Restorative is my top theme. When I think of restorative, I think of taking old furniture and making it new again. Or, useful. And I guess when you get right down to it, that’s sort of what it is.
The “Living You Strengths” book that we used for this course explains “restorative” like this:
You love to solve problems. Whereas some are dismayed when they encounter yet another breakdown, you can be energized by it. You enjoy the challenge of analyzing the symptoms, identifying what is wrong and finding the solution. You may prefer practical problems or conceptual ones or personal ones. You may seek out specific kinds of problems that you have met many times before and that you are confident you can fix. Or you may feel the greatest push when faced with complex and unfamiliar problems. Your exact preferences are determined by your other themes and experiences. But what is certain is that you enjoy bringing things back to life. It is a wonderful feeling to identify the undermining factors, eradicate them, and restore something to its true glory. Intuitively, you know that without your intervention, this thing—this machine, this technique, this person, this company—might have ceased to function. You fixed it, resuscitated it, rekindled its vitality. Phrasing it the way you might, you saved it.
Let’s look at the physical aspect of this: Yes, it’s true. I always want to turn an old coffee can into a beautiful self-watering plantar. I want to stain, repaint, reupholster and rework just about everything. The problem: I’m not that handy. I’m also not patient enough for the process. Sure, I try things out, but usually, it’s not exactly what I set out to do. So it’s frustrating.
But at least it explains when I love Arts & Scraps so much.
Now, let’s look at this from a different perspective.
I can’t give up on the underdog. My church is going through a difficult time and it appears I have volunteered myself for the next year. I’m helping wherever and whenever I can. I’m on the Board of Education, the marketing committee, several other committees and I’m open to helping out whenever they ask. Why? Because I believe in the school and the organization and with the issues they are having right now, they need my help.
I think what happens though is that my other theme, responsibility, gets in the way. I hate getting help with any tasks because I’m afraid people won’t complete them. And I think this gives others the wrong idea. I believe that the people around me think I’m in it for the credit. I don’t want the attention, I just want to help.
This can be a blessing (lots of stuff gets done) but it can also be a huge burden. I’m always taking on tasks and trying to help. I’m always trying to fix. I’m always trying to make everything shine.
It’s exhausting. But I love it.
Everyone tells me to stop, but I don’t think they understand that I can’t stop.
We are at our bests when we are living our strengths. This is my top strength. I need to live it.