What’s the one thing you wish you could do?

Posted on September 6, 2011

I spent some time painting today. After which I tweeted this: “Painting is one of those things that looks easy, but hurts like hell.”

Watching someone else paint a room is like, well, watching paint dry. Balancing with one leg on a ladder and the other on a window sill whilst performing approximations of yoga moves in order to ‘cut in’ in a straight line is another ordeal all together.

While I was in there brushing away, however, I had a fair bit of time to think. Which brought me to one of my favourite pastimes – that of mentally filling out questionnaires in my head.

No, really.

Those witty little columns that make up the front and back of newspaper magazines the world over require a lot of thought. What is my favourite book? What would I eat for my last meal? What, from a long list of unfashionable things that I love to do, would be my most loved ever?

The only question I can ever answer with any certainty is this one: What’s the one thing you wish you could do?

Most people answer ‘sing’ for this. But, as I have shared before, lack of ability does not stop me singing, so I disregard that.

Nope, the one thing I wish I could do is, ironically, paint. Not walls (particularly after today). Paintings. Works of art.

Actually, I’d settle for being able to doodle.

I am the least visual person I know. My drawing style began and ended at stick figures. So, yes. That art stuff? That’s the one thing I wish I could do.

What’s the one thing you wish you could do?

[image: Mr4’s latest drawing of a Christmas tree is a far superior effort to mine]


  1. Maxabella

    I nearly spat out my deec when I read that first line, for I though my dear sister actually was artistically painting and that was coke-spitting worthy!

    As I have always said to you, I think you are much, much more artistic than you ever give yourself credit for. Everyone is. You just have to believe… x

  2. Rhonda

    i used to think sing…but like you i realized i still sing regardless of the fact that others wish i wouldn’t…so i guess i’d like to be a really good dancer. like freestyle i guess…i did ballroom and stuff so i’m okay at that, but i feel like a frog in a blender just out dancing….but i do it anyway.

  3. Allison Rushby

    Another thing we have in common — I can’t draw to save myself. Oddly, my mother is quite good, as is my aunt. And my daughter loves to draw, spends hours on it and I think may be following after my mum and aunt. Obviously drawing talent skips a generation. My daughter asks me to draw things all the time and I just freeze. Seriously, though, ‘Draw a baby crawling, mummy!’ is a bit of a stretch. She could at least start with a simple tree, or a box house or something…

  4. Stacia

    I wish I could estimate. Seriously. 10 feet? 100 feet? 500 feet? It all looks the same to me.

  5. MultipleMum

    Least arty? Have you seen your mother play Pictionary? I’d like to be able to do what that Sarah Blasko did at the gig (without the arm action) x

  6. therhythmmethod

    I wish I could play guitar. I still regret giving up lessons at 15.
    Boy 1 drew a doodle the other day. He said “Mum, I drew a doodle!” then under his breath mumbled “It’s not a real one”. Doodle is our name for, er … willie.
    PS Why is Mr 4 drawing christmas trees? He’s got a long way to go before December, might be hard to sustain that pace!

  7. no-one

    I wish I could raise just one eyebrow at a time. I encounter so many moments that call for a single raised eyebrow, and I just can’t do it. Drives me mad.

  8. Suzy

    Ditto. Drawing/painting. I would give ANYTHING to have 0.001% of the talent a couple of my friends have (damn the artistic circles I travel in!!)

  9. Kerry

    I’d love to be able to play the violin really, really well. I wouldn’t want to settle for just ok:)

  10. Kirsty

    Can I have two? Sewng and knitting – I’d love to be able to make my kids lovely patchwork quilts and warm winter jumpers. As it is my knitting hasn’t improved since high-school when I knit my skirt to my knitting 🙁
    I’m actually starting sewing classes soon, but I’m not holding my breath!

  11. Jodi @ The Scribble Den

    Me? I wish I could sing. A can sing, a little, sort of hold a tune. But I have no power, no range, no bravado. Actually, maybe I can’t sing….
    I wish I could sing like Christina Aguliera. Really, really!

  12. Kymmie

    Not that I love painting, but I definitely am fond of all that thinking time while doing something so absolutely mindless!

    As for the one thing I could do… hmmm. I’d really love to play the guitar. You know, be Eric Clapton Brilliant.

    Now THAT would be something.

  13. Sarah Mac

    Play the piano.

    I have this deep seated conviction that I can just sit down and play jazz. It doesn’t matter that I know I can’t, one day it’ll just happen 🙂

  14. Amanda

    Same same – draw/paint/doodle enough that people can tell the difference between when I’m drawing a moon and when it’s a banana.

    Infuriatingly (or because of this) I married someone who can paint like PROPERLY. I’m hoping at least my son will inherit those artistic genes.

  15. InkPaperPen

    I’d love to be able to restore furniture…


  16. joeh

    Play guitar beyond strumming 6 cords, really freaking playing!

    Cranky Old Man

  17. brismod

    Mine would be sewing. I like the idea of it but the execution of it is another matter. xx

  18. Mum on the Run

    Drawing / painting would be up there for me too.
    Close behind the singing/playing music without offending ears thing. How I’d love to be able to pick up a guitar strum away and belt out a recognisable tune.

  19. Cate Bolt

    Say “it’s not my problem”. Just once.

  20. Diminishing Lucy


    I would love me a little bit of Torvill and Dean action.

  21. ClaireyHewitt

    Be an amazing dancer, all types, maybe not ballet, but great enough to win So You think you can dance.

    Sadly, I can pretty much only do a half decent nutbush at weddings and that is it.

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