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Thread: Recognizing your limitations

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Recognizing your limitations

    " A man has got to know his limitations." - Dirty Harry

    It's been 40 years since Mr. Eastwood uttered those memorable words, but they are as true today as they were then. Last night I was reminded of them when my wife and I drove downtown and were looking for a parking spot. 95% of the time if the two of us are in the same car I'm the one driving. That's just how it is. Well, last night happened to be one of those 5% times when she was the one driving, and as we were heading down a busy road I spotted an open parking space ahead. She flatly refused to consider parking there. Why? Because she would have to parallel park. She doesn't 'do' parallel parking, and readily concedes she does not posess the requisite skill to competently do it; it's simply a limitation of hers. Naturally, this frustrated the hell out of me, but I held my tongue as I stopped to consider the time a couple of months earlier when her car's muffler needed to be replaced and she asked me to do it. I said 'no' and promptly took it to the shop. I have never replaced a muffler before, and while I might be able to figure it out and save $60 or $70, I do not have a high degree of confidence that I would do it correctly, and frankly would just as soon not have to deal with the inevitable frustration that seems to come with most automotive repairs (at least for me). This man recognizes that limitation.

    What are some of your limitations you've been forced to admit. Anyone ask you to bake a lemon meringue pie for a church fundraiser when you know you can't boil water? Anyone ever invite you to run a 10k when you consider the trip from the couch to the fridge a challenge? Anyone ever ask you to babysit for three little hellions when you know that patience is not a quality you posess?

    When do you recognize your limitations?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I usually don't recognize my limitations until its too late. I now know not to work on electronics after breaking a couple things. Computers I'm pretty limited at, but I always spend a couple hours trying to figure it out myself. Plumbing and electrical work iss something I can do in a limited fashion, but I've learned just to take the frustration away and call someone.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I have been increasingly more able to admit that my small fear of heights prevents me from doing certain things around the house.

    A MAN should be able to climb to the top of a 20 foot extension ladder and remove a hornet's nest! Well not this man. My wife will do it.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Vancity's avatar
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    I'm not a man.

    but nonetheless, I am saddened by my seemingly unchangeable physical limitations: lack of coordination, lack of strength, slow reflexes, fear of everything that could potentially hurt me physically(I guess this one is psychological). Thus there's not much in the way of sport, physical exertion, manual labour, etc, that I can partake in... and its kind of a bummer, because I generally want to.

    I have to say no to anyone who asks me to partake in a run, an obstacle course, try mountain biking, be part of a softball league, a beach volleyball game......... etc. All have been asked of me in the last 6 months.

    Couldn't be a server because I couldn't hold up a tray of drinks.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Excellent example of the topic Maister. My wife is just like that. She refuses to parallel park unless its a mile long clearing.

    As I age I find myself recognizing my limitations easier. I think there is a little bit of a danger there in retreating too far into your comfort zone. Sometimes what you might think is a limitation is not.

    Quote Originally posted by Vancity View post
    I'm not a man
    . Kudos to recognizing this limitation.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    As I age I find myself recognizing my limitations easier. I think there is a little bit of a danger there in retreating too far into your comfort zone. Sometimes what you might think is a limitation is not.
    That's a good point. Even with my growing fear of heights, I was able to climb to the top of a 12 foot scaffold this past weekend and help install a new light in our foyer. There was no way I was not going to go to the top of it.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus
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    over 50 yr old - nuff said.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    over 50 yr old - nuff said.
    Hell, my 72 year old dad is still going strong. It's amazing what the man still accomplishes. He was the one helping me with the foyer light.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  9. #9
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I can not sing. If I tried, it would be worse than one of those people in the "you can't sing" clips that you see on those reality TV singing shows like American Idol. In church, I stand, I will read the words in the song, but I try to make as little sound as I can because it would be torture for those around me.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Midori's avatar
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    I can't golf. And I know I really doing have the natural coordination it would require to learn at this point in my life. That goes for a lot of physical activities.

    I also farm out anything automotive or mechanical.

    I have a hard time saying "no, I can't do that" at work, so I've flirted with my limits in professional settings more than I care to admit.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    In the vein of not being able to golf, I will admit that I cannot play basketball. I am tall (6’1”) and pretty athletic (played soccer, swam, I run and bike) but there is something about that particular mix of coordination skills that eludes me. To be frank, I am pretty darn terrible. I used to think that if I had the chance to practice enough maybe I could be passable. But I have come to accept that is never going to happen.

    Similarly, I am not really a sports fan in the sense of following teams. But I do at times find myself in situations with men where this is the primary mode of relating to one another. I used to try and act like I knew what was going on – “yeah, that was a terrible call last night” or “Right, sure – Patrick Manning and all that” but I now just fess up and leave it at that. Better than being caught in a lie…

    My eyes are failing also. Now in my mid-40s I can no longer “get by” or protect my vanity by squinting just a little harder. I need to have some peep-over-the-tops at all my reading locales – at work, at home, in the car, etc. It’s a limitation – I embrace it. Now where’s my cardigan?
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    ...I have never replaced a muffler before, and while I might be able to figure it out and save $60 or $70, I do not have a high degree of confidence that I would do it correctly, and frankly would just as soon not have to deal with the inevitable frustration that seems to come with most automotive repairs (at least for me). This man recognizes that limitation...
    The solution to all of these things is really easy. Duct tape. If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

    Personally, I have no limitations. There are certain things I choose not to do because it is not worth my time.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Swimming - I've tried, I can't do it and I take no enjoyment from it. It used to bother me especially when the kids were younger but now I realize I enjoy reading poolside a lot better than embarassing myself in a freezing pool.

    Another one of my limitations is that I have so many talents that I sometimes I work too hard for the betterment of communities. . . Sorry that was my job interview answer.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Personally, I have no limitations.
    Hmmm... a Cardinal that can't fly...

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