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10 Things I Do Well

This is a difficult prompt because, in the first place, I’m not sure that there are 10 things I do well. It also makes me decidedly self-conscious to brag about myself. I fear that I will be perceived as an egomaniac!

Of course, it is good to engage, from time to time, in some self-affirming analysis of one’s strengths and weaknesses, so long as the assessment is as objective as possible (so difficult, of course) and scrupulously honest. That’s what I’m going to strive to do while compiling this list of things that I sincerely believe I do reasonably well.

Here goes:

1. Collaborating

I thrive in a collegial, collaborative environment where all ideas, observations, insights, and opinions are shared freely, accorded respect, and a consensus is reached. I cannot function in a dictatorship or an environment where the process is corrupted by one or more power-hungry persons who seek to control the outcome.

2. Writing

Writing has always come easy for me and I enjoy it, so I guess it shouldn’t be a shock that I ended up in a profession where I spend a large percentage of my time engaged in research and writing.

3. Public speaking and teaching

I know public speaking is the activity that the majority of people fear the most. But, again, it is something that I have been doing all my life and it comes easily to me. I really enjoy teaching and training adults. I don’t know that I would be that great as a teacher of young children or even junior high school students. I would love to be a part-time professor eventually.

4. Practicing law

The above three things are essential to succeed as a litigator. Add to that list the requisite abilities to advocate zealously but with restraint, and successfully negotiate.

5. Making music

The piano was my first instrument and I still have the most confidence in my ability as a keyboardist, but my flute skills are coming along. I have also been singing my entire life. I am the weakest on acoustic guitar because I don’t play it as often.

6. Being a friend

I have had the same friends for years and years. I have a core group of girlfriends that I have been hanging out with since about 4th grade, as well as some very dear friends that I met in college 30+ years ago. In fact, my college roommate, who is also my kids’ godmother, is going to NYC with me for our upcoming Carnegie Hall performance. We met in 1977 and have been friends ever since, so this is our combination “really big birthday” year and anniversary “chick” trip.

7. Being a mom

I’m far from perfect, but my kids would tell you that they have never questioned that they are loved, were very much wanted, and have made their ol’ parents proud. I tell them, when they are exasperated with me, “Just remember when you’re on the couch in the shrink’s office, ‘It’s all my mother’s fault.'” That’s the point at which they roll their eyes and go back to their rooms.

8. Building websites

I do a fair job as an amateur website builder. I have constructed and maintain several for nonprofit organizations. I donate my services and all I ask is that the folks running those groups be grateful for my time and effort.

9. Crafting

I used to be, as Rosie O’Donnell says, “crafty.” I tried crocheting, but that was a disaster. So while my sister and mother were making piles of afghans which I very much appreciate during this cold weather, I investigated embroidery, crewel (embroidery with yarn), needlepoint and, finally, counted cross-stitch. I really enjoyed that and I was quite good at it. I even won a couple of ribbons at a local fair. But between kids, law school and then the practice of law, and, finally, retinal problems, I had to gave it up.

10. Blogging

I’d like to think that I’m getting pretty good at this! After all, you’re here reading this, right?


  1. WoW…that’s one very impressive list! You put me to shame!

  2. Novel Nymph

    Whatever Janie Seiss…I just learned about Ten On Tuesday from you, and I am about to embark on mine–I ADORE memes!

    BTW you have an 11th thing you do well–INSPIRE…

  3. Well those are great things to do well. Sounds like you’re a Renaissance Woman of the highest order ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. You are a very interesting person. I’m glad I found this blog.

  5. Hi Janie!!!
    I finally found you! Well , I found the *time* to find you. So happy I did. Looking forward to reading more…when i find more time this week. Looking forward to connecting via emailso I can learn more about the blog life.

    Blessings to you in the holiday season.
    “Em” -San Jose…think Santa Clara Water Dist.

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