out the other. It’s awful. It ends up letting down others, so maybe I’m not OK with this one.

There’s so much more that I can’t do. Ya know what? That’s OK.

There are a lot of skills I have that others don’t. I can talk in public. I can sing in harmony. I can dance (a bit). I hit .700 for the season playing softball. I can play multiple instruments. I understand social media. I make a perfect fried egg. I can un-jam a copier machine.

And… I’m a good Dad.

I guess, at this point in my life, that’s all that matters right now. Someone else can back my big rig into the driveway for me.


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